Brothers in Sumo –
part two

Brian Lewin
Brothers still active on the dohyo get their turn

Yokozuna Comparisons
Joe Kuroda
SFM’s most eminent historian, JK, has a crack at the impossible and tries to see who was the greatest of the tsuna wearers

Rikishi of Old
John Gunning
Takanobori – former sekiwake, former NHK man and all ’round gent

Heya Peek
Barbara Ann Klein
Kitanoumi-beya, Kitazakura, mirrors & photo bonanza

SFM Interview
John Gunning
Kazuyoshi Yoshikawa (son of the late sekiwake Takanobori) on life in sumo way back when

Sumo 101
Barbara Ann Klein
Behind every good man there stands a good woman – read and ye shall see. A departure from our regular 101 feature

Photo Bonanza
See the Hatsu Basho
plus much more through the lens of our photographers

Hatsu Basho Review
Lon Howard
Lon gives us his Hatsu Basho summary, along with the henka sightings results

Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila
Mikko Mattila covers lower division goings on in detail

Haru Basho Forecast
Pierre Wohlleben & Mark Buckton
Pierre predicts the Haru Basho banzuke while Mark highlights the ones to look out for in Osaka

Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Mikko takes us on a tour of his chosen kimarite

John McTague
John’s unique bimonthly view of sumo news from outside the dohyo and in the restaurants!

Online Gaming
Alexander Nitschke
SFM’s own Alexander Nitschke covers the long running Hoshitori Game

Kokugi Connections
Todd Lambert
Todd’s bimonthly focus on 3 of the most interesting sumo sites today

Fan Debate
Feb's debate sees
a pair of Kiwis exchanging opinions on the honbasho going on the road

SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
In the third of our cartoon bonanzas, sit back and enjoy BL’s offerings and put a caption to ST’s pic to win yourselves a banzuke

Let’s Hear From You
What was it that
made you a sumo fan? A unique perspective from a sightless reader.

Readers’ Letters
See what some SFM
readers had to say since our last issue

Sumo Quiz
The Quizmaster
Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho’s banzuke.

Let's Hear From You!
What Made You A Fan?

by Malcolm Ferries
pounced on at an airport bookstall. I immediately subscribed to it and felt that at last I was beginning to get a handle on the essence of sumo: mulling over the basho round-tables and the stats reflecting the twists and turns of life on the Banzuke.

... and then came the internet: via “access technology” – hard and software which translates print documents into voice and braille outputs – I now had the life-transforming opportunity to read about all my enthusiasms independently. With sumo, the impact was momentous. I no longer had to wait several weeks for each sumo fix – and often a few more days until friends had time to administer it. The enormous depth and breadth of the subject was now open to me; I could research any sumo topic, as meticulously as necessary, whenever I wished. Sumo messageboards, the sports pages of English-language Japanese newspapers, sites covering amasumo across the world, they all add up to an acquaintance with sumo which I never imagined possible before I went online.

I surfed into, via another site’s links page, in September and was immediately wowed! It’s a marvellous digest of all the ingredients I find so fascinating about sumo, but it also pokes into corners of the sport which I’ve not seen explored anywhere else – it’s a terrific read!

Each issue of SFM, We’ll ask one of you
to tell us something about you and sumo.
Think you have something readers would like to know?
Write our letters section!
It was heading towards lunchtime on Boxing Day, 1985. I was in bed, nursing a thundering Christmas hangover and the nagging realisation that, having graduated from Uni six months ago, I needed a job!

Needing some diversion, I prodded the TV on. It wasn’t Christmas fare: a documentary on sumo wrestling. It was a terrible caricature of the sport – anchored by a man renowned for commentating on a bazillion sports without being an authority on any of them, the programme portrayed all rikishi as men who amassed enormous wealth, before plummeting from the pinnacle of success to do a few years as fair-ground exhibits prior to dying at forty after all those years stuffing their guts.

In spite of the trashy presentation and my semi-comatose perception, however, sumo had hooked me during that half-hour. Something compelled me about its ritual and atmosphere, and the fact that a guy of sixteen
stone had used a blizzard of slaps and chops – the programme didn’t bother with terminology – to hustle out an opponent of thirty-five stone.

No more sumo came my way for two or three years. The UK’s TV channels weren’t showing anything and as a Registered Blind person, the chances of finding any relevant reading matter were even more remote than for most western fans at that time.

Then though, Channel Four got into sumo, this time with the more scholarly accompaniment of Lyall Watson’s commentary (later superseded by the uber-ebullient Brian Blessed). Four’s coverage triggered the publication of several sumo books that I devoured via long-suffering friends, though they were so basic that they pretty much replicated each other’s content.

My next great leap forward came in 1990, when one such friend presented me with an edition of Sumo World he’d
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