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.

SFM Interview – Kazuyoshi Yoshikawa

by John Gunning
to eat. I knew many of them were probably starving watching us so I used to tease them by lifting up my bowl of rice and grinning at them while I ate (laughs).

One day, though, I went too far with one of them. I can’t remember what I did exactly but I angered him so much that he slapped me full force across the face! I was shocked! I couldn’t believe it! He was a professional athlete and I was only a child! On my face was left a big red handprint rather like a tegata. I couldn’t say anything to my father, though, as it had been my fault and I was afraid he would give me a matching one on the other side.

JG – So was your father very strict then?

KY – Actually, no. He was a very kind man. In fact, I think the rikishi in our heya got away with quite a lot. I remember this one young guy; he loved the sumo lifestyle but he hated keiko. Some mornings when he was feeling lazy he would go down to the keikoba, sprinkle water on the dohyo, and roll around so that the sand stuck all over his back and legs. He would then ruffle up his mage to

Mr. Kazuyoshi Yoshikawa is a son of the late Takanobori /
Oyama oyakata. He is also a board member of Hakuhodo DY media partners, Japan’s second largest advertising agency (number 8 worldwide) and the company that staged the Las
Vegas Ozumo tour last October. Despite his very busy schedule,
he was kind enough to make the time to talk about his father
and life in Oyama-beya as a child.
As this reporter’s Japanese ability is sadly lacking, we had to talk mostly in English. While Mr. Yoshikawa has quite good English speaking ability, the interview was conducted in two different languages and on several different occasions over several weeks, so it is paraphrased rather than directly quoted for ease of reading and reasons of space.

John Gunning – Can you tell me a little about your memories of life growing up in Oyama-

Kazuyoshi Yoshikawa – Well, one distinct memory I have is one of the rikishi getting up and heading out for degeiko each morning. You see, up until 1960 when the new heya building was constructed in Higashi Komagata, we all lived in Ryogoku in a building without
a practice dohyo. So about 12 young guys would take the short walk over to Takasago-beya, which was in the same ichimon, and train with the rikishi there. Then they would come back to Oyama and finish their training in the yard of our building.

JG – What was it like being a child around all those rikishi? What kind of relationship did you have with them?

KY – You know, I was only 8 or 9 years old at the time and the rikishi were all much older than me. However, because I was the son of the oyakata and they were trainees, I could get away with doing and saying things to them that wouldn’t normally be possible for a child to an adult. I remember in particular at meal times, the younger rikishi would have to serve us and finish their chores before they were allowed