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.

A Shot at the Impossible – Yokozuna Comparison Through the Ages – Part 1

by Joe Kuroda
Taiho won six straight between
March ’66 and January ’67 and Tamanoumi did the same from September ’70 to July ’71.

Asashoryu Akinori (photo by Barbara Ann Klein)

The question always lingers, though, of just how practical it is to compare the records of these men as, when Taiho won six straight, he did so against a number of formidable opponents, namely the 47th yokozuna Kashiwado (1938-1996), the 49th yokozuna Tochinoumi (1938- ), the 50th yokozuna Sadanoyama (1938- ),
then ozeki (later yokozuna Tamanoumi) Tamanoshima and the 55th yokozuna Kitanofuji (1942- ).

Kitanoumi, in winning his own ‘six’ had to face the 54th yokozuna Wajima (1948– ) and the 56th yokozuna (current Magaki Oyakata) Wakanohana II (1953- ), as well as future yokozuna Mienoumi and Chiyonofuji, and famed ozeki Takanohana and Kotokaze.

Tamanoumi’s opponents

At the Prime Minister’s Official Residence, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi presented the Japan Pro-Sports Award’s Prime Minister’s Cup to the 2005 winner yokozuna Asashoryu on January 24, 2006. Asashoryu was recognized by the selection committee for his unprecedented seven consecutive yusho (including six in one year). Asashoryu became the first rikishi to win six yusho in a year while winning 84 bouts, two more than the previous record. “This is simply a great accomplishment. These are records that may not be broken for 10, 20 or even 30 years,” Koizumi told the gathering as he handed out the award to Asashoryu.

Let’s take a moment first to review Asashoryu’s records from the 2004 Kyushu Basho to the 2005 Kyushu Basho:

As table 1 shows, Asashoryu won 97 out of 105 bouts. His 84 bouts in one year record broke the previous record of 82 victorious bouts in a calendar year held by the 55th yokozuna Kitanoumi. Even the 48th yokozuna Taiho (1940- ), often
known as “The Greatest Yokozuna of the Showa era (1926-1988)”, only managed 81
bouts in a single year – a feat he achieved in 1963.

In addition, Asashoryu’s ‘most consecutive yusho’ record – seven straight – is also worthy of special note, as is Asashoryu becoming the first rikishi to ever
win all six basho in a single year.

Table 1 – Asashoryu’s record from 2004 November to 2005 November
2004 Nov13 wins 2 losses
2005 Jan15 wins 0 loss
2005 Mar14 wins 1 loss
2005 May15 wins 0 loss
2005 Jul13 wins 2 losses
2005 Sep13 wins 2 losses
2005 Nov14 wins 1 loss

During his six-basho winning streak from September ’77 to July ’78, yokozuna Kitanoumi won 85 bouts, while Asashoryu won 84 bouts in the six basho of 2005. Both Taiho and the 51st yokozuna Tamanoumi (1944–1971) won 84 bouts in a consecutive six-basho period.
L10 Web Stats Reporter 3.15 LevelTen Hit Counter - Free PHP Web Analytics Script
LevelTen dallas web development firm - website design, flash, graphics & marketing