Yokozuna Comparisons
Joe Kuroda
SFM’s historian, JK, wraps his two-part article on the greatest of the tsuna wearers

Amateur Sumo's Global Aspirations
Courtesy: International Sumo Federation
What exactly is it and furthermore, what does it do? The ISF explain themselves and their purpose in existing

Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
Man or myth? Sumo's first yokozuna comes under the spotlight

Heya Peek
Barbara Ann Klein
Tokitsukaze-beya and its famous find themselves the target of Barbara's peek into life inside the heya

SFM Interview
Mark Buckton
Featuring interviews with amateur sumo's European Sumo Union General Secretary and the President of the newly founded Irish Sumo Federation

Sumo 101
Barbara Ann Klein
Would chanko exist without sumo? What is chanko anyway? Find out in Sumo 101

Photo Bonanza
See the Haru
Basho through the eyes of the fans in the seats as SFM gives the mantle of photographer(s) for this basho to Barbara & Gerald Patten. And don't miss our all-Mongolian Bonanza supplied by our Editor, Barbara Ann Klein

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

Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila
Mikko Mattila covers the lower division goings on like nobody else around

Natsu Basho Forecast
Mark Buckton
Mark Buckton glances back to look forward in his ones to look out for come May

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

Sumo in Print
Mark Buckton
Our gaming thread takes a break for April so we can look at the Spanish language book on the sport not long since released

Kokugi Connections
Todd Lambert
Todd’s bimonthly focus on 3 of the WWW's best sumo sites today

Fan Debate
Facilitator – Lon Howard
April's man VS monkey debate covers the issue of reducing the number of honbasho

SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
Sit back and enjoy the offerings

Let’s Hear From You
What was it that
made you a sumo fan? Thierry Perran lets us in on his reasons for loving this sport

Readers’ Letters
See what some
See what our featured letter is for this 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 Thierry Perran
alike with their hairstyles all the same. But still, there was this one, who looked as serene as the Buddha, and who was winning his bouts without giving the sensation that he had to use all his skill. He was the same wrestler I had spotted during the Paris koen, that dear Takanohana Koji. And so, the story just began...

Then came the very day that pushed me over the edge. It was on Sunday, 20th July 1997, on a damp and hot summer day in Tokyo, and I was invited, by a Japanese family, for a barbecue, before going to a festival in the evening. During the meal, I said that sumo was the only thing I could understand on TV, and that I was starting to become fond of this sport. They answered that, in fact, the tournament was drawing to its end on this very afternoon, with a classic bout between the two yokozuna, who had equal scores. But, what the hell was a yokozuna, I asked myself? I didn’t dare ask my hosts in my rather poor Japanese, so I went to watch the matches on TV with all the family. Bouts were coming one after the other, and you could feel the tension rising. Finally, the last bout came, and the two yokozuna went into

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!
As many people of my generation, I have been brought up from the cradle with Japanese comics, though I had not any kind of knowledge about sumo. Anyway, those first hints of Japanese culture have surely had an influence, years later, in my decision to learn the Japanese language, thus indirectly leading me to sumo.

My first real experience with sumo came in fall 1995, during the famous koen in the Bercy Sports Arena, in Paris. Looking at this quite distantly and grinning, I saw the whole Nihon Sumo Kyokai group arriving there. TV coverage was numerous, with reporters trying to explain this odd sport, with its so-basic rules. Yet, even if I was not very thrilled at the time, I watched every bout and noticed one wrestler who had a
greater personality than the others. His name was Takanohana Koji, and he was to be the main person responsible for my passion about sumo, some years later.

Nearly two years passed, and I went to Japan for the first time for a three-month training course. Now, I was in the land of sumo, although I was still not a fan. I discovered, with eyes wide open, a totally different world, where I was suddenly brought back to my childhood, unable to read the papers, the road signs, even unable to understand the TV shows. However, I could understand at least one thing on TV in this year of 1997 – and that was the Nagoya Basho. Sumo coverage in the news was drawing my interest. Rules were simple, and the bouts very short. All the wrestlers looked
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