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.

Sumo 101
CHANKO – What's in a name?

by Barbara Ann Klein
traditional Japanese side dishes. Much of the menu is determined in some heya by the okamisan, in some by the managers, and in one, even the oyakata himself, at times. The food is usually delivered by local merchants, or brought in especially from other parts of the country. If the heya is fortunate enough to have had a yusho winner, there is enough rice, beef, mushrooms, sake, beer, etc. for some months.


Well, as promised to the featured letter writer of last issue, here I am with a “101” about chanko – that staple of the sumo world. What is it, who makes it, who eats what (sort of), who shops? As they say: enquiring minds want to know! Well, I will give some of the expected responses – the ones you can read in any book about sumo – but will include no chanko recipes. You may be surprised what really goes on at breakfast, and perhaps other meals, at some heya. Read on, and you will see why.

The mandatory blah, blah: “Chanko nabe” is the official term for the meal of the rikishi. The lower ranks (and some sekitori) have chanko for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That is, unless they are fortunate enough to have a fan or a sponsor treat them to a meal outside of the heya (with oyakata's permission, of course) to a local – usually non-traditional, desirably, non-Japanese cuisine – eatery.
It is a stew, cooked and simmered in a huge pot filled with a miso- or soy-based stock, rife with more-or-less pedestrian vegetables, e.g.,
cabbage, carrots, potatoes and/or daikon; tofu; and, chicken, fish or meat. The full-service, nutritional concoction is served with large helpings of rice and some

Oyakata he say “if you put chanko in a Taiko Drum and beat make-
koshi out of it, it transfers the energy for success and there is no need for a cane” (cartoon and caption by Stephen Thompson)

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