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.

Haru Basho Wrap-Up

Text by Lon Howard
Photos by Barbara Ann Klein
with one foot now out of quicksand, had his fans imploring, “Don't give up!” Kotooshu and the other kadoban man, Chiyotaikai, quietly attained their kachi-koshi – and then came the musubi no ichiban. Thereon, Hakuho abruptly careened into the lead for the Emperor's Cup by pulling down the yokozuna. Now we had something to talk about.

It got better. The next day, Hakuho faced Tochiazuma, breathing rarified zensho air and needing one more win to clinch ozeki. It proved too much for him as he gasped and gulped into two mattas, stutter-
stepped the tachiai, never got a grip and was given a speedy backward bum's rush. Asashoryu then re-joined him at the top by pushing Kaio to the brink of demotion. On days 13-14, Hakuho rebounded and clinched ozeki promotion with two more wins, with Asashoryu following suit – and Tochiazuma also gritted out wins, though now out of the yokozuna and yusho hunts with his three losses. Kaio re-asserted himself on both days and won convincing victories to enter senshuraku at 7-7 – but on the morrow, with his ozeki rank hanging in the balance, he would face ichimon

The 2006 Haru Basho started clumsily, sputtered and staggered, found some rhythm and roared to the finish like a home team buzzer-beater. Day 2 was most depressing, with yokozuna hopeful Tochiazuma falling to M3 Aminishiki, and then fellow ozeki Kotooshu taking a pounding from Miyabiyama while barely able to stand due to a recent knee injury – kyujo was expected any day. Kadoban ozeki Kaio already had one loss as well. After day 7, it seemed no better because Tochiazuma now had two losses and Kaio was sinking fast with four – intai was expected any day. At that point, the whole affair was loosely bound on the backs of the yokozuna Asashoryu and ozeki hopeful Hakuho, both still undefeated.

With most hope for a yokozuna promotion now evaporated, attention then turned to the ozeki – some battered, some kadoban, some both – and to the ozeki chase, and oh yeah, the
yusho hunt. The first ray of light came from Kotooshu, who seemed to be flying off the dohyo daily, yet winning most of his bouts. The other major players managed to tread water for three more days and then on day 11, everything kicked into overdrive. Kaio, with six defeats going in, was having daily intai discussions with his oyakata.


He was moving poorly with little power and seemed to be target practice for Tochiazuma, technically still in the tsuna hunt with just those two losses – but hold on there. Somehow Tochi spaced out and gave up the right uwate to Kaio and was sent marching out of the ring with no yokozuna papers. Kaio,
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