<DATE> Contents

Attention to Akeni
Carolyn Todd
SFM's newest addition to the writing staff takes an in-depth look at akeni, their history and production techniques
Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
Joe Kuroda slides former yokozuna Minanogawa under his SFM microscope
Eric Evaluates
Eric Blair
Eric's wit scythes through the SML and makes clear his opinion of where the future lies for online sumo forums.
Eternal Banzuke Phase II
Lon Howard
Stats, equations and mathematics all lead to a list of sumo's most prolific up and downers
Matta-Henka: Another View
Lon Howard
A row that will never be fully decided but Lon gives his impressions on it all the same
Heya Peek
Mark Buckton
Mihogaseki, former home of Estonian sekitori Baruto is toured (and peeked at) by SFM's Editor-in-Chief
SFM Interview
Mark Buckton
Mark interviews shin-komusubi Kokkai
Photo Bonanza
See the Nagoya basho and Akeni photo bonanzas
Nagoya Basho Summary
Lon Howard
Lon gives us his Nagoya basho summary, along with the henka sightings results
Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila
Mikko Mattila casts his watchful eye over lower division goings on in makushita and below.
Aki Ones to Watch
Carolyn Todd
Carolyn takes over the job of rikishi job performance prediction for SFM as she looks at those to keep an eye on come September
Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Our man Mikko's latest trio of kimarite get thrown about the SFM literary dohyo
Amateur Angles
Howard Gilbert
Howard returns with the second of his columns on the amateur sumo scene.
Sumo Game
SFM's very own quiz comes in for a bit of self scrutiny by our secretive man of questions. We'll call him 'X'.
Sumo in Print
Barbara Ann Klein
SFM’s Editor reviews “The Little Yokozuna”, a book for “young” (and older) adults
Kokugi Connections
Todd Lambert
Check out Todd's bimonthly focus on 3 of the WWW's best sumo sites
Fan Debate
Facilitator - Lon Howard
Keri Sibley and Eduardo de Paz  ponder the concept of ‘to pay or not to pay’ makushita salaries
SFM Cartoons
Stephen Thompson
Sit back and enjoy the offerings of one of sumo's premier artists
Lets Hear From You
What was it that made you a sumo fan? SFM’s own Todd Lambert details his path into sumofandom
Readers' Letters
See what our readers had to say since we last went out
Sumo Quiz
The Quizmaster
Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho’s banzuke.

Sumo’s True
International Founder –
Sir Tim Berners-Lee

by Eric Blair

opportunity to bring the world together on the same dohyo would be just a dream. Non? Whatsmore, if 1992 is (it was) the date the first amateur world championships took place and now knowing 2006 to be the 15th anniversary of the founding of the Internet, perhaps talk of coincidence here would be stretching things just a little bit too far. N’est-ce pas? That said, I’m sure some will try giving the IOC-registered date for the foundation of the ISF as being in the late 1940s! A topic for another piece, methinks.

Into the world of sumo fandom now, and still online of course, half a year after that first amateur world event that oddly enough saw Nippon claim every gold medal in both individual and team events, and one of the earliest signs of sumo on the WWW can be found on the once majestic list of SML archives at www.banzuke.com  Dated Wednesday, May 26th 1993, it talks about some of the basic rules of sumo. Sadly, today - thirteen years on - the SML, although still there – just - is dying a slow death. It can still be seen chugging along from time to time, like that tired old first motor car you had that really needed a one way trip to the local breaker’s yard, but more often stays silent for days on end, its parts gradually rusting and seizing up.

Giving credit where credit is due though, the SML was the lone sumo list that essentially ‘carried’ the sport single handed to the outside world in the 1990s. Problem is – the 1990s are history. Times change, but the SML hasn’t.


Without the Internet the sport of sumo outside Japan would largely be dead in international waters.

No puns on Japanese, Korean and/or Chinese territorial claims intended here, but take away the system on which you are reading this article and it is doubtful that sumo would be known too far beyond shores a la japonais. Dusty books, out of date soon after going into print, would carry the message a ways, but not even a full tenth of the present day interest generated by fan-based sites such as Sumo Forum (SF), Sumo Mailing List (SML) and, err hem, of course, Sumo Fan Magazine would exist were it not for the aforementioned Sir Tim, his lab near Geneva in Switzerland and the date -– 6 August 1991,  the combination of which resulted in the world’s biggest library-cum-playground; the Internet.

The professional sport would still be there of course: sumo would still be sumo with mawashi, henka and salt chucking all being recounted on NHK in dry monotone and repetitive English or Japanese, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the European and Mongolian brethren wouldn’t be so effectively clogging up the makunouchi arteries by
preventing local advancement as

they do today.

How would Kotooshu and his EU region buddies, amateur coaches, et al have learnt about sumo were it not via the net? Would we all be frothing at the mouth over the prospect of Baruto next time out being positioned just below sanyaku and set to take on Asashoryu and all the ozeki in the first week of the Aki Basho? Probably not. Would we even know the names Baruto and Asashoryu? Depends upon where you live, I guess, but I’d wager an Eastwood-sized fistful of dollars that many ‘fans’ outside Japan today would be looking elsewhere for their sporting pleasure – somewhere closer to home and at a sport covered in their local media.

So many “ifs” and “ands” I will admit, but let’s “if” and “and” a bit more. For the sake of labs and scientists, and out of respect for Sir Tim, let’s don a white coat and ask more questions than we answer. And, while I’m at it, I’ll throw in a bit of French to please those in Geneva who don’t bother with English – but only a tad.

If the amateur sumo global body that is the International Sumo Federation were an Internet free zone, they would have no simple method of organizing its global events, and sumo as an


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