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SOS - Shinjinrui on Sumo
Chris Gould
Chris sinks his teeth into how sumo can go about pulling in the younger fans - currently so noticeable by their absence. The first of a three-part series.
Sumo World Championships
Mark Buckton
Mark Buckton reports from Sakai near Osaka, site of the latest Sumo World Championships.
Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
Joe Kuroda finishes off his look at former yokozuna Minanogawa.
Sumo 101 / Eric Evaluates
Eric Blair
Eric expains sumo fan terminology - with the inevitable twist - for those just getting into the sport and still subject to the know it alls.
Age stands still for no man
Joe Kuroda
Former ozeki Kiyokuni will retire in November under the compulsory '65 and you are out' rule. JK takes a look at this quiet earth mover.
Feel the Sumo
Eduardo de Paz
Read and feel the renowned Leonishiki's passion for all things sumo at his first live event.
SFM Interview
Mark Buckton
Mark interviews Colin Carroll - again - Irish star of Sakai.
Photo Bonanza
See the Aki Basho bonanza as well as the largest collection of pics you are likely to see on the Sumo World Championships earlier in October.
Aki Basho Summary  
Lon Howard
Lon wraps the September Aki Basho and throws in some henka sighting results for good measure.
Lower Division Rikishi  
Mikko Mattila
The lower divisions, their members and results get the once over thanks to Mikko's eye of things 'beneath the curtain'.
Kyushu Ones To Watch  
Carolyn Todd
Carolyn shares her thoughts on whom to keep an eye on in Fukuoka.
Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Mikko's latest clarification of several of the sport's plethora of kimarite.
Amateur Angles  
Howard Gilbert
Howard Gilbert - manager of New Zealand's amateur sumo team takes a look at the approaching Russians.
Kokugi Konnections  
Todd Lambert
Click on Todd's bimonthly focus on three of the best sumo sites online.
Fan Debate  
Facilitator - Lon Howard
Jesse Lake and Rich Pardoe hammer out their differences on a current furor - promotion criteria.
SFM Cartoons   
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
In this issue's cartoon bonanza, sit back and enjoy Benny Loh's offerings and put a caption to Stephen Thompson's picture to win yourselves a banzuke.
Sumo Odds ’n’ Ends   
SFM's interactive elements including Henka Sightings, Elevator Rikishi and Eternal Banzuke!
Lets Hear From You  
What was it that made you a sumo fan? Kevin Murphy reveals all.
Readers' Letters  
See what our readers had to say since we last hit your screens.
Sumo Quiz   
The Quizmaster
Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho’s banzuke.

Aki Basho Summary

by Lon Howard

shuffling to harmless 10-5 marks, and Tochiazuma gutting out 9-6 on his two bad knees. 

Ozeki Hakuho

The final two days put down the finishing touches for the disappointment and frustration building for Kokonoe oyakata.  On day 14, with his 18th yusho already in hand, Asashoryu curiously elected to join Chiyotaikai in a wild display of

Ozeki Chiyotaikai

circling, flailing and thrusting, at


One way to put the 2006 Aki basho in perspective is to look to the public musings of Kokonoe oyakata.  First, after day 14:  “If you take out day 14, Asashoryu’s sumo was near-perfect.  However, the collapse of those around him made things easy for him.  He needs to endeavor to put even more distance between himself and the other rikishi.”

Then the next day, post-basho:  “He won because those around him were so damn weak.  His speed and technique leave much to be desired compared to his heyday.  He lost his cool because he got hit in the face (by ozeki Chiyotaikai).  The guy still has a long way to go.”

In contrasting those two morsels, one might infer that (1) Asashoryu lost a lot of speed and technique in just two days, (2) in his heyday, Asashoryu was perfect, (3) the distance between near-perfect and perfect is a long way, or (4) near-perfect isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Or maybe – it might be that the oyakata was just as frustrated with this basho as many of us, only to him it was a little more personal.   For the second straight shonichi, ozeki Hakuho and sekiwake Miyabiyama began fumbling away their promotion hopes right at the start.  While we thought “Oh my God”, the oyakata was a lot more colorful, as he had a right to be.  Later, the events of day 6  probably reprised those remarks, as all five ozeki and the yokozuna crashed 
and burned – a first, we are told.  It was komusubi Kisenosato who overpowered Asashoryu who, himself,  had steamrolled all opponents to that point.  From here, Hakuho would need to win all of his remaining bouts or somehow fabricate a 12-3 yusho to even be considered for promotion, while Miyabiyama’s ozeki quest was spiraling downward with a 3-3 record.  Despite M6 Ama’s 6-0 surprise, real hope for this basho was waning.

Sadly, there was no white knight around the corner this time.  Before the next day’s action, ozeki Kaio declared himself kyujo with his 1-5 record.  This was followed shortly by Hakuho’s third loss, and Ama entering the loss column for the first time.  The rest of the ozeki were mostly a mess, with Tochiazuma hobbling around at 3-4 and Chiyotaikai and Kotooshu each carrying two losses; with all of them having yet to face each other.  Asashoryu roared back with a crushing win against the Estonian, M1 Baruto, and appeared to have no real challengers after just seven days.  All of the pre-basho- building anticipation over a new yokozuna or ozeki seemed to have been just a flight of fancy.  

After that, the basho stammered on, with Hakuho losing four of his last five bouts to eke out his 8-7, Ama falling as expected to the ozeki and the yokozuna – but still with an 11-4 to show off, Miyabiyama grunting to 9-6, Chiyotaikai and Kotooshu


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