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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.

Lower Division Rikishi

text by Mikko Mattila
photos by Barbara Ann Klein
other seven rikishi on that top ten list, only Dewaotori (fourth on the list) had already gone up to juryo, but “conveniently” dropped down quite low to makushita after a  dismal Aki basho ranked close to the bottom of juryo. So, Wakanoho takes his place as the third prospect and has a great opportunity to gain juryo promotion in Kyushu with a simple kachi-koshi.


Burly Kadomoto was sixth on the oyakatas’ list and has maintained his upward trend. At his career-high rank at Ms8, the 21-year-old achieved a robust 5-2 record, losing only to Yakigaya’s hatakikomi and Raiko’s oshitaoshi. He relied a lot on his usual forward going sumo, winning four bouts with “oshi” techniques. But once, he was in deep trouble against another upcoming young pusher star, Hokutokuni, and yielded morozashi, but saved the bout with a well-timed kotenage. One of Kadomoto’s victims was Mongolian Koryu (22 years of age) who has had more than


The future sekitori generation picked up the pace in makushita and largely overshadowed the veterans in the yusho race. In Nagoya, we saw Tochiozan (then Kageyama) leave makushita for better suited heights and now, his designated rival, Sawai, rampaged through makushita, sweeping the division with dominating sumo. Wakanoho, Shibuya, Isobe, Daiyuchi, Tamaasuka, Yakigaya, Koryu, and Kadomoto all made their presence felt and all have potentially long futures in sumo.

One major difference between makushita and juryo is that it often happens that the best makushita rikishi don’t necessarily meet at all during the tournament, since only rikishi with like records are matched day-by-day. It was the case again as Sawai, Wakanoho, Shibuya and Kadomoto, for example, didn’t have any mutual bouts.


Sawai had already captured the makushita yusho with a 7-0 record in the 2005 Kyushu basho. September was reminiscent of that one almost a year ago, as Sawai outclassed his main foes with fast, strong and skillful sumo. He had hardly any scares and his wide usage of throws, leg trips, fast drives and even henka brought him his second 7-0 yusho in makushita and a promotion to juryo.  For the first time in a long time, we will probably see him facing Tochiozan on an ozumo basho dohyo. Sawai aspires to hone his fast sumo and not allow his juryo opponents too much time to think.

Wakanoho had slowed down his ascension in recent tournaments but stepped it up again with a solid 6-1 record at Ms6. He had powerful and hard-worked wins over good foes like Yakigaya, Shiraishi, Nakanishi and Raiko, but also avoided meeting Sawai, Shibuya, Koryu or Kadomoto. Wakanoho’s only defeat came against former makuuchi Tamaasuka who didn’t give Wakanoho much of a chance with a yorikiri win.

Over a year ago, a group of oyakata evaluated the prospects of young promising rikishi at the time, and Sawai (who will be Goeido in Fukuoka) and Kageyama (now Tochiozan) were the top two on their list, while Wakanoho came in third. Of the 


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