December Issue Contents
Haru Basho



The Strike of 1932: 75 Years On
Chris Gould
Chris comes up with the goods again in this brilliant look at the strike known throughout sumo as 'The Shunjuen Incident' - 75 years on - but a subject as relevant today as when it took place! Will it, could it, ever happen again?
Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
Joe's look at rikishi from times gone by focuses on the awe-inspiring Meiji-era great - Hitachiyama.
SFM Sekitori Interview
Tochinoshin - just 20 years of age, in sumo for less than 2 years and, in the eyes of many, a man bound for the very top - speaks first to SFM.
SFM Interview
Gunter Romenath
President of the European Sumo Union - representing the world's premier sumo continent, Gunter Romenath sits down to chew the amateur fat with Mark Buckton during a recent trip to Tokyo.
Eric Evaluates
Mark Buckton
EB takes a break as MB steps in with a plea
Kyushu Basho Summary
Lon Howard
Lon takes us through the goings on in Fukuoka - the last basho of 2007.
Hatsu Basho - Ones To Watch
Alexander Hermann
See what you think about Alex's look at the things we will and might see happen in Jan, 2008! You know Asashoryu is back, right?
Photo Bonanzas
Carolyn Todd / Martina Lunau
Some of the very best offerings from Fukuoka.
Sumo Menko - 1953 Focus
Ryan Laughton
Ryan's latest on the intriguing world of collecting sumo menko and why 1953 stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Amateur Angles
Howard Gilbert
View Howard's take on the changes taking place in and around women's sumo - an integral part of the amateur game on the global stage.
Rikishi Diary
Mark Kent
Mark Kent - English pro-wrestler and British amateur heavyweight sumotori on his bid for amateur glory and the British Sumo Fed's failure to bring home the Chiang Mai silverware.
The One That (almost) Got Away
Joe Klemmer
JK - absent when SF/SML/ST got together in the last issue - adds his thoughts this time out. Better late than never we say.
Heya Peek
Martina Lunau
Martina uses her attendance at the Kyushu Basho to head for Sakaigawa's home away from home - the heya's Fukuoka base.
Kokugi Konnections
Todd Lambert
Out of respect for the ever present American readers out there - a KK dedicated to sites based in the US of A.
Morph Corner
Olivia Nagioff
The global exclusive of sumo morphing part IV - enjoy something seen nowhere else.
SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
Sit back and enjoy this issue's cartoon bonanza courtesy of the men in South East Asia.
Sumo Odds & Ends
SFM's interactive elements, as always including Henka Sightings, Elevator Rikishi and Eternal Banzuke - Lon and Ben do their stuff.
Let's Hear From You
What was it that made you a sumo fan? Time for the Americans to speak up.

News Snippets!

American Fan Focus

This issue has an American theme - Let's Hear from You   discovers how 3 Americans became sumo fans. Kokugi Konnections  focuses on 3 prominent US sumo websites.

SFM Interview

Mark Buckton
Since the inception of the International Sumo Federation, Mr. Gunter Romenath has served as President of the European Sumo Union...Mr. Romenath was once the oldest ever German champion level judoka... Read more...

Morph Corner

Olivia Nagioff
What would Ichihara like for his New Year present?
See more...

75 Years On

Chris Gould
The root cause of sumo revolution is no different to that which has torn up many a country: economic inequality. The professionalisation of sumo in the mid-18th century was, in theory, supposed to address this issue, freeing sumotori from their serf-like existence under the ownership of powerful Edo warlords.

Rikishi of Old

Joe Kuroda
When the Tokugawa Shogunate gave up power in 1868, they brought to an end, 250 years of feudal rule, thereby giving birth to a period of modernization and the new Meiji-era (1868-1912). As the nation opened up its doors to the outside world, tremendous upheaval and turmoil was experienced by its citizens. Almost overnight, the Japanese started to cast away the old ways as they adapted to the new paradigms. Read more...

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Lynn Matsuoka

Asanowaka was a classic looking figure in sumo, and briefly carried the sword during Akebono's dohyo-iri. He was incredibly funny and would say some things other rikishi wouldn't dare say. He was, of course, famous for his froglike shikiri for which the Kyokai kept reprimanding him, the crowd loved it! This ink jet print, ed. 100, 9.5 x 11 inches is signed and numbered by the artist, available for $550. from the studio. Please contact

Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director – Japan
Mark Buckton

Carolyn Todd

Assistant Editor
Olivia Nagioff

Staff Writers
Eric Blair
Howard Gilbert
Chris Gould
Lon Howard
Joe Kuroda
Todd Lambert
Ryan Laughton
Martina Lunau

SFM Interactive
Ben Doolan

Website System Admin & Hosting
Alisdair Davey

Magazine & Website Layout Designer
Olivia Nagioff

Benny Loh
Stephen Thompson

Staff Translators
Denis Chaton – French
Alexander Herrmann – German
Eduardo de Paz – Spanish

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