June Issue Contents
Aki Basho



The NSK - the way forward?
Chris Gould
Recent PR efforts would suggest the NSK is waking up to public opinion on the way the sport should be run. CG takes a look at some of the efforts underway as sumo looks to move it up to the next level.
Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
Tamanoumi - a man taken well before his time - whilst still an active yokozuna, comes into focus. A rough diamond just starting to shine or a flash in the pan? You decide having read through JK's excellent analysis of one of sumo's less well known yokozuna of modern times.
SFM Interview
Nagoya and TV filming has delayed the recording and release of the latest SFM sekitori interview - our highest ranker to date. Keep checking back in the days / weeks following the basho to see just what this multi-yusho winner has to say when confronted with SFM's interview team.
Eric Evaluates
Eric Blair
EB lets rip on sumo groupies - those camera toting 'friends' of the rikishi more often than not known for turning chance encounters into deep and meaningful relationships that make it tricky for the rest of us to watch up close and personal at asageiko.
Natsu Basho Summary
Lon Howard
Lon runs us through the events at last month's Natsu Basho - and of course includes his take on things Bulgarian and Kotooshu's first yusho - to date?!
Nagoya Basho - Ones To Watch
Alexander Herrmann
Nagoya - hottest basho of the year is often said to be the site of strange events la sumo - and this year we have our very own Alex Herrmann trying to figure out what we can expect to see in Japan's sweltering Aichi Gymnasium.
Heya Peek #1
Chris Gould
There's something special about making it to the changing rooms of your sport's heroes - and in the case of sumo that is of course the 'shitakubeya'. There are two - the east and west. Chris G reports from one.
Heya Peek #2
Enatsu Watanabe / Mark Buckton
Been there before, but Kokonoe is always worth a second visit as the heya has a couple of interesting young lads to keep an eye on.
Heya Rivals
Mark Buckton
Rivalry is supposedly discouraged in sumo but is never too far away, bubbling below the surface - something MB looks at in this first in a run of pieces on an emerging, as of yet unnoticed rivalry developing in Kokonoe.
Photo Bonanzas
Chris Gould / Mark Buckton
MB and CG throw in a few from the Natsu Basho in Tokyo.
Sumo Menko
Ryan Laughton
Back with menko of old, the detective work of RL hits a brief bump in the road in IDing some of the oldies - but nothing capable of derailing his infectious interest in this aspect of the sport.
Amateur Angles
Howard Gilbert
University sumo and the earliest known origins of amateur sumo fall under HG's gaze this issue with the set up in Japan covered in more detail than most will have ever imagined possible.
Kokugi Konnections
Todd Lambert
SFM's TL scours the WWW and introduces us to three more of the lesser known sumo sites out there - again la Nihongo as this is truly where the gems lie. Time to dust off those dictionaries if you didn't last time.
I was there - I remember
From fishmonger to sushi chef, all the time an avid fan of sumo, SA in northern Tokyo tells it how it is / was / always has been in his septuagenarian eyes.
Morph Corner
Olivia Nagioff
Morphing part VII - unique to SFM - and thanks to the imagination of our own Olivia Nagioff - some weird changing images of several of sumo's finest.
SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
Sit back and enjoy this issue's cartoon bonanza courtesy of the SFM men in Thailand and Malaysia.
Sumo Odds & Ends
SFM's interactive elements, as always including Henka Sightings and Elevator Rikishi - Lon and Ben do their stuff.
Readers' Letters
See what our readers had to say since we last hit your screens.

News Snippets!

Tamanoumi Masahiro

Joe Kuroda
Tamanoumi and Kitanofuji were jointly promoted to yokozuna after the January 1970 tournament, and for the next two years their rivalry on the dohyo coupled with their contrasting personalities piqued the public's interest,...

The NSK in the PR Jungle

Chris Gould
Although the words 'Japan' and 'sound public relations' are rarely used in the same sentence, the Japan Sumo Association has launched a concerted PR initiative to boost the flagging popularity of a time honoured tradition.

Morph Corner

Olivia Nagioff
What will happen to Takamisakari if he pumps himself up any further?
See more...

Heya Peek - Kokonoe Beya

Enatsu Watanabe
The heya building ... is one of the most modern heya, certainly one of the largest, and from the usual work ethic demonstrated within, a heya those in any century past would be proud to set foot. No slackers here, no cutting corners or joviality when sweat and effort is the name of the game Kokonoe is about business.

I was there - I remember!

Like most Japanese over the age of 60, SA, as he wants to be referred to, recalls with great clarity the decade in sumo that saw Taiho reign supreme, Kashiwado play an important and effective supporting role, and the other yokozuna and ozeki of the time sit, for the most part on the sidelines as sumo history was created.

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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

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

SFM Interpreter
Enatsu Watanabe

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 artist@aloha.net

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