February Issue Contents
Natsu Basho



Asashoryu Retirement
Chris Gould
Why will February 4th 2010 forever go down in sumo history?
Asashoryu Tribute
Chris Gould
A snapshot of just how good sumo's senior yokozuna was.
Vox Pops
Chris Gould
Divided opinions as the public give their views on Asashoryu's departure.
Chiyotaikai Retirement
Chris Gould
In case you've forgotten, sumo lost another big name in January.
Rijikai Elections
Chris Gould
Ex-Yokozuna Takanohana is now a Sumo Board Member after a bitter battle.
Uchidate Retirement
Chris Gould
Why the first female member of the Yokozuna Council will never be forgotten.
Nakamura Beya Year-End
Michiko Kodama
Ever wondered how sumo wrestlers celebrate the new year?
Hatsu Basho Review
Chris Gould
Asashoryu's triumphant swansong, plus perhaps the greatest ozeki escape ever.
Ones To Watch
Alexander Herrmann
Who will fill the holes at the top of the banzuke, and who will slide in Osaka?
Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
The last yokozuna to lose his rank due to bad behaviour: Futahaguro Koji.
Menko Corner
Ryan Laughton
Ryan turns to H-series menko and some beautiful gold ink.
Amateur Angles
Howard Gilbert
Howard interviews Jesse Moerkerk, a Dutch sumo blogger with a fun story.
Kokugi Konnections
Chris Gould
It's 25 years since the current Kokugikan opened, and the heyday of Konishiki.
Morph Corner
Olivia Nagioff
Who will Olivia subject to humorous morphing treatment this time?
Photo Bonanza
Haruna Miyashita, Chris Gould, Michiko Kodama
The Hatsu basho, a new year party and chanko!, courtesy of Haru and Michiko.
Readers' Letters
Can you buy banzuke on the internet?
SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh
Benny puts another artistic spin on the sumo world.

Asashoryu Special

Love him or hate him, you couldn't ignore him. This issue of SFM focuses on the retirement of Yokozuna Asashoryu. Asashoryu tribute   gives an in-depth analysis of a special bout involving Asashoryu. Asashoryu retirement  explains why his demise was inevitable, and Vox Pops  reports some reactions of members of the Japanese public to the yokozuna's retirement.

Morph Corner

Olivia Nagioff
Mrs Uchidate calls for harsher punishment.   See more...

Nakamura Beya

Michiko Kodama
One of the 54 sumo stables, Nakamura Beya, located in the Eastern part of Tokyo, hosts a pair of events at the end of each year – 'Chanko Day' and 'Omochi-tsuki'. In 2009, the party was given on December 20th, and luckily I was invited to attend.   Read more...

Chiyotaikai Retirement

Chris Gould
The inevitable consequence of Ozeki Chiyotaikai’s retirement is that history will not be very kind to him. Chiyotaikai’s final competitive match was the worst possible ending for him. His final opponent in competition was fellow fading-ozeki Kaio, the man to whom he will forever be compared – unfavourably.     Read more...

Futahaguro Koji

Joe Kuroda
...Tatsunami oyakata (Sekiwake Annenyama Osamu), forwarded Futahaguro's resignation papers to the Kyokai without his knowledge or consent! There are unanswered questions surrounding the circumstances. The Japanese media, which made incessant attacks on him throughout, has kept repeating the same story ever since, even though new facts reveal Futahaguro may have been a victim rather than the perpetrator...     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 artist@aloha.net

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