June Issue Contents
Aki Basho



How big is a big event?
Chris Gould
Registering 1000 wins is not as big a deal as you might think
Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
Who was the largest Japanese grand champion ever?
Natsu Basho Review
Chris Gould
Hakuho leads the way as foreigners make their mark on sumo like never before
Ones to Watch
Alexander Herrmann
Which wrestlers most win the three prizes for spirit, technique and performance?
Kokugi Konnections
Chris Gould
Video footage of great matches from past July tournaments
Amateur Angles
Howard Gilbert
SFM's amateur expert ponders the merits of weight divisions
Menko Corner
Ryan Laughton
Ryan serves up another treat for the collectors
Chris Gould
A tribute to sumo's 28th Chief Referee, who passed away in April
Book review
Chris Gould
David Benjamin's The Joy of Sumo goes under the spotlight
Let's Hear from You
Yae Takahashi
A schoolteacher reminisces about sumo in the 1970s - a Golden Age
Morph Corner
Olivia Nagioff
The morphs are back and some wrestlers are to be changed forever!
Photo Bonanza
Haruna Miyashita
SFM's photographer continues to shine with her trusted lenses
Readers' letters
How can you watch sumo training?
SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh
Benny continues to shine with his artist's impressions


Chris Gould
April 1st 2010 saw the passing of a man whose voice will be forever etched in the memory of Showa sumo fans. The 28th Kimura Shonosuke, who died at the age of 81, occupied sumo’s highest refereeing position for 18 basho between 1991 and 1993, and oversaw the most radical transformation in sumo history from the closest of quarters.

Morph Corner

Olivia Nagioff
Would you like to meet this man in a dark alley?
See more...

Big Event

Chris Gould
The atmosphere in the Kokugikan as the two goliaths took to the dohyo was incredible, at times spine-tingling, as Kaio prepared for his 1000th career win. In recent memory, only the cacophony surrounding the Asashoryu-Hakuho match in January 2008 contained anywhere near such levels of excitement.    Read more...

Onokuni Yasushi

Joe Kuroda
Most yokozuna conjure up an image of a goliath, with a ferocious temperament and imposing physique. The 62nd Yokozuna Onokuni Yasushi was indeed such a figure, being the only Japanese born yokozuna ever to top 210 kilogram during his reign. Even now, 20 years after his retirement, he still reminds many of an elephant, albeit an unusually good natured one.

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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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