<DATE> Contents

SOS - Shinjinrui on Sumo  
Chris Gould
Wrapping up his look at increasing the popularity of sumo, Chris Gould caps a series the NSK would do well to refer to.
Sumo Souvenirs  
Mark Buckton
Souvenirs are a part of every sport and sumo is no different - or is it? A look at collectibles and the downright trashy, the bona fide versus the unproven.
Rikishi of Old  
Joe Kuroda
Joe Kuroda's latest look at times past focuses on former makunouchi man Dewagatake.
Eric Evaluates  
Eric Blair
Eric takes a no-nonsense look at the claims of fixed bouts in the Japanese media.
Rikishi Diary  
Mark Kent
Mark Kent - English pro-wrestler and amateur heavyweight sumotori - takes us through the first month or so of his training and preparation for the various European events lined up in in 2007.
Heya Peek  
Chris Gould
SFM's Chris Gould was in Japan for the Hatsu Basho and popped along to the new Shikoroyama Beya to give SFM an online exclusive peek into sumo's newest heya.
SFM Interview  
Mark Buckton
Mark interviews Mark - Buckton on Kent that is as Mark Kent, the UK's only active heavyweight amateur answers a few questions on his own recent entry into the sport.
Photo Bonanzas  
Sumo Forum stepped in to take the weight off the shoulders of SFM as far as Hatsu went so we could sit back, relax, enjoy the sumo and take a few more select pics you won't see anywhere else.
Hatsu Basho Summary
Lon Howard
Lon wraps the Hatsu Basho and chucks in a few bits on the rush of henka that threatens to sully the good name of at least one foreign ozeki.
Sumo Menko  
Ryan Laughton
Sumo cards of old brought to life by expert collector Ryan Laughton. None of your BBM here.
Haru Ones To Watch
Carolyn Todd
Carolyn ponders and puts fingers to keys on the ones to watch come March and the Haru Basho.
Kimarite Focus  
Mikko Mattila
Mikko's latest look at sumo's kimarite offers unequalled analysis and in depth explanations.
Amateur Angles  
Howard Gilbert
Howard looks at the 'sumo factory' of lore - Nichidai.
Kokugi Konnections
Todd Lambert
Click on Todd's bimonthly focus on three of the best the WWW has to offer.
Fan Debate
Facilitator - Carolyn Todd
Moti Dichne comes back for more and takes on Bradley Sutton on the subject of 'Modernize the heya - yea or nay?'
SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
In this issue's cartoon bonanza, sit back and sample Benny's artistic offerings.
Sumo Odds & Ends
SFM's interactive elements - as always includes Henka Sightings, Elevator Rikishi and Eternal Banzuke!
Let's Hear From You
What was it that made you a sumo fan? Ryan Laughton - sumo fan and menko expert 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 a genuine banzuke.

To respond or not to respond –
that is the question.

by Eric Blair

offering baseless accusations by way of the Shukan Gendai or any other magazine or forum – in Japan or overseas.

Hard evidence of illegality in any sport will and should be treated with a furrowed brow and further investigation – deservedly so - fiction writing deserves neither.

As any individual belonging to a recognized organization should, as Asashoryu has, he has opted to leave the admin. side of things to his seniors – his elders and betters in the Nihon Sumo Kyokai. Any action they take against the perpetrators of this still unproven gossip and rumor mongering is theirs and theirs alone to decide upon.

Should the yokozuna be called to testify in any resulting court cases time will again tell as to how he responds; the answers he gives, but in the meantime his best course of action is the one he has embarked on – silence in the face of an opponent with little bar an overactive imagination and his fingertips to get him the attention he obviously craves; an opponent for whom the darkness that follows the 15 seconds of spotlight will seem like an eternity.


Ed. Note:  The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Blair and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sumo Fan Magazine or other staff.


Imagine, as one of the biggest names in sumo you were sat at home one day after work. You’d just put in a long and tiring week and you sat down, took a sip of tea or coffee and opened the evening paper to see headlines screaming out at you about the immoral, illegal and twisted way in which you had accomplished your job; the success you’d achieved in recent months was put down to bribery and backhanders – meetings behind the bike sheds, in the shadows – perhaps somewhere along the line dango were served as they might say here in Japan.

How would you feel?

Knowing, in your heart of hearts, that you had not, in any way, shape or form succumbed to the accusations laid squarely at your feet, just how would you feel?

Most people would be upset. Anger and a flushed face wouldn’t be an unusual reaction.

Next question then – what do you do about it? How do you handle these claims leveled against you? Do you ignore them or challenge them?

Supposing you ignore them, you give doubters something to cling to – the silence being your
presumed embarrassment at having been caught. On the other hand, supposing you challenge your doubters – on what basis and to what extent do you need to do so? By answering each and every individual throwing questions at you? Is it now necessary to prove innocence rather than expect guilt shown to be the case?

Sadly, in a world of petty jealousies and envy, the men and women amongst us dedicated to acting with honor, with upholding and respecting traditions of old and society at large; those identified as relatively successful to whatever degree may as well paint targets on their chest and back for they will one day be hit with charges of foul play.

Just eight weeks into 2007 and we’ve already had allegations of yaocho aimed at sumo’s lone yokozuna – Asashoryu.

Still unproven at time of typing and in EB’s opinion, indeed in the opinion of almost every man, woman and child on the respected Sumo Forum and Mailing List, the Mongolian atop sumo’s 700 man pile will remain free of the stink produced by anonymous Messrs. A. B. C. and whoever else, named or not,


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