<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.
Dewagatake Bunjiro
by Joe Kuroda

Hitachiyama Taniemon) was so passionate about Bunjiro joining his heya that Bunjiro finally relented and quit the school.

Unlike many other boys who joined a sumo beya, Bunjiro had never really performed heavy physical labor so he was not as strong as the other recruits.  Initially Bunjiro crumbled easily at the tachiai after getting hit by new recruits much smaller than himself but soon he learned to use his large frame to his advantage.  He used to wrap his long arms around their body and squeeze them before throwing them out by kote-nage.  He also learned to use saba-ori, by putting his upper body weight on top of them until his opponent’s knees gave up.  The move was extremely dangerous, as smaller opponents could have easily broken their back.  In no time he became one of the most feared opponents to be matched against during a basho or in training sessions.

At the 1925 January basho he was finally promoted to makuuchi.  It took him eight long years to make the highest division since starting out as Dewagatake at the 1917 May basho but once in makuuchi he quickly climbed up the banzuke. Within three basho he was promoted to sekiwake at the 1926 January basho.

The following 1926 May basho, he defeated ozeki Tachihikari by abisetaoshi at the dohyo edge on Day 4.  Tachihikari was pressed down by Dewagatake’s full upper body weight with so much force


In the courtyard of Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine in Tokyo’s Koto-ward stands the well-known Yokozuna Memorial monument erected by the 12th yokozuna Jinmaku Kyugoro (1829-1903).  Jinmaku etched all known yokozuna names from Akashi Shiganosuke to his time and currently it has the names up to the 45th yokozuna Wakanohana Kanji (there is also a new stone starting with the 46th yokozuna the third Asashio Taro).

There are other monuments surrounding the yokozuna stone – an Ozeki monument, a Tegata monument and then there is a Giant Rikishi monument.  On the monument, legendary tall rikishi names are etched.  One is Shakadake Kumouemon (1749-1775) who stood 226 cm tall.  Another was Ikezuki Geitazaemon (1828-1850), who was reputed to be 230 cm tall (give or take several centimeters).

Among a group of giant rikishi over 200 cm tall, there is the name of one Showa Era (1926-1989) rikishi commemorated.  His name is Dewagatake Bunjiro; a man who stood 206 cm tall and weighed 200 kg at one time.  In Japan at the time there was no one as tall and as heavy as Dewagatake and his size eventually determined his fate.  Fortunately for Ozumo
he came along just at the time when the popularity of Ozumo was at an all time low.  He became its savior as this gentle giant caught the imagination of the public throughout Japan.  But unfortunately for Dewagatake, he had no choice but to follow a path laid out for him by others.  He was a giant but too gentle to be truly successful in combative sports such as sumo.

Bunjiro Sato was born in what is now Kaminoyama City, Yamagata Prefecture on December 20, 1902 (some attribute his birth year to be 1901).  As a child he was sent as an apprentice to various places but he was always sent back home as he was considered to be too tall to be of any use.  He was finally taken in by a brain surgeon, Kiichi Saito, who operated a hospital in Tokyo.  Kiichi also adopted a well-known poet, Mokichi Saito, who went on to inherit the hospital.

Bunjiro excelled in academic work at the exclusive Aoyama Gakuin Middle School and he had a dream of becoming a pediatrician and working for his adopted father.  By this time Bunjiro was already over 180 cm tall and weighed 100 kg.  As one can easily imagine he was soon discovered by the sumo world.  Indeed the then Dewanoumi oyakata (the 19th yokozuna 


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