Amateur Sumo – the sport as it should be
Mark Buckton
Sakai World Sumo Champs – not all about winning

Las Vegas Koen
Joe Kuroda
Our man reports from the fight capital of the world

Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
A look at a rikishi of yesterday with Kotozakura – our man for October

Heya Peek
John Gunning
John’s early morning dash to Azumazeki-beya & report on TKOTU

SFM Interview
Katrina Watts sits down with SFM’s Mark Buckton to discuss amateur sumo

Photo Bonanza
SFM’s best yet – Aki Basho/ Las Vegas / Amateur World Champs / Azumazeki-beya visit – seen nowhere else

Aki Basho Review
Lon Howard
Lon gives us his Aki Basho summary, along with the henka sightings results, and his take on the tournament while ‘gem’ of the basho takes a break

Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila
Mikko Mattila returns to cover lower division ups and downs

Kyushu Basho Forecast
Pierre Wohlleben & Mark Buckton
Pierre predicts the Kyushu Basho banzuke while Mark previews the ones to watch next time out

Sumo 101
Barbara Ann Klein
Discovers and explains amasumo & ozumo variations

Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Mikko once again walks us through his chosen kimarite

John McTague
John’s unique bimonthly view of news from outside the dohyo

Online Gaming
Zenjimoto of ‘game fame’ covers some of the very best sumo games around – his own!

Kokugi Connections
Todd Lambert
Todd’s focus on 3 of the most interesting online sumo sites today

Fan Debate
Is the limit on foreign rikishi fair? See what our debaters had to say

SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh
In the first of our cartoon bonanzas, sit back and chuckle at Benny Loh’s offerings

Let’s Hear From You
What was it that made you a sumo fan? Gernobono tells all

Readers’ Letters
See what SFM readers had to say since our last issue

Sumo Quiz
The Quizmaster
Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho’s banzuke.

Aki Basho Wrap-Up

by Lon Howard
numbers. For the record, I don’t like it either, but I’m better at dodging raindrops than reality.

And, thirdly, it was clear that despite recent comments by some foreign fans complaining about the one-foreigner-per-heya rule, Japanese fans are not racist; otherwise, they would not and could not give their applause after what the yokozuna had just done. Splitting hairs by then asserting that the Kyokai is racist but the people are not is, of course, ludicrous. Whatever may be behind the Kyokai’s decision regarding that rule is another question, but racism does not play a part and we should all just let that dog die in peace.


Oh yes, the torikumi – the reason we’re here. Maybe the most telling thing was the fact that the yusho came down to the same two guys as last time. That, in itself, probably foretells much about what we can expect in the next year or so. This time, yokozuna Asashoryu had to come from behind in the final three days to capture the crown in a playoff against new sekiwake Kotooshu. Kotooshu had streaked to a 12-0 record and faced the yokozuna

Next Home
After each basho I try to pick out the most important things that I believe happened. For Aki 2005, some contenders are: (1) Asashoryu tying the record for consecutive yusho, (2) Kotooshu asserting that he is second only to the yokozuna in ability, (3) Kisenosato finally making the quantum step up we’ve been watching for, (4) Chiyotaikai resurrecting himself, at least for now, and (5) three rikishi in yusho contention on senshuraku with the yusho decided by a kettei-sen – lots to like. All these great stories made a great basho but what I’ll remember most is watching Asashoryu during his yusho interview and thinking: “Here’s the ‘bad boy’ invader yokozuna being applauded by thousands of Japanese fans after he won a kettei-sen having employed a henka at the tachiai.” (henka voting actually was an even split on our Henka Sightings page). Gotta be a message here someplace, so let’s find it.


The first thing – especially after watching erstwhile henka abstainers like Ama and Asashoryu get into the act
during the basho – is that the stigma among the rikishi themselves concerning henka is dead. The yokozuna received four henka nominations during the last seven days on Henka Sightings with one validation and two split votes; while Ama, who has, until now, been widely lauded in the English speaking sumo community for refusing to henka despite his slight build, received three nominations with one validation (on senshuraku). Recent makuuchi newcomers like Ishide, Wakatoba and Hakurozan got into the act right away along with the now-saintly Kotonowaka. It is evident that despite the scorn many of us direct at the users, as far as the rikishi themselves are concerned, anyone can do it to anyone else on any day and few people care – beyond the henka targets that lost on that particular day.

The second thing is that the Japanese sumo fans are not nearly as turned off by henka as we seem to be. If so, how could they applaud the foreign yokozuna they all love to hate immediately after watching that? The wailing about henka is largely among our own
L10 Web Stats Reporter 3.15 LevelTen Hit Counter - Free PHP Web Analytics Script
LevelTen dallas web development firm - website design, flash, graphics & marketing