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.

Grand Sumo Championship Las Vegas
Mandalay Bay Event Center
October 7 - 9, 2005

by Joe Kuroda
found in the casinos or at the buffet tables almost any hour of the day and night. Some were also spotted at the Bellagio, Mirage, Luxor, New York New York and Stratosphere hotels and casinos. The rikishi were far more accessible to the fans than they usually are back in Japan, and they appeared to be enjoying themselves in the casual atmosphere.

Thursday October 6 – Mandalay Bay Event Center and Press Room

After finishing the yokozuna dohyo-iri in front of six TV cameras and over 100 media representatives, Asashoryu talked about his new son who was just born today at 9:27 AM, Japan time. The time matches the yokozuna’s own birthday numbers – 9/27 “I always wanted a boy. I will be raising him to be a sumotori for sure.” Asashoryu said, looking at a photo of his newborn. “I am losing at gambling, but now, for sure, I will win at sumo.”

Tournament Day 1 Friday October 7 – Mandalay Bay Event Center

The Nihon Sumo Kyokai’s 13th foreign sumo tour opened at the Mandalay Bay Event Center at 8PM. The tournament started

Next Home
Often called the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas has hosted many prominent and memorable boxing and martial arts matches over the years. It is entirely fitting, then, that the Nihon Sumo Kyokai sought to bring the national sport of Japan, with 1,500 years of history, to Las Vegas to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the city.

The largest foreign tour ever arranged by the Kyokai, with 38 makuuchi rikishi. along with 104 members of the association – tsukebito, gyoji, yobidashi, oyakata and other facilitators, arrived at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on October 4. They immediately proceeded to augment previous promotions and publicize the three-day tournament to be held at Mandalay Bay’s Event Center starting on October 7.

Their efforts clearly paid off, resulting in more U.S. media coverage on sumo than ever witnessed before – features on American TV network morning
shows and evening newscasts; a guest turn on a popular late night TV program, “The Tonight Show”; and articles in major newspapers, e.g., the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and local publications.

The event’s chief organizers, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, were fully aware of the need to instill excitement and flair – expected of a world entertainment center – to a sport steeped in tradition and customs, while maintaining sumo’s authenticity. Event producer, Dan Yoshida, who also promoted the 1985 New York Grand Sumo tour, was quoted as saying: “I told them, ‘I want you to entertain the people.’ I want speed.”

Those sumo fans expecting to see true honbasho-style bouts were somewhat disappointed, but the opportunities to get close and personal with rikishi were plentiful as the sekitori signed autographs and took pictures with almost anyone who asked. The rikishi could be
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