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.


by John McTague
a round is not complete unless an opponents back or shoulders touches the sawdust.

The best resource for Schwingen is at:

You can also get information from Christina Koerte’s book “We’re Different, Actually” about the Swiss National identity. Check out the section entitled “Blood, Sweat and Sawdust”.

Basho returns to Indiana?
67 year-old Gary, Indiana dentist Dr. Hugh “Doc” Smith was distraught.

Before his wife, Patricia, died 6 months earlier, the last thing they bought together was a squat, ugly lawn ornament shaped like a sumo wrestler. “Basho”, as it was called, had disappeared from Doc’s property and along with it the memory of the couple’s sentiments of the purchase. Patricia said it sort of looked like Hugh.

Basho stood watch over their rock garden in Porter Township, near Valparaiso, IN until some statuary scofflaw (or high-end collector – you choose) made off with the figurine.

[key the heroic entrance music]

Next Home
Fighting Kani
After 10,000 nautical miles, 67 dives (one as deep as 6000 feet) and 5 months on the open sea, the Research Vessel Ka'imikai-
o-Kanaloa returned to its homeport with its remotely-
operated vehicle and two human-occupied submersibles, Pisces IV and Pisces V. In addition to all that they left with, the vessel returned with some new discoveries.

Among the discoveries of the joint US, New Zealand and German team were measurements of the diversity of marine life, data about undersea volcanoes, the rare interface of life based on sunlight and life based on chemicals, some new species and new ranges for known species.

One new species found off the coast of Jarvis Island, about half way between Hawaii and the Cook Islands, was a large crab they nicknamed “Tyrano”. At about the size of a beach ball, “Tyrano” also sported huge claws and quick movements.

But over at Kingman Reef, between Hawaii and American Samoa, they saw a large
unidentified crab the size of a soccer ball and nicknamed it “sumo-crab”, because its massive body and deliberate movements gave the impression of strength.

There are no pictures yet of the new crabs, but one can imagine the undersea tussles that must take place during mating season.

Sawdust and Sweat
Sumo has long been characterized as “the National Sport of Japan”. The Swiss also have their national sport – “Schwingen”. Similar to sumo, the “Schwingers” do battle on a sawdust-covered floor.

Perhaps it’s modesty that prevents them from doffing their outer clothes, but wrestlers usually go at it in jeans. Those with light blue shirts are the “Sennen” or farmers, who have dominated the sport. Those wearing white pants and shirts are “Turner” or gymnasts.

Instead of a mawashi, the wrestlers wear a loose-fitting pair of shorts or “pant-belt”. Action is similar to sumo, with many finishing moves. However,
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