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.


Sumo 101 – AMASUMO

Barbara Ann Klein

written on the subject. On the other hand, the amasumo rules are well laid out by the International Sumo Federation. The basic rules are quite simple – the loss is given to the first competitor to get pushed / shoved / thrown or otherwise “placed” outside the dohyo, or who touches the floor of the dohyo with any part of his/her body other than the soles of the feet, or who performs an illegal maneuver. There are tomes that can be written about amateur sumo, and I do not represent that I can discuss even a tiny fraction of all the useful

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With articles on amasumo and the interview with Ms. Katrina Watts in this issue, I thought that perhaps we’d spend some time on the basics of international amateur sumo, or “amasumo”, as it is called by the sport’s aficionados, and the salient differences between ama- and pro-sumo. Since yours truly was not all that familiar with the amateur practice of our favorite sport, I was in for quite an education, too, with much research, and invaluable assistance from our Editor-in-Chief and others. So, let’s see what I found out.

Amasumo has vast similarities to professional sumo, as, of course, it should. Many of the rules appear to the same; the manner of dress may be similar – at least for the wrestlers, but is not restricted; and, the roles of the judges and referees remain close to the ancient sport. However, given my own gender, the most striking difference, to me, is that amasumo also encompasses shin-sumo, i.e., women’s sumo.

OK – the rules. I wrote that many of the rules APPEAR to be the same, only because I don’t have access to the full compendium of pro-sumo rules. If I did, I am sure they would be in Japanese anyway and totally incomprehensible to me. Instead, I based that statement on my reading of the amasumo rules and comparing what I
could to my observations at live Ozumo matches, the English information at the Nihon Sumo Kyokai site, and various books

Photograph by Meike Sinke
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