<DATE> Contents

Attention to Akeni
Carolyn Todd
SFM's newest addition to the writing staff takes an in-depth look at akeni, their history and production techniques
Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
Joe Kuroda slides former yokozuna Minanogawa under his SFM microscope
Eric Evaluates
Eric Blair
Eric's wit scythes through the SML and makes clear his opinion of where the future lies for online sumo forums.
Eternal Banzuke Phase II
Lon Howard
Stats, equations and mathematics all lead to a list of sumo's most prolific up and downers
Matta-Henka: Another View
Lon Howard
A row that will never be fully decided but Lon gives his impressions on it all the same
Heya Peek
Mark Buckton
Mihogaseki, former home of Estonian sekitori Baruto is toured (and peeked at) by SFM's Editor-in-Chief
SFM Interview
Mark Buckton
Mark interviews shin-komusubi Kokkai
Photo Bonanza
See the Nagoya basho and Akeni photo bonanzas
Nagoya Basho Summary
Lon Howard
Lon gives us his Nagoya basho summary, along with the henka sightings results
Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila
Mikko Mattila casts his watchful eye over lower division goings on in makushita and below.
Aki Ones to Watch
Carolyn Todd
Carolyn takes over the job of rikishi job performance prediction for SFM as she looks at those to keep an eye on come September
Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Our man Mikko's latest trio of kimarite get thrown about the SFM literary dohyo
Amateur Angles
Howard Gilbert
Howard returns with the second of his columns on the amateur sumo scene.
Sumo Game
SFM's very own quiz comes in for a bit of self scrutiny by our secretive man of questions. We'll call him 'X'.
Sumo in Print
Barbara Ann Klein
SFM’s Editor reviews “The Little Yokozuna”, a book for “young” (and older) adults
Kokugi Connections
Todd Lambert
Check out Todd's bimonthly focus on 3 of the WWW's best sumo sites
Fan Debate
Facilitator - Lon Howard
Keri Sibley and Eduardo de Paz  ponder the concept of ‘to pay or not to pay’ makushita salaries
SFM Cartoons
Stephen Thompson
Sit back and enjoy the offerings of one of sumo's premier artists
Lets Hear From You
What was it that made you a sumo fan? SFM’s own Todd Lambert details his path into sumofandom
Readers' Letters
See what our readers had to say since we last went out
Sumo Quiz
The Quizmaster
Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho’s banzuke.

Aki Ones to Watch

Text by Carolyn Todd
Photos by Barbara Ann Klein

put him against some less capable guys. However, as everyone keeps asking, even fully fit, how high can he go while he’s still so light? His agility gives him an edge but that won’t be enough to keep him near the top of the pile. Assuming he’s fit, I predict he’ll have a great basho, kachi-koshi in double figures.


After being promoted at the same time as Baruto, Homasho’s had to watch Bart forge ahead while he, himself, suffered make-koshi in his first makunouchi basho. In Nagoya he had kachi-koshi, and in Tokyo, he’ll be at his highest position on the banzuke. He’s impressed everyone so far with his quiet, respectful determination and he’ll be building on his experience of two basho in makunouchi, getting used to his new opponents. Hopefully, he’ll show some intelligent sumo. I want him to go kachi-koshi and if he uses his head, there’s no reason why he can’t, although I think no more than 9-6 or 8-7 while he’s finding his feet higher on the banzuke.


Clearly, Hakuho is very much the one to watch in September. Whether you support him or not, this basho might see his promotion to yokozuna and, given Asashoryu’s dominance over the past few years, that would be a huge change in the dynamics. After he talked himself up before Nagoya and then delivering a ‘nice try, no tsuna’ performance, we’ve heard very little from him so far before Aki. Jungyo reports suggest that he’s working hard to make the most of this carry-over promotion run and he’s going to be very motivated to succeed this time.



Our other potential promotee has a similar task. Again, he missed out in Nagoya, but he’s got another chance, and if he can sustain the momentum in Tokyo, he might just be rewarded. Like
Hakuho, he’ll be super-motivated 

but he’ll have to be impressive from day 1 if he wants to convince the NSK that he can maintain ozeki-level results this time around. Although he’s already attained the required wins for promotion, the NSK are bound to be judging him more harshly to avoid his last fiasco foray into the ozeki ranks.


Ama’s been fighting injury harder than most sekitori recently and after making it to komusubi, it’s gone horribly wrong. Now,  he’s sliding back down the banzuke and looking pretty frustrated and bemused. Is this a lasting trend? Absolutely not. Assuming that he recovers well, his speed, strength and determination should see him heading back up, especially as his new banzuke
position in Tokyo will presumably be low enough to


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