<DATE> Contents

SOS - Shinjinrui on Sumo
Chris Gould
Chris sinks his teeth into how sumo can go about pulling in the younger fans - currently so noticeable by their absence. The first of a three-part series.
Sumo World Championships
Mark Buckton
Mark Buckton reports from Sakai near Osaka, site of the latest Sumo World Championships.
Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
Joe Kuroda finishes off his look at former yokozuna Minanogawa.
Sumo 101 / Eric Evaluates
Eric Blair
Eric expains sumo fan terminology - with the inevitable twist - for those just getting into the sport and still subject to the know it alls.
Age stands still for no man
Joe Kuroda
Former ozeki Kiyokuni will retire in November under the compulsory '65 and you are out' rule. JK takes a look at this quiet earth mover.
Feel the Sumo
Eduardo de Paz
Read and feel the renowned Leonishiki's passion for all things sumo at his first live event.
SFM Interview
Mark Buckton
Mark interviews Colin Carroll - again - Irish star of Sakai.
Photo Bonanza
See the Aki Basho bonanza as well as the largest collection of pics you are likely to see on the Sumo World Championships earlier in October.
Aki Basho Summary  
Lon Howard
Lon wraps the September Aki Basho and throws in some henka sighting results for good measure.
Lower Division Rikishi  
Mikko Mattila
The lower divisions, their members and results get the once over thanks to Mikko's eye of things 'beneath the curtain'.
Kyushu Ones To Watch  
Carolyn Todd
Carolyn shares her thoughts on whom to keep an eye on in Fukuoka.
Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Mikko's latest clarification of several of the sport's plethora of kimarite.
Amateur Angles  
Howard Gilbert
Howard Gilbert - manager of New Zealand's amateur sumo team takes a look at the approaching Russians.
Kokugi Konnections  
Todd Lambert
Click on Todd's bimonthly focus on three of the best sumo sites online.
Fan Debate  
Facilitator - Lon Howard
Jesse Lake and Rich Pardoe hammer out their differences on a current furor - promotion criteria.
SFM Cartoons   
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
In this issue's cartoon bonanza, sit back and enjoy Benny Loh's offerings and put a caption to Stephen Thompson's picture to win yourselves a banzuke.
Sumo Odds ’n’ Ends   
SFM's interactive elements including Henka Sightings, Elevator Rikishi and Eternal Banzuke!
Lets Hear From You  
What was it that made you a sumo fan? Kevin Murphy reveals all.
Readers' Letters  
See what our readers had to say since we last hit your screens.
Sumo Quiz   
The Quizmaster
Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho’s banzuke.
Sumo World Championships –
a tale of people and
camel designers

by Mark Buckton
rising and the air over the city could almost be cut with a knife. But then, things came to a peak at the main get together and Welcoming Dinner on the Saturday evening.

Picture the scene – as I must, as the press, oddly enough, were not permitted access – representatives of nations from across the globe, sat shoulder to shoulder, side by side; in alphabetical order. The pleasantries were done away with, then, according to half a dozen SFM sources of varying nationalities inside the meeting hall, pandemonium prevailed.

Seeming like angry children, European allies known to be in the corner of the banned and absent Gadd of Holland and Romenath of Germany (Austria, Germany and Finland), stood, disrupting the proceedings, looking for answers to an issue that has been simmering for much of 2006:  “Why can’t we (Europeans) earn a crust from the sport? You Japanese have a shot at the big leagues – we don’t!”.

Ironically, in making the claims, those standing were calling for others to stand in support; a claim that fell on deaf ears in the case of Ireland, victims of a complete lack of ESU support in their months of jumping through hoops to be permitted to join the ISF.

As it were, with the Europeans still looking for answers, the ISF president, Hidetoshi Tanaka, is said to have ignored the questions raised and then left the room. A short time later, he was


According to Richard Quest, business analyst-cum- opinionated-newscaster on CNN, the definition of a camel is “a horse built by a committee”.

Quest is obviously an expert on amateur sumo and may thus enjoy reporting on the sport at this level for no other quasi-metaphor other than  ‘camel’ would better describe the organization and management of the 14th Sumo World Sumo Championships & 5th Shinsumo World Championships held in Sakai City on October 15th.

In preparing to make the trek to Osaka to represent SFM at the last event to be held in Japan until at least 2009, the first annoyance was having to ignore the “minor” hiccups, with the International Sumo Federation forgetting to notify the English language media of the pre-event press conference (held in Osaka when all major media organizations and even the ISF are based in Tokyo), as well as their not bothering to answer questions already previously sent in by mail. Not exactly a shock after dealing with the ISF for some time now, but things weren’t looking too rosy from the get-go and we were still a full week before the commencement of the event proper!

BUT - we were just warming up!
The Friday evening before the event saw the current head of Dutch Sumo and General Secretary of the European Sumo Union (ESU), Stephen Gadd, ejected from one of the athlete’s hotels for reasons still “officially” undetermined, but essentially, as a result of having been banned from attending the SWC along with ESU President Gunther Romenath. Romenath was not seen and presumably didn’t make the trip.

Both Gadd and Romenath are known to have participated in the failed 2006 World Sumo League in the USA - captured on video working as referees, nonetheless - in what was/is a non-ISF sanctioned event.

The following day, as the weigh-ins for each weight class were taking place and some rikishi were getting in last minute practice sessions, a number of participants - the men and women who make amateur sumo work - could be seen wandering the streets of Sakai looking rather confused. Timings, locations of meetings and protocol to follow, once in meetings, were all subjects put to SFM’s man on the spot as, yet again, nothing appeared to be forthcoming from the organizers.

As the unseasonably warm day wore on, the tension could be felt


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