October Issue Contents
Hatsu Basho



Tachi-ai shenanigans
Chris Gould
As perhaps only CG can, a conclusive look at the tachi-ai issues surrounding sumo at the Aki Basho. Will Kyushu get better? How did we get to this point in the first place?
Chris Gould
Kitanoumi - a legend in sumo circles has seen it all. A man who has been to the top in so many ways, the former yokozuna and six-year Rijicho is no-longer the power house he once was, but what took him from his perch? CG investigates.
Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
Who else? Mienoumi, new Rijicho of the Ozumo parish and himself a former yokozuna falls into the headlights of SFM's historian Joe Kuroda. What made the man at the top of the game tick when he was a younger rikishi?. What lies behind his rule changes so far as Rijicho? JK reveals all.
To train a foreign rikishi
Michiko Kodama
Michiko Kodama, our resident Japanese voice on things sumo, looks at the need for the oyakata to form part of the solution in fixing the recent woes surrounding some foreign rikishi
Eric Evaluates
Eric Blair
Eric educates - as always - the fans beyond shores Nipponica - on the true role the yen plays in Japanese society. Read and nod.
The Ozeki
Lon Howard
Thinking outside the box has always been one of Lon's specialties and his work on - the Ozeki - his analysis and the angles he comes up with are unequalled on the WWW in terms of applying new methodology to viewing sumo. Enter and enjoy.
Aki Basho Summary
Lon Howard
Lon runs us through the events at last month's basho in Ryogoku - and as per usual includes a few of his own little observations and puns. Great stuff.
Kyushu Basho - Ones To Watch
Alexander Herrmann
Kyushu 08, the final basho of the year - and the will he / won't he (Kaio retire that is) makes its way into AH's take on Ones to Watch down in Fukuoka.
Heya Peek
Chris Gould
Kasugano revisited. Brideshead it is not, but CG take a stroll back to Kasugano a year after his last piece on sumo's premier heya - and all on a day the black prince came to visit.
Photo Bonanzas
Chris Gould/Mark Buckton
CG throws in a cracking bonanza to go with MB's scenes of Aki - and in doing so, SFM acheives another first in online sumo coverage - the pics in slideshow form.
Sumo Menko
Ryan Laughton
Wonderfully illustrated piece on collecting the sets 'probably' out there - but no-one knows for sure.
Amateur Angles
Howard Gilbert
HG looks long, in detail, and with an expert eye at the chances of seeing amateur sumo at the Olympics. ISF pie in the sky or reality in the waiting?
Kokugi Konnections
Mark Buckton
SFM's EiC scours the WWW to bring to light another of the lesser known sumo sites out there.
Let's Hear From You
Mike Charlton
Originally from Canada but now based in Japan, Mike C explains his own route into following sumo.
Morph Corner
Olivia Nagioff
Morphing part IX - unique to SFM - another collection of weird changing images of several of sumo's finest - courtesy Olivia Nagioff.
SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
Sit back and enjoy this issue's cartoon bonanza courtesy of the SFM men in Thailand and Malaysia.
Sumo Odds & Ends
SFM's interactive elements, as always including Henka Sightings and Elevator Rikishi - Lon and Ben do their stuff.

News Snippets!

Meet our new editor!

Chris Gould, an experienced staff writer now based in The Land of the Rising Sun, takes over the reins as Editor.

Mienoumi Tsuyoshi

Joe Kuroda
Success in sumo requires dogged determination and iron strength to withstand the disillusionment, tribulations and pains from injuries and illnesses. Most recruits fail to make sekitori level, and many of the few who do wait between five and ten years to get there. But for all recruits still toiling long after joining ozumo, Mienoumi is a shining example to follow, having finally ascended to sumo’s highest grade of yokozuna after 16 years of graft. Read more...

Kitanoumi, Rise and Fall

Chris Gould
In January of 2002, the Japan Sumo Association (NSK) elected a Chairman under the age of 50 for the first time in half a century. The 48-year-old Kitanoumi Oyakata seemed a formidable combination of tradition and modernity, old enough so that his career evoked sumo’s glory days of the 1970s, and young enough to represent a force for change in a stultifying organisation. Read more...

Morph Corner

Olivia Nagioff
- Kaio intimidates his opponent with his pre-bout exercises.
- Where did Roho hide the evidence and is it all going to come out?
- Will Musashigawa have to be present in person to check every tachi-ai? (And who did the worst tachi-ai, hands down?)
See more...

Tachi-ai Shenanigans

Chris Gould
On the eve of the 2008 Aki Basho, new Sumo Association Chairman Musashigawa decided, against all expectation, that the most important issue facing him was the quality of his wrestlers' initial charges. 'We must be thorough on the issue of both hands needing to touch down before a bout' Musashigawa declared. Read more...

Ones to Watch

Alexander Herrmann
The OTW in 2008 have involuntarily reflected a rikishi's life cycle to some extent. For January we had the shin-juryo batch, for March some makuuchi talents and for September the heavyweights. We will close the life cycle motif and the year 2008 by looking at those rikishi who own a toshiyori-kabu already and will sooner or later retire from active Sumo and become trainers of a new generation. Read more...

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Lynn Matsuoka

Asanowaka was a classic looking figure in sumo, and briefly carried the sword during Akebono's dohyo-iri. He was incredibly funny and would say some things other rikishi wouldn't dare say. He was, of course, famous for his froglike shikiri for which the Kyokai kept reprimanding him, the crowd loved it! This ink jet print, ed. 100, 9.5 x 11 inches is signed and numbered by the artist, available for $550. from the studio. Please contact artist@aloha.net

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