<DATE> Contents

SOS - Shinjinrui on Sumo
Chris Gould
Chris sinks his teeth deeper into how sumo can go about pulling in the younger fans in part two of a three-part series.
Azumazeki up close and personal
Steven Pascal-Joiner / William Titus
A wiz with a pen and a wiz with a lens get together with SFM to share their time with Azumazeki Oyakata - Takamiyama as was - with the wider sumo following world.
Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
Joe Kuroda takes a detailed look at the life and times of a former yokozuna forgotten by many - Maedayama.
Eric Evaluates
Eric Blair
Eric calls the musubi-no-ichiban kimarite call on nakabi in Kyushu as perhaps only he could.
Heya Peek
Jeff Kennel
First time heya visitor Jeff Kennel wrote about, photographed and even made a video of his time spent at Arashio Beya prior to the Kyushu Basho. All to be found within.
SFM Interview
Mark Buckton
Mark interviews Russian up and comer Wakanoho of Magaki Beya.
Photo Bonanzas
See behind the scenes at the Kyushu Basho, morning training in Arashio Beya through the eyes of an artist and exactly what the Azumazeki lads had to eat halfway though the July Nagoya Basho. All originals, all seen here and nowhere else, and all for you.
Kyushu Basho Summary
Lon Howard
Lon wraps the Kyushu Basho in Fukuoka 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 eyeing of life down below the salaried ranks.
Hatsu Ones To Watch
Carolyn Todd
Carolyn ponders and puts fingers to keys on the ones to watch come January and the Hatsu Basho.
Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Mikko's latest clarification of a handful of sumo's kimarite offers unequalled analysis and in depth explanations.
Amateur Angles
Howard Gilbert
Howard looks at makushita tsukedashi and what it means in real terms.
Kokugi Konnections
Todd Lambert
Click on Todd's bimonthly focus on three of the best sumo sites online.
Fan Debate
Facilitators - Lon Howard / Carolyn Todd
Two SFMers talk over the yokozuna benefiting from weak opposition - or not as the case may be.
SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
In this issue's cartoon bonanza, sit back and sample Stephen's artistic offerings.
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? Starting with issue #10, the SFM staff will reveal a little of their own routes into sumo fandom - starting with Benny Loh.
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.

Elevator Ride

by Lon Howard
because he wouldn’t complete a 30-basho string in makuuchi.

As for the active top ten list, it’s of course headed by Hokutoriki, and now with Kyokushuzan’s retirement and Asasekiryu steadying himself some, the #2 spot now belongs to Takekaze.  Tokitsuumi and Kaiho still sit at #4 and #5, with their numbers not changing since they haven’t made it back to makuuchi since their last slide down.  As I predicted, Tamanoshima continues to move up, moving from #10 to #6; but to be realistic, these numbers are so far removed from those put up by the heavy elevator hitters of yore, they’re barely of consequence.  I will maintain them though, if nothing more than to continually underscore that fact.  Here is the active top ten list – a brief reminder that it includes only those rikishi with at least 15 basho, since they entered makuuchi.

One of the things I’ll throw out next time is an alternate ranking that incorporates a longevity factor of some kind.  I’m still pondering how to incorporate that.  Naturally, it will shuffle the ranking around a little, but in general, the same names will be there, and I really don’t think it matters who’s at #1 or #5, for example.  It’s more meaningful to recognize that this is the group that has epitomized elevator rikishi throughout modern history.

So for now, let’s keep our eyes on Hokutoriki and Takekaze.  They are the only ones on the near horizon with any shot at crashing the all-time top 20 list.  Have a Merry Christmas!

Home Rules

The trek we’ve taken back in time to study the historical elevator rikishi has finally come to an end.  We’ve studied rikishi who were active as far back as the 1930s, and now there are no more left to study whose records could produce at least a 30-basho qualifying string.  In my own mind anyway, the elevator rikishi concept doesn’t apply very well when the rikishi make only two banzuke moves per year, so from now on, the names on the all-time top 20 ranking are in fact carved in stone, until an active rikishi can replace someone there. 

Speaking of retired elevator rikishi, their ranks swelled by one looming figure since our last report, as the erstwhile active elevator king, Kyokushuzan, announced his retirement just after the Kyushu basho got underway.  Since our October report, he has dropped from #16 to #19 on the all-time top 20 list – that based on his banzuke movement between Aki and Kyushu basho – which was the only change on the list; so it appears that he will remain in the top 20 for the foreseeable future as there is only one active rikishi who is in any position to crash that list, that being Hokutoriki…more on him later.  It also means that the list this time has the same rikishi as before, except that the men from #16 to #19 are shuffled around.  The current all-time top 20 list can be seen here.  First, a brief recap of the terms used in the list:

MOQ (Move On Quotient):  Average number of banzuke
spots moved per basho

AFQ (About Face Quotient):  Percentage of time a rikishi changed direction on the banzuke

(Elevator Index) – MOQ x AFQ:  Actual measure of a rikishi’s elevator factor

(Mid-Year):  Year in which the mid-point of a rikishi’s qualifying string was reached    

Just one small change in the way the list is viewed…the years in the Mid-Year column had been rounded off, but that system got a little fuzzy when I encountered years in which there were only three and four basho, so I decided to use the actual year when the mid-point in the qualifying string was reached, even if the basho in question was in November.  Accordingly, some of the Mid-Year listings are one year earlier than before.  

So as it stands now, the all-time top 20 list will remain as is, at least until the Hatsu basho banzuke is published.  That’s when Hokutoriki accumulates his 30-basho qualifying string necessary to be listed.  Right now, his 8.27 Elevator Index would place him 3rd of all-time, but if he slides into juryo between now and then, he would most certainly enter at a lower rank due to the penalty applied for juryo appearances (See the
Rules).  Of course, if he goes to juryo in Hatsu and then never makes it back to makuuchi, he wouldn’t ever go onto the list 


L10 Web Stats Reporter 3.15