<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.

Wakanoho Toshinori

Interview and Photos
by Mark Buckton

WT: No, not at all. No one knows it. It will be more popular soon though. From now they’ll know it.

MB: So, given that you live in a hotbed of wrestling, why did you start sumo?

WT: Roho-zeki was in sumo and my father knew his father and asked him to help me. I’d known Roho for a long time – since we were kids. He was like my teacher. Also, in wrestling the competition limit was (is) 120kg but I was 138kg so I stopped and entered sumo.

MB: The same weight problem came up in an interview I did with Kokkai-zeki a while ago, he went over the limit too and had to stop.

WT: Kotooshu too. It’s pretty common.

MB: When you first came to Japan to give sumo a shot, you used your connection to Roho-zeki I understand?

WT: Yes, I stayed in Otake beya for six months - with Roho’s help.

MB: Did you enjoy your time there? Find it hard?

WT: I was shocked more than anything, really shocked – everyone had a mage!

MB: What about the mawashi?

WT: Yeah, that was a shock too. It was really itchy. (he says demonstrating his favored itching technique)

MB: Was it a new mawashi?

WT: Yes, but the itchy feeling


In Sumo Fan Magazine’s 3rd rikishi interview to date, December 14th saw Mark Buckton sit down with Russian up and comer Wakanoho of Magaki beya.

Just a few days before the Hatsu banzuke was released, with sun pouring in through the window of the heya office, what was supposed to be an interview turned into more of a chat and is herein reproduced as such.

Prepped questions, including some sent in by SFM staff and readers were asked although sometimes out of order and having ventured off at tangents.

Stable life went on around the pair as yobidashi, rikishi and office staff rushed in and out of the office. A vegetable / fruit juice mix was enjoyed by both. ‘Somewhere a dog barked’ would be a classic Stephen King space filler but with no dogs at Magaki, the only non-human on the scene was the heya cat with its torn ear silhouetted against the window (sun pouring in remember) behind the teenage giant come good.

WT: (as MB entered the room) Hello (in English with hand thrust out). Where do you come from? (in Japanese)

And so started the interview – with MB on the receiving end. In handing over an SFM name card and giving him a quick run-down, the reception meaning that most of the formalities went out of the
window, the small talk ventured into the realm of Internet sites on sumo.

NB: WT does read certain sites and so MB hit him with the one question many sumo fans known to frequent Sumo Forum will have been waiting for – right at the start:

MB: There’s a man out there in cyberspace going by the online shikona of Ossetian Yokozuna, and given that you are from that part of Russia, I’d like to kick off by asking if you’ve ever heard of him?

WT: Yes, yes, yes, yes ,yes! I’ve heard of him. (laughs). Older guy I think. Lives in …….. (location removed for privacy)

MB: (getting back on track and settling into his chair) As a youngster, you went to school in North Ossetia. At that time what sports were you interested in?

WT: Wrestling. Freestyle wrestling.

MB: No other sports? Soccer…….?

WT: Only wrestling.

MB: Why such a…? (gestures to indicate focused vision)

WT: Ossetia has so many Olympic champions in wrestling that it is THE main sport. It’s like that in Mongolia too.

MB: Is sumo famous, popular?


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