<DATE> Contents

Sumo Souvenirs  
Mark Buckton
Second of a two parter on sumo souvenirs - some hints on avoiding the fluff.
Chris Gould
Takamiyama's 60s / 70s successes notwithstanding Konishiki was sumo's first full-on mover and shaker from lands afar leaving Chris G to take an in-depth look at the ripples the big guy left behind when exiting the sumo pool.
Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
Joe Kuroda's looks back at the life and times of former yokozuna Shiranui.
Eric Evaluates
Eric Blair
Eric IDs the true winners of the henkafest that was the Haru Basho senshuraku.
Rikishi Diary
Mark Kent
Mark Kent - English pro-wrestler and amateur heavyweight sumotori - takes his training a step further on his road to European and World sumo glory.
Heya Peek
Mark Buckton
Oitekaze Beya just to the north of Tokyo and not far from the abode of SFM's Ed-i-C falls under the microscope.
SFM Interview
Carolyn Todd
Carolyn interviews Riho Rannikmaa during his recent trip to Osaka - head of all things sumo in Estonia, friend and mentor of Baruto, this is a man with something to announce.
Sumo à la LA
Alisdair Davey
SFM's man in the shadows reports on his recent jaunt in LA, as guest of the Californian Sumo Association and SFM reporter at large.
Photo Bonanzas
Hot on the heels of the recent Ise bonanza - Haru up close and very very personal - some of our best pics to date.
Haru Basho Summary
Lon Howard
Lon wraps the Haru Basho and chucks in a few bits on the henka issues the top dogs are suffering from at present.
Sumo Menko
Ryan Laughton
Sumo cards of old brought to life once again by expert collector Ryan Laughton. None of your BBM offerings here - Pt II of III.
Natsu Ones To Watch
Carolyn Todd
Carolyn ponders the ones to watch come May and Natsu when sumo comes home to Tokyo.
Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Mikko's latest look at sumo's kimarite offers unequalled analysis and in depth explanations.
Amateur Angles
Howard Gilbert
On your marks, get set, go - Howard Gilbert walks us through the months ahead on the amateur calendar.
Kokugi Konnections
Todd Lambert
Click on Todd's latest selection of the best sumo sites the WWW has to offer.
Fan Debate
Facilitator - Carolyn Todd
Should it or shouldn't it? Honbasho go on the overseas road that is. See what SFM's Chris Gould and James Hawkins have to say.
SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
In this issue's cartoon bonanza, sit back and sample ST's latest artistic offerings.
Sumo Odds & Ends
SFM's interactive elements - as always includes Henka Sightings, Elevator Rikishi and Eternal Banzuke!
Let's Hear From You
What was it that made you a sumo fan - A. S. - the face in the crowd reveals almost all - to see everything you'll have to close your eyes.
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 a genuine banzuke.


by Chris Gould
jun-yusho (runner-up spot) in the final tournament staged at the Kuramae Kokugikan. En route to his 12 wins, he defeated the two competing yokozuna, Chiyonofuji and Takanosato, with surprising ease.

After upsetting a third yokozuna, Kitanoumi, in his first bout at the new Ryogoku Kokukigan, Konishiki’s card became firmly marked. Opponents cooked up several strategies to thwart his blistering thrusting attacks, a practice which the Hawaiian admits forced him to improve his yotzu-zumo in later years. Then, in May 1986, disaster struck. On the eighth day of the Natsu basho, Konishiki’s knee was all-but-shattered in a gruelling match against the feisty ozeki Kitao Koji. Although Konishiki staged a quite remarkable recovery, his weakened knee deprived him of an invaluable support to his huge weight, and he was never quite the same sumotori again.

After regularly posting double-figure scores for a year, Konishiki surpassed his mentor Takamiyama to become sumo’s first non-Japanese ozeki in May 1987. Aged just 23, Konishiki looked set to completely rewrite sumo history, with his then stablemaster fully confident that Konishiki would become the first yokozuna from Takasago-beya since the oyakata himself. For a while, Konishiki seemed hell-bent on fulfilling his coach’s prediction but in 1988 his knee became evermore troublesome. His career was even being written off by September 1989 when he posted a measly five


Chris Gould marks the 15th anniversary of Konishiki’s final yusho triumph with a review of the debate which shaped – and arguably defined – contemporary sumo.

On March 22nd 1992, Konishiki Yasokichi and Kirishima Kazuhiro squared off for the makunouchi division championship. Both were ranked at ozeki; both entered the match with 12 wins, 2 losses; but that was where the similarities ended. Kirishima, at just 115 kilograms, was light for a sumotori but his body was beautifully well-muscled and equipped with astonishing strength. Konishiki, on the other hand, entered the Guinness Book of Records as the heaviest sumotori ever, his frame weighing over twice as much as Kirishima’s. The match would certainly play host to a contrast of styles.

The Yokozuna Deliberation Committee (YDC) doubtless rued the fact that, were Kirishima a little younger, he would have made a fine yokozuna, and an almightily photogenic one at that. But on this historic Sunday afternoon in Osaka, it was the gargantuan Konishiki who was within touching distance of sumo’s highest rank. Victory over his handsome arch-rival would deliver him his second Emperor’s Cup in four months and cement his status as the first non-Japanese ever to be considered for yokozuna promotion. The pressure was unbearable.

To the shrieks of a frenzied
audience and the gruff tones of the 27th Kimura Shonosuke, Konishiki aimed his super-sized palms at Kirishima and pushed with all his might. Kirishima was a crafty customer who had side-stepped Konishiki on many an occasion, but even his agility was found wanting in the face of such a thunderous onslaught. As Kirishima faltered, Konishiki grabbed his prized mawashi, gritted his teeth, heaved, shoved, toiled and eventually forced his muscular opponent over the tawara.

Size had won the day, but not everybody in the arena was impressed. Fervent shouts of ‘banzai’ were counter-punched by a smattering of boos. In the context of this divided crowd, Konishiki’s finest hour gave rise to one of the most intriguing debates in sumo history, with far-reaching consequences for everyone concerned.

The background
Konishiki was born Salevaa Atisanoe in Oahu, Hawaii, on December 30th 1963. He joined Takasago-beya in the summer of 1982, having been sweet-talked by a friend of Hawaii’s first sumo superstar, Takamiyama, and then by Takamiyama himself.

The bulky teenager first graced the banzuke in September 1982 and rose to makunouchi level in just 11 basho. Exactly two years after his debut, he caused an earthquake in the sumo world by capturing the makunouchi


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