Amateur Sumo – the sport as it should be
Mark Buckton
Sakai World Sumo Champs – not all about winning

Las Vegas Koen
Joe Kuroda
Our man reports from the fight capital of the world

Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
A look at a rikishi of yesterday with Kotozakura – our man for October

Heya Peek
John Gunning
John’s early morning dash to Azumazeki-beya & report on TKOTU

SFM Interview
Katrina Watts sits down with SFM’s Mark Buckton to discuss amateur sumo

Photo Bonanza
SFM’s best yet – Aki Basho/ Las Vegas / Amateur World Champs / Azumazeki-beya visit – seen nowhere else

Aki Basho Review
Lon Howard
Lon gives us his Aki Basho summary, along with the henka sightings results, and his take on the tournament while ‘gem’ of the basho takes a break

Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila
Mikko Mattila returns to cover lower division ups and downs

Kyushu Basho Forecast
Pierre Wohlleben & Mark Buckton
Pierre predicts the Kyushu Basho banzuke while Mark previews the ones to watch next time out

Sumo 101
Barbara Ann Klein
Discovers and explains amasumo & ozumo variations

Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Mikko once again walks us through his chosen kimarite

John McTague
John’s unique bimonthly view of news from outside the dohyo

Online Gaming
Zenjimoto of ‘game fame’ covers some of the very best sumo games around – his own!

Kokugi Connections
Todd Lambert
Todd’s focus on 3 of the most interesting online sumo sites today

Fan Debate
Is the limit on foreign rikishi fair? See what our debaters had to say

SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh
In the first of our cartoon bonanzas, sit back and chuckle at Benny Loh’s offerings

Let’s Hear From You
What was it that made you a sumo fan? Gernobono tells all

Readers’ Letters
See what SFM readers had to say since our last issue

Sumo Quiz
The Quizmaster
Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho’s banzuke.

Heya Peek:

by John Gunning
activity. In fact I had to walk all the way down to the kitchen and call out several times before anyone appeared (take note, all you would-be thieves who are intent on stealing chanko ingredients). It was a young rikishi who explained that everyone had gone to Azumazeki for degeiko. Can’t really print the words I used to describe our editor as I left Chiganoura that morning as this is a family magazine, but let’s just say my language was “colourful”.

So, a sweaty 45 minute walk later, I arrived at Azumazeki-beya to find all the Chiganoura guys there…… well all, that is, except for one…… bet you will never guess who. Yes, I was informed by Tochinoyama (see heya peek last issue), Masutoo had gone somewhere to sort out something with his passport. Well, not wanting to waste the morning I decided to stick around and make the experience heya peek – number three.

Inside the front entrance to the heya is a door on the left that opens directly onto the dohyo. Passing that and walking a little further along the hallway you will see the viewing area if you turn left. Continue straight rather than turn left, and you

Next Home
30 August 2005

A few of you readers may know that our Editor-In-Chief, Mark, is an amateur rikishi (albeit one with far less time than he needs to dedicate to the sport to improve as much as he’d like) – a venture he took up after writing about the sport. As friends we often like to ‘have a dig’ at each other. His latest effort had me running around the Shitamachi area of Tokyo on a roasting hot summer’s morning looking for keiko sessions that weren’t actually taking place.

Prior to my recent move to Ryogoku (couldn’t resist dropping that in. Sorry!) I lived in Ota-ku (South Tokyo) and therefore took about an hour to get to the Ryogoku area necessitating a 5AM alarm call in order to be sitting in asageiko at 7AM.

On the morning in question, Mark had arranged with Hungarian rikishi Masutoo for me to go along to Chiganoura-
beya to give him some
magazines in his own language kindly sent to me by Nekonishiki, a well known Hungarian sumo fan on Sumo Forum. I was informed by our Ed-in-Chief that he would call me if keiko wasn’t on or if the rikishi were going for de-geiko as Masutoo had himself given this assurance. Well, after a very sleepy train ride I arrived at Asakusa station around 6:30 am and started walking North, and walking, and walking...... and walking…… and walking……! I then did some confused looking around before, again…… more walking. But it was hopeless. No matter how hard I tried I could not remember where the heya was! Maps were useless – they usually are in Japan – as minor roads often aren’t even listed. Finally finding the heya, having walked past it no less than three times, I was immediately hit with a sense of foreboding as I couldn’t hear the “flat hard packing” (“Fight Club” quote) sounds that so signal sumo keiko. Opening the door, my fears were confirmed. The lights were off and there was no sign of
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