NHK & the Ozumo
A visit to NHK, years of watching the show and the opinions of our Ed-in-Chief
Hanging With the Rikishi
Barbara Ann Klein
Barbara Ann Klein recounts her experiences with the “boys” in a pictorial diary series
Sumo Exhibit at the
Barbara Ann Klein
SFM’s Editor takes in the exhibit celebrating 80 years of the Japan Sumo Association at this famous Tokyo museum
What a collection – All-Japan Sumo Tournament, Hakkaku-
beya visit and sumo exhibits at the Edo-Tokyo Museum
Kyushu Basho Review
Lon gives us his Kyushu Basho summary, along with the henka sightings results, and his take on the year in brief
Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila covers lower division ups and downs
Eric explains all you need to know and then some about the Kokugikan building – the mecca of sumo
John’s unique bimonthly view of news from outside the dohyo
For the lowdown on Guess the Kotomitsuki – baby of SFM’s John Gunning
Todd’s bimonthly focus on 3 of the most interesting sumo sites today
In the second of our cartoon bonanzas, sit back and enjoy ST’s offerings
Let’s Hear From You
What was it that made you a sumo fan? American Todd Defoe tells all
See what SFM readers had to say since our last issue
Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho’s banzuke.
Brothers in Sumo Part 1: Camaraderie and Competition
Futagoyama-oyakata, soon after going independent to start his own heya. Three years later in the spring, his much younger brother, Mitsuru, later known as Takanohana, joined Futagoyama-beya. This obviously attracted a lot of attention, and since the oyakata did not want to seem to be favoring his little brother, he went in the exact opposite direction, treating him perhaps even more harshly than he did the other deshi. Achievement, however, did not bring relief; if anything Wakanohana became harsher, pushing even harder. While it certainly did not create a warmer relationship between the brothers, it did produce results, as Takanohana rose through the banzuke at a rapid clip, setting numerous youth records along the way.
Eventually that rise would take him to ozeki, where he would become legendary. He would hold that rank for a still-record 50 basho, establishing himself as a master of leg techniques and last-minute saves that made him a thorn in the side of the yokozuna and many other would-be yusho winners. But he, himself, was not always a bridesmaid. In the 1975 Haru basho, he would make history by winning his first yusho and, along with his older brother,
The idea of brothers in sports is something that has fascinated both commentators and fans alike, perhaps since the beginnings of competitive sports. Its relative rarity and the idea of a brother following his sibling into a sport seem to attract interest greater than that for athletes on their own, especially when they are successful. It is a combination of the camaraderie of family and the most primal of all rivalries. And sumo is no exception. There have been dozens, if not hundreds of sibling rikishi over the centuries, among the earliest notable being Yokozuna Tanikaze and his brother, Maegashira 1 Dategaseki. In this article, we will look at some of the more notable brothers in modern sumo, with a few famous ones from the past, and the big names of today.
The first Waka-Taka duo – the Devil and the Prince
Interestingly, the first famous sumo brothers of the postwar era were not truly a duo and never competed together.
Hanada Katsuji, the elder of the two, was recruited by Hanakago Oyakata after watching him perform in a regional exhibition. As the main breadwinner for the family, he accepted, feeling it would be a great opportunity to help his family. That was in late 1946, and with his incredible work ethic and natural talent, he rose to makuuchi by the January 1950 Haru basho, at a time when there were only two or three tournaments per year. A month later, his brother Mitsuru was born.
Once in makuuchi, over the course of several years. Katsuji, or Wakanohana, as he was known by shikona, would build a reputation for dedication and endurance, and a ferocity that got him the nickname Dohyo no Oni, the Devil of the Dohyo. Together with his great rival Tochinishiki, he would dominate much of the 50s and into 1960, and is now considered among the greatest yokozuna of the postwar area.
Upon his retirement in 1962 he would take on the name of