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.
become the first brother team in history to win the makuuchi yusho. It was an intensely emotional moment for both men, as the yusho flag was presented to Takanohana by his own brother.
Takanohana would retire six years later to become Fujishima-oyakata and start his own heya, which his own sons, Masaru and Koji, would later join. A number of years after that, in February 1993, his older brother would give him one last gift upon his retirement: Futagoyama-beya. In a controversial decision, the Kyokai chose to allow the merger of the two heya, creating, in effect, a super-stable of a dozen sekitori, making it into the most dominant heya of the decade.
The former Wakanohana/Futagoyama-
oyakata would later take an honorary position as curator of the sumo museum before eventually retiring to private life, hoping to watch his brother serve many years as an oyakata before following him into retirement. But such was not to be, as decades of cigarettes and alcohol took their toll, forcing an early stepping down as stablemaster and a tragic death earlier this year.
(For more on their story, check
out my article on the Hanada family in our August issue (#2)).
Up from Kagoshima
Sekiwake Terao (now Shikoroyama Oyakata) made such a popular name for himself in his 23-year sumo career, that some newer fans could be forgiven for not knowing he had a brother in sumo about as popular as he was; even veteran fans may be unaware that Terao actually had two brothers in the sport.
Yoshimasa, Akihiro and Yoshifumi were the sons of legendary Kagoshima-born sekiwake, Tsurugamine, nicknamed Morozashi Meijin for winning with his famous two-handed inside grip. Retiring after an amazing 20-year career, he ultimately took charge of his own heya, Izutsu Beya. Yoshimasa, the eldest, joined sumo first in March 1975, taking the family name, Fukuzono, as his shikona, before switching to Kakureizan. Akihiro, the middle child, wanted to join at the same time right out of junior high, but was discouraged by his family due to his light weight and slow movement. Akihiro started high school, but was so determined to join sumo that he even started looking at other heya. Seeing this, the family relented, and he too joined in January 1978,
taking the shikona Fukuzono (his brother having since abandoned the shikona). Fukuzono quickly matched Kakureizan’s progress, and they would make history together after the May 1981 Natsu basho, when they were announced as the first joint sibling juryo promotion in sumo history. Both, however, would subsequently fall back down to makushita. Akihiro returned to sekitori status sooner, in the ’82 Natsu basho – when he changed his shikona to Sakahoko – and by the time his brother made it back to juryo that November, Sakahoko was making his own makuuchi debut. It was at this point where they began to diverge. While Sakahoko’s star continued to rise, Kakureizan, hampered by injuries, would spend just six basho in juryo, peaking out at Juryo 2, before beginning a slow descent.
In the meantime, the youngest brother had ideas of his own. Yoshifumi had started high school, and was entertaining the idea of sumo, but thought it impossible as his two brothers were already there. However, the tragic early death of their mother in May of 1979 had a profound effect on him. It made him feel that sumo was what he wanted to do to honor her memory, and to underline that,