Brothers in Sumo –
part two

Brian Lewin
Brothers still active on the dohyo get their turn

Yokozuna Comparisons
Joe Kuroda
SFM’s most eminent historian, JK, has a crack at the impossible and tries to see who was the greatest of the tsuna wearers

Rikishi of Old
John Gunning
Takanobori – former sekiwake, former NHK man and all ’round gent

Heya Peek
Barbara Ann Klein
Kitanoumi-beya, Kitazakura, mirrors & photo bonanza

SFM Interview
John Gunning
Kazuyoshi Yoshikawa (son of the late sekiwake Takanobori) on life in sumo way back when

Sumo 101
Barbara Ann Klein
Behind every good man there stands a good woman – read and ye shall see. A departure from our regular 101 feature

Photo Bonanza
See the Hatsu Basho
plus much more through the lens of our photographers

Hatsu Basho Review
Lon Howard
Lon gives us his Hatsu Basho summary, along with the henka sightings results

Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila
Mikko Mattila covers lower division goings on in detail

Haru Basho Forecast
Pierre Wohlleben & Mark Buckton
Pierre predicts the Haru Basho banzuke while Mark highlights the ones to look out for in Osaka

Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Mikko takes us on a tour of his chosen kimarite

John McTague
John’s unique bimonthly view of sumo news from outside the dohyo and in the restaurants!

Online Gaming
Alexander Nitschke
SFM’s own Alexander Nitschke covers the long running Hoshitori Game

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

Fan Debate
Feb's debate sees
a pair of Kiwis exchanging opinions on the honbasho going on the road

SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
In the third of our cartoon bonanzas, sit back and enjoy BL’s offerings and put a caption to ST’s pic to win yourselves a banzuke

Let’s Hear From You
What was it that
made you a sumo fan? A unique perspective from a sightless reader.

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

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

Brothers in Sumo Part 2
The Active Brothers

by Brian Lewin
audiences in much the same way that Takamisakari would later do. Although he has since toned down both behaviors, he retains some of his old popularity, at least with attending audiences.

His brother’s residual popularity is due primarily to his bravura kantosho (fighting spirit award) performance in the 2004 Nagoya Basho. Ranked down at maegashira 14, he pulled out a spectacular 12-3 jun-yusho, just one win off winner Asashoryu’s 13-2. Although Toyozakura was never


This month, in our second half, we will take a look at some of the most popular currently active brothers in sumo. How many are there? The answer may surprise you. I know it surprised me….

The Zakura Brothers

The Mukais of Hiroshima were perhaps the first brothers in modern sumo to join different heya, and they apparently did so for one of the simplest reasons of all: because Dad said to. As children, they had shared a room – heya – at home, so when they left to join sumo they were told to choose different ones. As a result, big brother Hidetoshi joined Kitanoumi-beya for the 1987 Haru Basho, and two years later, little brother Toshiaki joined Tatsutagawa-beya (later merged into Michinoku-beya).

Because they look so similar (and have similar shikona), their brotherhood is obvious to all, even though they are in different heya. They are also somewhat inordinately popular, given their relative lack of major achievements, though each has
attained his popularity for different reasons. Older brother Kitazakura did it by borrowing a page from the (then-recently) retired Mitoizumi, and becoming for a time the “New Salt Shaker”, throwing huge handfuls of salt on his way out to the tachiai. That, and wearing his heart so much on his sleeve endeared him to

Hakurozan and Roho share a joke (Photo by Meike Sinke)
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