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.

Heya Peek – Very Early Morning at Kitanoumi-beya

by Barbara Ann Klein
difficult to take photos, since most heyas’ “guest seating” areas face the dohyo with the windows, and consequently, light streaming in behind the “boys”. This was also the case here at Kitanoumi.

As far as I could tell, most of the heya’s rikishi were already there, with the exception of Kitazakura himself, who, being a sekitori and married, is not required to reside at the heya. The sekitori are also not required to show up so early, as there is an appearance hierarchy, with the highest-
ranked rikishi having the privilege of showing up last. No oyakata was around when we first arrived, either. Later on, we did see Inagawa Oyakata, the former sekitori, Ganyu, who


When I was asked to do the heya peek this issue due to John Gunning’s extensive work and terrific article on Rikishi of Old, I could not decide which heya to feature. Hakkaku and Takasago, two of my many favorites were already done. Kokonoe? Tokitsukaze? Naruto? Which of the many others that I visit regularly would be a good candidate? All three named have their shares of popular sekitori, as do many others. But with the relative success of Kitazakura-zeki at Hatsu Basho, I thought that his heya, Kitanoumi, would be a likely candidate.

Kitanoumi-beya begins keiko quite early. Leaving our hotel at 6:15AM, Meike, Katrina and I taxied over to Kiyosumi. The driver was slightly disoriented – we had no map to guide him, but my two friends had been to Oguruma-beya before, which is just around the corner from Kitanoumi, so they were able to direct the driver through the maze of streets. We arrived just before 7AM, knocked, removed our shoes, bowed upon entering, and gestured to the rikishi, who were already hard at training at
the keikoba, in a questioning way. We were promptly pointed to the appropriate area from which to observe and given zabuton for sitting.

The heya itself appears to be quite old – and not kept up very well. Way dustier than most, in need of a paint job, new tatami or a thorough sweeping and airing of the existing tatami, and a good mirror-cleaning. Many boxes were strewn around the room – some housing some much-desired tanmono (yukata cloth). It is almost always

SFM Editor with Kitazakura and Hakiai (Photo by Meike Sinke)
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