Nagoya Nears
Eric Blair
As Nagoya nears, EB gets a head start on the pack by focussing on points of interest, past and present surrounding sumo's hottest basho

Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
The 42nd yokozuna Kagamisato falls under the JK microscope

Heya Peek
Barbara Ann Klein
Kokonoe-beya and the Chiyo Boys

SFM Interview
Mark Buckton
SFM's Ed-in-Chief interviews Estonian up and comer Baruto

Sumo 101
Barbara Ann Klein
SFM's Editor looks at all the twists and turns involved in the tsunauchi-shiki and adds a photo bonanza to boot

Photo Bonanza
See the Natsu
Basho and Kokonoe-beya photo bonanzas

Natsu Basho Summary
Lon Howard
Lon gives us his Natsu Basho summary, along with the henka sightings results

Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila
Mikko Mattila lets you know what is going on down below the curtain

Nagoya Ones to Watch
Mark Buckton
MB's mixed bag of things to look out for in Nagoya

Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Our man Mikko takes us on a tour of several defensive oriented kimarite

Amateur Angles
Howard Gilbert
The first of our regular column pieces on the amateur sumo scene from a man who knows more than most

Sumo Game
Bruce Rae
For a look at his very own: PTYW (Pick The Yusho Winners)

Sumo in Print
Barbara Ann Klein
SFM's Editor reviews the newly published biography of Akebono, Gaijin Yokozuna – but sees it as more than just a biography

Kokugi Connections
Todd Lambert
Check out Todd's bimonthly focus on 3 of the WWW's best sumo sites around

Fan Debate
Facilitator – Lon Howard
Sumo author Mina Hall and long long time fan Jim Bitgood discuss how to make sumo more entertaining – if such a concept is even necessary

SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
Sit back and enjoy the offerings of sumo's premier artists

Let’s Hear From You
What was it that
made you a sumo fan? James Vath in rural Japan lets us in on his gateway to the sport

Readers’ Letters
See what our readers had to say since we last went out

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

Heya Peek – Kokonoe and the Chiyo Boys

Text and Photos by Barbara Ann Klein


Chiyonishiki, and, yes, Chiyohakuho and Chiyotenzan, among a few other lower rankers


Going to asageiko at Kokonoe-beya is always a bit intimidating to me. Kokonoe Oyakata, the former great yokozuna, Chiyonofuji, has a very stern countenance as a shinpan at dohyo-side. He is the same in the heya. Irrespective of how ultra-proper one is while attending morning practice, or how many times one has been there acting ultra-properly, at some point in time the sliding doors open and Kokonoe Oyakata, in his white heya-wear, glares out from the living/eating room. One morning, opening the shoji to the viewing area when entering the heya, I came literally six inches away, face-to-face with the oyakata. Smiling, bowing and whispering “ohayo gozaimasu (good morning)”, I reddened as Kokonoe stepped aside and pointed to the zabuton so that we could sit “comfortably”. Whew!

This damp, chilly morning in May – never taking anything for granted – we duly asked
permission to enter from the young rikishi attending to the kitchen and package work around by the back door. We breathed a sigh of relief that our entrance was without incident – or oyakata-meeting – and began watching keiko.

Initially, the usual suspects were there – the non-sekitori, that is – Chiyonohana, Chiyonoretsu, Chiyomuso,

Kokonoe Oyakata
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