<DATE> Contents

Attention to Akeni
Carolyn Todd
SFM's newest addition to the writing staff takes an in-depth look at akeni, their history and production techniques
Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
Joe Kuroda slides former yokozuna Minanogawa under his SFM microscope
Eric Evaluates
Eric Blair
Eric's wit scythes through the SML and makes clear his opinion of where the future lies for online sumo forums.
Eternal Banzuke Phase II
Lon Howard
Stats, equations and mathematics all lead to a list of sumo's most prolific up and downers
Matta-Henka: Another View
Lon Howard
A row that will never be fully decided but Lon gives his impressions on it all the same
Heya Peek
Mark Buckton
Mihogaseki, former home of Estonian sekitori Baruto is toured (and peeked at) by SFM's Editor-in-Chief
SFM Interview
Mark Buckton
Mark interviews shin-komusubi Kokkai
Photo Bonanza
See the Nagoya basho and Akeni photo bonanzas
Nagoya Basho Summary
Lon Howard
Lon gives us his Nagoya basho summary, along with the henka sightings results
Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila
Mikko Mattila casts his watchful eye over lower division goings on in makushita and below.
Aki Ones to Watch
Carolyn Todd
Carolyn takes over the job of rikishi job performance prediction for SFM as she looks at those to keep an eye on come September
Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Our man Mikko's latest trio of kimarite get thrown about the SFM literary dohyo
Amateur Angles
Howard Gilbert
Howard returns with the second of his columns on the amateur sumo scene.
Sumo Game
SFM's very own quiz comes in for a bit of self scrutiny by our secretive man of questions. We'll call him 'X'.
Sumo in Print
Barbara Ann Klein
SFM’s Editor reviews “The Little Yokozuna”, a book for “young” (and older) adults
Kokugi Connections
Todd Lambert
Check out Todd's bimonthly focus on 3 of the WWW's best sumo sites
Fan Debate
Facilitator - Lon Howard
Keri Sibley and Eduardo de Paz  ponder the concept of ‘to pay or not to pay’ makushita salaries
SFM Cartoons
Stephen Thompson
Sit back and enjoy the offerings of one of sumo's premier artists
Lets Hear From You
What was it that made you a sumo fan? SFM’s own Todd Lambert details his path into sumofandom
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.

Lower Division Rikishi

text by Mikko Mattila
photos by Barbara Ann Klein
the Nagoya  basho, he dropped all the way to Ms28 and yet, wasn’t able to collect enough wins to stop the dive. He had a 3-4 in Nagoya and an aggregate 10-18 record in makushita for 2006 thus far. He is still only 30 years of age, but a quite unique example of a clearly weakened rikishi.

Takahama, the former Hamanishiki, with seven basho in
makuuchi, and 18 in juryo, is the second in line when it comes to experience in the salaried ranks. He was successful as an amateur at the same time as Kotomitsuki, Takamisakari, and Hayateumi, but has been in makushita for almost two years now, and, unfortunately, is not showing any real sign of ever making it back.


Towanoyama (29 years of age, 12 juryo basho) tore his patella tendon in 2004 while in juryo, and was absent for a whole year before his reappearance on the dohyo. On the morning of his makuuchi debut in March 2002, he suffered an injury to his knee. He lost his match by default and never got close to makuuchi


Lack of access to makushita bouts necessitated that I look for a new viewpoint for this issue’s column. Thus, the article is divided into three parts. The first part covers ex-sekitori level rikishi and their recent performance in the lower divisions; the second part sums up the recent success of ten of the youngest 18- and 19-year-olds within a group comprising the 200 highest ranked lower division rikishi (makushita 1 - sandanme 40) as they appeared in the May 2006 banzuke; and lastly, there is a brief summary of the Nagoya basho results for the four lower divisions.

Injury, illness, and loss of confidence or desire can all tremendously affect a rikishi’s development curve or hasten the process of decline. One particularly interesting sub-set in the lower divisions is the group of men who were formerly in the makuuchi or juryo division. In this chapter, we’ll look at 15 former sekitori who competed
in makushita or sandanme in the recent Nagoya basho. In addition to these 15, there are 2-3 active rikishi, who because of only having had one or two brief visits to juryo, are excluded from the discussion.  So what goes on in a rikishi’s mind when he languishes in makushita after many tournaments in juryo or even in makuuchi? A glimmering hope to find a way back once more, or just a matter of necessity or

lifestyle to hang on even without a real salary and diminished ability on the dohyo?


There is a rikishi in makushita who has just suffered a losing record for the fourth consecutive basho in that division, but who has 22 makuuchi basho, 26 juryo basho, two fighting spirit prizes, an outstanding performance prize, a juryo yusho, a ginboshi (a win against an ozeki while at a maegashira rank), and three kinboshi (wins against a yokozuna while at a maegashira rank) on his resume. Some years ago, Chiyotenzan was diagnosed with diabetes, which evidently contributed to his decline, but for


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