<DATE> Contents

SOS - Shinjinrui on Sumo
Chris Gould
Chris sinks his teeth into how sumo can go about pulling in the younger fans - currently so noticeable by their absence. The first of a three-part series.
Sumo World Championships
Mark Buckton
Mark Buckton reports from Sakai near Osaka, site of the latest Sumo World Championships.
Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
Joe Kuroda finishes off his look at former yokozuna Minanogawa.
Sumo 101 / Eric Evaluates
Eric Blair
Eric expains sumo fan terminology - with the inevitable twist - for those just getting into the sport and still subject to the know it alls.
Age stands still for no man
Joe Kuroda
Former ozeki Kiyokuni will retire in November under the compulsory '65 and you are out' rule. JK takes a look at this quiet earth mover.
Feel the Sumo
Eduardo de Paz
Read and feel the renowned Leonishiki's passion for all things sumo at his first live event.
SFM Interview
Mark Buckton
Mark interviews Colin Carroll - again - Irish star of Sakai.
Photo Bonanza
See the Aki Basho bonanza as well as the largest collection of pics you are likely to see on the Sumo World Championships earlier in October.
Aki Basho Summary  
Lon Howard
Lon wraps the September Aki Basho and throws in some henka sighting results for good measure.
Lower Division Rikishi  
Mikko Mattila
The lower divisions, their members and results get the once over thanks to Mikko's eye of things 'beneath the curtain'.
Kyushu Ones To Watch  
Carolyn Todd
Carolyn shares her thoughts on whom to keep an eye on in Fukuoka.
Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Mikko's latest clarification of several of the sport's plethora of kimarite.
Amateur Angles  
Howard Gilbert
Howard Gilbert - manager of New Zealand's amateur sumo team takes a look at the approaching Russians.
Kokugi Konnections  
Todd Lambert
Click on Todd's bimonthly focus on three of the best sumo sites online.
Fan Debate  
Facilitator - Lon Howard
Jesse Lake and Rich Pardoe hammer out their differences on a current furor - promotion criteria.
SFM Cartoons   
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
In this issue's cartoon bonanza, sit back and enjoy Benny Loh's offerings and put a caption to Stephen Thompson's picture to win yourselves a banzuke.
Sumo Odds ’n’ Ends   
SFM's interactive elements including Henka Sightings, Elevator Rikishi and Eternal Banzuke!
Lets Hear From You  
What was it that made you a sumo fan? Kevin Murphy reveals all.
Readers' Letters  
See what our readers had to say since we last hit your screens.
Sumo Quiz   
The Quizmaster
Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho’s banzuke.

Minanogawa Tozo (1903-1971) - The 34th Yokozuna - Part 2
by Joe Kuroda

yusho under his belt by this time.  He was the one who single-handedly carried Ozumo after the Shunjuen Incident by staying on with the Kyokai.  So in a way, he was finally rewarded for his past accomplishments.

When Musashiyama was promoted after the 1935 May basho, he only had one yusho, and that was back when he was still komusubi at the May 1931 basho.  He became a yokozuna by winning only one yusho, and his reign at the highest rank was nothing short of disastrous.  He missed five of his eight yokozuna basho and he withdrew from two.   He only had one full basho, in which he barely got a kachi-koshi with a 7-6 record.

Futabayama won his first yusho at the  May 1936 basho and went on to win twelve more. From February 1932 to January 1936, Tamanishiki won five yusho, Minanogawa won two, and Musashiyama won none.  A truly tragic figure on the sidelines of this period was ozeki Shimizugawa, who was never promoted to yokozuna despite winning three yusho – a victim of not being with a “major” heya.

Minanogawa’s first yokozuna basho (he was actually an “ozeki-yokozuna” then) ended with an unimpressive 6-5 record, with one win by default. Some felt he may have been too tense, this being his first yokozuna basho; but his supporters knew he needed to gain more strength since he was now 32 years of age, so, they urged him to take up cycling. Even though Minanogawa had never ridden a bike before, he learned quickly and remarked that he felt his thighs were getting stronger and his endurance was increasing.

Some of Minanogawa’s supporters also believed that he should settle


Minanogawa - seen to the left of the great Futabayama in this programme from an open air event at Koshien - home of the Hanshin Tigers

Mark Buckton, Courtesy of the Nihon Sumo Kyokai

In the last issue, we brought you the story of Minanogawa from childhood through his early Ozumo career and his imminent promotion to yokozuna. Purportedly, Minanogawa was granted yokozuna rank as a result of a “return favor” between his oyakata and the oyakata of the previously-appointed yokozuna, Musashiyama. As a result, in two consecutive basho, Ozumo witnessed the birth of two of the weakest yokozuna in the history of the sport.

At the time, there was another formidable power waiting in the wings, a man who would later be considered the greatest yokozuna of all time – Futabayama. Ranked Me 2 in the January 1936 basho, he was to face ozeki Minanogawa on day 5, but it was Minanogawa 

who appeared to be more nervous - and rightly so, as Futabayama, using his incredibly flexible physique, turned Minanogawa at the edge of the dohyo and threw him out.

Let’s just take a brief moment to look at the records of the four yokozuna, just prior to their promotions.

Clearly, Futabayama was invincible and he fully deserved his promotion. The other three had rather similar records among them. However, there was a difference with Tamanishiki - when he was promoted after the October 1932 basho with 7 wins and 4 losses, he already had ten ozeki basho. Except for this last basho, he never lost more than three bouts, and he had five


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