What Will Become of the Dynasty?
Brian Lewin
The Hanada Dynasty – past or present?

Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
A look at a rikishi of yesteryear with Tenryu our man for August.

Heya Peek

John Gunning
John attends a chanko session at Chiganoura Beya.

Photo Bonanza
For a glimpse at some of the sights you won't see on TV.    

July Basho Review
Lon Howard & John Gunning
Lon gives us his Nagoya Basho summary and his take on upset of the tournament while John chips in with his ‘gem’ of the basho.

Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila takes a break and Eric Blair covers the lower divisions in his own ‘unique’ way.

Aki Basho Forecast
Pierre Wohlleben & Mark Buckton
Pierre predicts the Aki Basho banzuke while Mark previews the ones to watch next time out.

Sumo 101
Barbara Ann Klein
Gyoji goings on and several things you never knew about the ones officiating.

Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Mikko walks us through his 2 chosen kimarite.

John McTague
John's unique view of news from outside the dohyo.

Boletín de Sumo en Español
Eduardo de Paz Gútiez
An article on sumo’s very first fan mag – Boletin de Sumo en Espanol

Online Gaming
Jezz Sterling
Hear from the founder of Bench Sumo of one of sumo's most popular games.

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

Fan Debate
Henka – good, bad or ugly? See what our debaters think.

Let’s Hear From You
What was it that made you a sumo fan – the Petros Zachos story.

Ngozi on the Road
Ngozi T. Robinson
NTR visits an amasumo event in the north-east U.S. and tells us what it was like.

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


Bench Sumo

by Jezz Sterling aka Jejima

also arranged. One rikishi is put into the 4-point slot, two rikishi are put into the two 3-point slots, and the other two are given 2-point slots. If the real rikishi win that day, the players collect the number of points that they assigned to those rikishi. Whichever player scores higher, between the two teams competing, wins the bout for the day. There are various tie-breaks that are used in the case of ties.

In addition to these basic rules, there is a whole lot more to Bench Sumo in various side-prizes and statistics. Most of these additions originated from the suggestions of other players.

Through the game, thanks to the “comments” feature, personalities and friendships have developed. We now even have six ichimon (with their own websites) where we can support other players, and, of course, we have an ichimon competition, too – the Ichimon Championship Flag.

The best way to learn about this game is to play it.

The following are just some of the web-sites devoted to this game:

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Each issue we ask the creators
from the online sumo gaming world
to tell us just what makes their games tick.

In September 1999, the first official Bench Sumo tournament was held, in which we had a field of 18 players, and was won by Doitsuyama (a great sumo games player). The first tournament was largely run entirely by me, using scraps of paper and emails to keep record. During the previous basho, in July 1999, 10 players held a ‘trial’ over the final 7 days of the basho. The winner of that was the famed Swedish competitor - Yubiquitoyama.

Six years later, the game is fully automated (thanks to Kofuji, Akisunni and Nekonishiki), with over 200 players ranked in 5 divisions. There are around twenty players who are actively involved with various aspects of the administration of the game.

Back in 1999, there were only a few English-language sumo games available on the internet. My idea for Bench Sumo was to take the aspects that I liked best from the other games, mix them together and then give it a

little twist. Most of the games then were either solely pre-basho games (in which you picked a roster of rikishi, after which you cannot make any changes), or daily games (for which you were put on the equal basis as all of other players on any day in the basho). Bench Sumo was, I think, the first game to mix these two concepts.

Before the basho starts, each player selects one yokozuna, one ozeki, one sekiwake, one komusubi and six maegashira rikishi from the makunouchi division. These ten rikishi then becomes the player’s “squad”. Every day during the basho, players will be matched up against different players. From their squad of ten, they then select five rikishi whom they think have the best chances of winning that day. The remaining five rikishi are put on the “bench” (hence the name of the game), where they might be required to be called upon in case of a tie-break. The five initially chosen rikishi are then

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