Brothers in Sumo –
part one

Brian Lewin
Brothers no longer active on the dohyo come under the SFM microscope

NHK & the Ozumo
English Broadcast

Mark Buckton
A visit to NHK, years of watching the show and the opinions of our Ed-in-Chief

Hanging With the Rikishi
Barbara Ann Klein
Barbara Ann Klein recounts her experiences with the “boys” in a pictorial diary series

Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
A look at a rikishi of yesteryear with Chiyonoyama – our man for December

Sumo Exhibit at the
Edo-Tokyo Museum

Barbara Ann Klein
SFM’s Editor takes in the exhibit celebrating 80 years of the Japan Sumo Association at this famous Tokyo museum

Heya Peek
John Gunning
John’s early morning trip to Hakkaku – a visit that almost didn’t happen

SFM Interview
Dave Wiggins sits down
with SFM’s Mark Buckton to discuss the broadcast scene – and maple syrup

Photo Bonanza
What a collection – All-Japan Sumo Tournament, Hakkaku-
beya visit and sumo exhibits at the Edo-Tokyo Museum

Kyushu Basho Review
Lon Howard
Lon gives us his Kyushu Basho summary, along with the henka sightings results, and his take on the year in brief

Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila
Mikko Mattila covers lower division ups and downs

Hatsu Basho Forecast
Pierre Wohlleben & Mark
Pierre predicts the Hatsu Basho banzuke while Mark previews the ones to watch for in January

Sumo 101
Eric Blair
Eric explains all you need to know and then some about the Kokugikan building – the mecca of sumo

Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Mikko walks us through his chosen kimarite in expert fashion

John McTague
John’s unique bimonthly view of news from outside the dohyo

Online Gaming
Eric Blair
For the lowdown on Guess the Kotomitsuki – baby of SFM’s John Gunning

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

Fan Debate
Intra heya bouts –
OK or not? See what our debaters had to say

SFM Cartoons
Stephen Thompson
In the second of our cartoon bonanzas, sit back and enjoy ST’s offerings

Let’s Hear From You
What was it that made you a sumo fan? American Todd Defoe tells all

Readers’ Letters
See what SFM readers had to say since our last issue

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

Let's Hear From You!
What Made You A Fan?

by Todd Defoe
dark guy in a black diaper stomped around on the ring, and glared at the other guy, who looked to be about half his size. I remember the announcer, who sounded a lot like James Bond to my 17-year-old ears, saying “The littlest guy ever going against the biggest guy ever . . . only in sumo.”

It seemed like they posed and glared at each other forever. While all this was going on, the guys in the room started saying, “That little dude is gonna get squashed”, and things like that. The room started getting louder and louder. Then all of a sudden, it happened. The little guy lunged at the big guy, and slammed into him. Then the big guy grabbed the little guy, and started pushing. It looked like it was all over for the little guy. But in a flash, the big dude crashed face down into the dirt, HARD, and it was over.

I remember two things in particular about that moment. The first, strangely, was that the big guy had these huge fat wrinkles on the insides of his thighs, and they sort of flopped around like flabby curtains when he hit the ground. The other, was that the announcer, who sounded like James Bond, was shouting, “THE DUMP TRUCK GOES DOWN . . . THE DUMP TRUCK GOES DOWN!” Twenty years later, I still smile and remember that day every time I hear the big guy’s name.

Each issue of SFM, We’ll ask one of you
to tell us something about you and sumo.
Think you have something readers would like to know?
Write our letters section!

How does a small town country boy from Minnesota become a sumo fan? The obvious answer is that he meets a Japanese girl in college, gets married and ends up in Japan without a clue how he ended up there. Then, while sitting around the old farmhouse in Japan, sumo is the only thing on television that makes the slightest bit of sense to him. This, of course, would be obvious. And completely untrue. Well, not completely. All of this happened, including the bit about Japanese TV not making any sense. But, I was actually a fan of sumo a long time before I ever met a Japanese girl and moved to Japan.

When I was 17, I joined the Navy. Being a small town country boy, I wanted to see the world, and ride the seas, and have adventures in faraway lands, and all that hokey stuff. Strangely, I didn’t see very much of the world, and I didn’t ride the seas, nor did I have adventures in faraway lands. The boat I was
on didn’t leave the pier the entire time I was on it. So basically, all I did was paint things gray, drink watered-down beer at the enlisted club, and watch TV.

So, there I was. One day I was in my bunk watching “Married with Children”, on the big TV across the room, and some jerk starts flipping the channels. Scandalized, I jumped out of my bunk to recover the remote and put Kelly Bundy back where she belonged. All of a sudden, the fattest human being I had ever seen appeared on the screen, wearing nothing but a big black diaper. I actually stopped short, and stood there with my mouth open. This was definitely not Kelly Bundy. I looked around the room, and saw everyone else looking around at each other, and then looking at the TV, then looking at each other again. Nobody said a thing. The channel didn’t change. After a moment or two, I sat down on the arm of the couch. This huge
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