NHK & the Ozumo
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
Sumo Exhibit at the
Barbara Ann Klein
SFM’s Editor takes in the exhibit celebrating 80 years of the Japan Sumo Association at this famous Tokyo museum
What a collection – All-Japan Sumo Tournament, Hakkaku-
beya visit and sumo exhibits at the Edo-Tokyo Museum
Kyushu Basho Review
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 covers lower division ups and downs
Eric explains all you need to know and then some about the Kokugikan building – the mecca of sumo
John’s unique bimonthly view of news from outside the dohyo
For the lowdown on Guess the Kotomitsuki – baby of SFM’s John Gunning
Todd’s bimonthly focus on 3 of the most interesting sumo sites today
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
See what SFM readers had to say since our last issue
Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho’s banzuke.
one had said anything like that to him before. Masaharu’s resolve wavered and he officially joined Dewanoumi-beya in September, 1941.At the Kyokai’s physical held on January 4, 1942, the 15 year-old was 185 cm tall and weighed in at 86 kg. It turned out that Chiyonoyama never had a chance to face Futabayama during his career as by the time Chiyonoyama made it to a high makuuchi ranking, Futabayama already retired.
In January 1942, Masaharu was scheduled to start mae-zumo with his real name, Sugimura, as his shikona. However, just prior to the basho, he severely injured his right knee. His oyakata told him to withdraw but he insisted on participating and won two straight bouts. His knee kept swelling and he was finally taken to a hospital where he spent the next 40 days in bed. In the end, it took him five months to recover from the injury, but his knee was never the same and the injury kept coming back to haunt him throughout the rest of his active career.
With a heavy bandage around his knee, Masaharu returned to the dohyo in the 1942 May basho to participate in mae-zumo. There, he proceeded to win two straight bouts to
earn Shin-Jo Ichiban Shusse (the first group of rikishi to pass through mae-zumo hurdle) designation. On day 5, he was already assigned a bout against a jonokuchi rikishi. At the end of this mae-zumo basho, he had six straight wins, defeating four jonokuchi opponents.
Masaharu’s rapid progress continued at the next basho in January 1943, where he was promoted to a jonidan rank, Jd 37E, skipping the jonokuchi division altogether. He beat all eight jonidan opponents he faced, but the yusho was awarded to Senshuyama, who had the same record and “won” the yusho because he was at a higher rank and there was no yusho deciding bout at the time.
Around this time, his shisho, Fujishima oyakata, told him he was more suited to oshi-zumo and advised him to “go only with tsuppari”. The oyakata even assigned an oshi-zumo specialist, Toyoshima (then sekiwake), as Masaharu’s training partner. At the 1943 May basho, Masaharu was ranked at sandanme west 17 and was facing more experienced opponents. He lost two straight bouts on days 9 and 10. He had never lost a bout up to this point and he was heard to say, in tears, to the oyakata, “Oyakata, there are
times even I end up losing” (Masaharu finished the basho with 5 wins and 3 losses).
At the next basho, he was promoted to makushita 46W and had a record of 6 wins and 2 losses. Then, at the 1944 May basho, as Ms 12W, he won four bouts and lost three with the new shikona of Chiyonoyama. The following basho in November 1944, which was his juryo debut, became his pivotal basho where at juryo 13W, he proceeded to win nine bouts, losing only one, to receive the juryo yusho. Chiyonoyama was only 18 years-old at this time.
Gaining more confidence, Chiyonoyama went on to win the next yusho and made his makuuchi debut at the 1945 November basho at the age of 19 years and five months. It took him only 9 basho since his dohyo debut to achieve makuuchi rank. At the time, it was the second quickest makuuchi promotion, following Haguroyama’s eight-basho promotion. Chiyonoyama was 191 cm tall and weighed 116 kg at his debut basho in makuuchi. He won all of his 10 bouts and had a yusho-equivalent record, but again. there was no yusho kettei-sen (play-off) to decide the ultimate winner and the