Brothers in Sumo –
part two

Brian Lewin
Brothers still active on the dohyo get their turn

Yokozuna Comparisons
Joe Kuroda
SFM’s most eminent historian, JK, has a crack at the impossible and tries to see who was the greatest of the tsuna wearers

Rikishi of Old
John Gunning
Takanobori – former sekiwake, former NHK man and all ’round gent

Heya Peek
Barbara Ann Klein
Kitanoumi-beya, Kitazakura, mirrors & photo bonanza

SFM Interview
John Gunning
Kazuyoshi Yoshikawa (son of the late sekiwake Takanobori) on life in sumo way back when

Sumo 101
Barbara Ann Klein
Behind every good man there stands a good woman – read and ye shall see. A departure from our regular 101 feature

Photo Bonanza
See the Hatsu Basho
plus much more through the lens of our photographers

Hatsu Basho Review
Lon Howard
Lon gives us his Hatsu Basho summary, along with the henka sightings results

Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila
Mikko Mattila covers lower division goings on in detail

Haru Basho Forecast
Pierre Wohlleben & Mark Buckton
Pierre predicts the Haru Basho banzuke while Mark highlights the ones to look out for in Osaka

Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Mikko takes us on a tour of his chosen kimarite

John McTague
John’s unique bimonthly view of sumo news from outside the dohyo and in the restaurants!

Online Gaming
Alexander Nitschke
SFM’s own Alexander Nitschke covers the long running Hoshitori Game

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

Fan Debate
Feb's debate sees
a pair of Kiwis exchanging opinions on the honbasho going on the road

SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
In the third of our cartoon bonanzas, sit back and enjoy BL’s offerings and put a caption to ST’s pic to win yourselves a banzuke

Let’s Hear From You
What was it that
made you a sumo fan? A unique perspective from a sightless reader.

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

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

Kyokutenho (left) and Fudoyama (Photo by Barbara Ann Klein)

kinboshi to his credit. His peak thus far was probably 2003, when he held a sanyaku rank for several basho, though he never quite came within shouting distance of ozeki promotion. Since then he has gone up and down a bit, spending much of his time in the upper ranks and remaining a threat to those above and around him. Recently, on one of his upswings, a solid 8-7 performance at komusubi east in Kyushu kept him there for Hatsu, but he was unable to build on that, slumping to a disappointing 4-11. Despite that, he may be back before too long, as he has perhaps some extra motivation to succeed. He acquired Japanese citizenship last June, and Oshima Oyakata has recently announced Tenho as his successor, so hopefully he will try his best to make a good run at sekiwake (if not ozeki) before his time is up.

Unfortunately, by the time that the nine-years-younger Robsandorj was old enough to join his brother and try sumo, the Kyokai had passed a rule – or perhaps an informal, unwritten “rule” – mandating a two-foreigners-per-heya maximum. That meant that his brother’s Oshima-beya, which was also home to Kyokushuzan

constant threat to the top-
rankers – 4 kantosho, 1 ginosho and 2 kinboshi thus far – but never quite well enough to stay there for long. An 8-7 record at M 1e in Kyushu returned him to komusubi for another try, but despite a valiant and impressive battle through injury – including fighting from 1-7 back up to 7-7 – he came up short on the last day against Iwakiyama. His brother has likewise had a tough time these past two basho, but his worst was in November. Ranked at makushita 4w with a good opportunity to return to juryo, he posted an abysmal 1-7 record, getting his only victory in an extra senshuraku match with the retiring Yotsukasa who gave him a fusensho forfeit victory. He made a slight recovery this basho with a 4-3 at makushita 22e that should give him a bit of a bump back up for March.
The First Foreign Brothers

Contrary to popular perception, the first foreign brothers in sumo were not Roho and Hakurozan; they were Tsebeknyam and Robsandorj, the Nyamjab brothers. Elder brother Tsebeknyam was part of the original group of Mongolians, making his dohyo debut with ex-ozeki Asahikuni’s Oshima-beya in the 1992 Haru Basho as Kyokutenho.

For quite a few years, Kyokutenho was “the other Mongolian”, laboring quietly in the shadow of his more popular and successful heya mate, Kyokushuzan. But in recent years, while Shuzan has seemed content to float up and down the maegashira ranks, Tenho has blossomed into a solid upper maegashira/sanyaku regular with four kantosho and two