Brothers still active on the dohyo get their turn
SFM’s most eminent historian, JK, has a crack at the impossible and tries to see who was the greatest of the tsuna wearers
Takanobori – former sekiwake, former NHK man and all ’round gent
Kitanoumi-beya, Kitazakura, mirrors & photo bonanza
Kazuyoshi Yoshikawa (son of the late sekiwake Takanobori) on life in sumo way back when
Behind every good man there stands a good woman – read and ye shall see. A departure from our regular 101 feature
plus much more through the lens of our photographers
Lon gives us his Hatsu Basho summary, along with the henka sightings results
Mikko Mattila covers lower division goings on in detail
Pierre predicts the Haru Basho banzuke while Mark highlights the ones to look out for in Osaka
Mikko takes us on a tour of his chosen kimarite
John’s unique bimonthly view of sumo news from outside the dohyo and in the restaurants!
SFM’s own Alexander Nitschke covers the long running Hoshitori Game
Todd’s bimonthly focus on 3 of the most interesting sumo sites today
a pair of Kiwis exchanging opinions on the honbasho going on the road
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
made you a sumo fan? A unique perspective from a sightless reader.
readers had to say since our last issue
Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho’s banzuke.
in Kumamoto Prefecture, the Yoshida Tsukasa estate established themselves as official purveyors of sumo and their influence over and connections with ozumo continued until 1950.
From October 1777 to February 1786, Tanikaze lost only one bout (in the 1782 February basho), to Onogawa. His consecutive winning record of 63 was not broken until 150 years later by Futabayama, with his 69 consecutive victories. Tanikaze won 23 yusho or
yusho-equivalents, and this figure is the second highest in the sport’s two-basho a year period, after ozeki Raiden Tame-emon (1767-1825). When Tanikaze passed away as a result of contracting flu during a basho in 1795, he was on a 35-bout winning streak. He was 44-years-old when he died and had been active for 26 years.
The 15th yokozuna Umegatani I (1845-1928) is credited with bringing ozumo to the masses in
A tsuna belonging to Edo era yokozuna Tanikaze (photo by Mark Buckton)
the Meiji era (1868-1911). While he initially competed in the Osaka sumo tournaments, he later moved to the more competitive Tokyo sumo tournaments. At the time, the 21st yokozuna, Wakashima Gonshiro (1876-1943), had a 92.0 winning record percentage but was strictly an Osaka-based yokozuna and is thus not included in the above list. Yokozuna Umegatani I lived to be 83 years of age, rather rare for rikishi and rarer for a yokozuna.
Single-handed efforts by the 12th yokozuna Jinmaku Kyugoro (1829-1903) resulted in the current yokozuna list being etched on the yokozuna stone located in the Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine in Tokyo. Jinmaku traveled all over Japan to collect donations for the project, and after nine years on the road, it was finally completed on November 21, 1900. The 3.2 meter-high stone is made of granite and weighs 20 tons. An interesting observation is that Jinmaku added ozeki Raiden’s name to the stone even though he was not specifically acknowledged as a yokozuna, but by Jinmaku’s time, Raiden’s overwhelming strength was already legendary.
Raiden was a contemporary of Tanikaze and Onogawa but was not granted a yokozuna license by the House of Yoshida Tsukasa. Jinmaku listed
Jinmaku (photo by Barbara Ann Klein, courtesy Edo-Tokyo Museum)
Raiden as an “unrivaled” rikishi.
There is a legion of sumo fans who still view Raiden as the greatest rikishi of all time. Indeed, Raiden was already considered to be a superstar when he made his dohyo debut at the 1790 November basho as sekiwake. He proceeded to win 8 bouts and lost none (with two bouts on hold as there was no rematch at the time). This is equivalent to a current makuuchi yusho. Raiden never lost more than two bouts in a single basho. The only rikishi he ever lost to twice was Kachozan, also know as Ichinoji Asaemon. In his 35 makuuchi basho, Raiden won 254, lost 10, drew 2, had 14 holds, 5 no results and