Nagoya Nears
Eric Blair
As Nagoya nears, EB gets a head start on the pack by focussing on points of interest, past and present surrounding sumo's hottest basho

Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
The 42nd yokozuna Kagamisato falls under the JK microscope

Heya Peek
Barbara Ann Klein
Kokonoe-beya and the Chiyo Boys

SFM Interview
Mark Buckton
SFM's Ed-in-Chief interviews Estonian up and comer Baruto

Sumo 101
Barbara Ann Klein
SFM's Editor looks at all the twists and turns involved in the tsunauchi-shiki and adds a photo bonanza to boot

Photo Bonanza
See the Natsu
Basho and Kokonoe-beya photo bonanzas

Natsu Basho Summary
Lon Howard
Lon gives us his Natsu Basho summary, along with the henka sightings results

Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila
Mikko Mattila lets you know what is going on down below the curtain

Nagoya Ones to Watch
Mark Buckton
MB's mixed bag of things to look out for in Nagoya

Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Our man Mikko takes us on a tour of several defensive oriented kimarite

Amateur Angles
Howard Gilbert
The first of our regular column pieces on the amateur sumo scene from a man who knows more than most

Sumo Game
Bruce Rae
For a look at his very own: PTYW (Pick The Yusho Winners)

Sumo in Print
Barbara Ann Klein
SFM's Editor reviews the newly published biography of Akebono, Gaijin Yokozuna – but sees it as more than just a biography

Kokugi Connections
Todd Lambert
Check out Todd's bimonthly focus on 3 of the WWW's best sumo sites around

Fan Debate
Facilitator – Lon Howard
Sumo author Mina Hall and long long time fan Jim Bitgood discuss how to make sumo more entertaining – if such a concept is even necessary

SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
Sit back and enjoy the offerings of sumo's premier artists

Let’s Hear From You
What was it that
made you a sumo fan? James Vath in rural Japan lets us in on his gateway to the sport

Readers’ Letters
See what our readers had to say since we last went out

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

SFM Interview –

Text and Photos by Mark Buckton
the mental rewording of some old interview favorites to make them sound ‘different’ to his non-native ears.

MB: Baruto-zeki, tell me, in your early teens you are reported to have played basketball. Did any other sports interest you in those days?

B: No, only basketball. In high school I started sumo though – (that) was good.

MB: (sweating now in case this next one was obvious): Why did you start sumo? You had, after all, made a bit of a name for yourself in Estonian judo by winning a national championship around that time.

B: I don't know. (Appearing contemplative) I wanted something more.

MB: What was your first contact with amateur sumo?

B: Judo coach. In Estonia, in high school, it was same coach.

MB: The Japanese media have you down as a former nightclub bouncer and that in at least one
harrowing day at work you had your life threatened. Is this true or have the facts been exaggerated?

In Sumo Fan Magazine's first ever sekitori interview,
Editor-in-Chief, Mark Buckton (MB) was able to secure a
slot in the busy schedule of the much sought after Estonian
up and comer and, for now, Mihogaseki Beya man – Baruto (B).
Following an hour or so watching asageiko at the stable in eastern Tokyo's Chitose district on Monday June 12th, as I paid my respects to Mihogaseki Oyakata for allowing the interview to go ahead, Baruto wandered over with a big grin on his face. He extended his hand and introduced himself, and got a bit of a surprise as he, himself, was greeted in some rather rudimentary Estonian!

The following is a literal, but observation-added account of the ensuing English-* language hour long interview-cum-chat we shared – starting in the keikoba:

Baruto: Hey, you are here to do an interview? Nice to meet you! Would you like a picture? (Baruto steps back a little, crosses his arms and puts on a expression slightly less friendly than he was wearing a moment
Mark Buckton: Thank you. (I was slightly taken aback, but took the photo on the next page). Can I ask you some questions now or, (indicating the sweat built up during training) would you like to take a shower first?

B: Ah, OK, yes. OK to go upstairs (for the interview)?

MB: No problem if it won't disturb the other rikishi.

After a brief recess during which Baruto took his shower, his tsukebito led me to the heya's very sparsely decorated second floor – a 40-tatami room used for sleeping and general hanging out – where we resumed our conversation with the maegashira first joking, and then mimicking, the repetitive questions asked by the Japanese language media on favorite food and the like. As I then hurriedly scribbled out several of my ‘standard’ prepared questions, I started
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