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.

Lower Division Rikishi

Text by Mikko Mattila
Photos by Barbara Ann Klein
was former makushita Yamasaki, and in jonokuchi, the best newcomer was a big college rikishi, Sakaizawa.

Shimoda was a prestigious university rikishi with several titles and an outstanding reputation. His short frame might later become a major obstacle, but in the Natsu basho, Shimoda's sumo looked large. He showed himself to be naturally fast and dynamic, with no signs of jitters in any of his bouts. He stayed low during his attacks, got inside and didn't fall for any pulling attempts. He took charge of his bouts by taking the initiative, breaking his foes' grips and never allowing himself to be put in real danger. He conquered a number of formidable rikishi in his first professional basho – neither Wakanoho, Bushuyama nor Kanbayashi could find a way to suppress Shimoda's attacks. The caliber of his foes won't necessarily increase dramatically in the Nagoya basho, but he will be part of a high makushita group of enticing quality.

Kanbayashi and Ryuo were the only promotees to juryo. Kanbayashi locked in his promotion early with a 4-0 start

In the Natsu basho, battered veterans Toki, Takanotsuru and Kinkaiyama finally succumbed to heavy injury burdens and withdrew from active sumo. In
fact, Toki decided to retire just before the start of the basho. All were former makuuchi rikishi who finished their career at makushita rank.

The winner of the makushita yusho was newcomer (to professional sumo) Shimoda, whose historical 7-0 record at makushita tsukidashi (Ms15Td) was speculated to be the wave taking him straight to


juryo waters. However, the scarcity of demotion candidates from juryo and the Kyokai's decision to exercise its prerogative and withhold an automatic promotion for Shimoda ruined the college champion's chance of a record-
fast debut in juryo since the first salt throw in ozumo. In sandanme, the yusho was captured by former juryo man Maikaze, whose streak of losing records came to an abrupt end with an unblemished and unexpected 7-0 yusho. The last man standing on the honbasho dohyo in the jonidan division


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