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.

Sumo 101
Making the Tsuna

Text and Photos by Barbara Ann Klein
one without the yokozuna being present. Since I am sure many of you have read or are aware of the process, I will keep my text as brief as possible, recounting a digest of the three times I have attended, and let you concentrate on the Photo Bonanza.

As I mentioned above, the dohyo area was totally empty save for the blue tarp covering the corner where the teppo pole is located and which radiated diagonally


Tsunauchi-shiki – the tsuna making ceremony. You know what the tsuna is: that huge white “braided” rope that the yokozuna wears when he does his dohyo-iri, of course.

Have you ever wondered how it's made? I never really had until I happened to meet the yokozuna as he was stopped at a corner in his (then) Hummer. “Doko?” he asked me. “Where are you going?” I said for a walk. “Come to my heya. Tsunauchi.” I said “huh?”. “Heya, heya. Itte.” Ookaaay……so I went around the corner to Takasago-beya fully thinking I was going to watch asageiko before the start of the Aki basho. But what greeted me was an empty keikoba, partially covered with a blue tarp. Several reporters and photographers were readying their equipment. I asked one of the English-
speaking reporters what they were there for and he explained that the Takasago boys and others from the Takasago
Ichimon were about to construct the yokozuna's rope belt – the tsuna.

Needless to say, I was thrilled and have since been to three such ceremonies two with and

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