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.

  Pick the Yusho Winners

by Bruce Rae

yusho in each division. For each win the chosen rikishi gets, the player scores a point; if the rikishi gets kachi koshi, the player gets a bonus point; if the rikishi wins the yusho, the player gets 2 bonus points – and the highest total wins! Players get to make two picks for makuuchi (one maegashira and one sanyaku) and two picks for makushita (one from the ”juryo promotion zone“ Ms1-Ms15, and one from lower makushita), but otherwise, one pick for the yusho in each division.

Picking yusho winners is a simple concept which makes for a good game. Picking ALL the winners is very hard to do and has not yet been accomplished. Typically, the winner of the game only correctly identifies two or three yusho winners. The best result so far was when two players were able to correctly guess five of the six division winners. The secret to doing well in the game is to pick rikishi who will have a winning record (and avoiding those who are injury prone or about to ”hit the wall”).

Pick the Yusho Winners started in Nagoya 2004 (when Baruto won the jonokuchi yusho and Kotooshu won the juryo yusho)


Each issue we ask the creators
from the online sumo gaming world
to tell us just what makes their games tick.

Although there are many sumo related games, most of them deal exclusively with the results of the makuuchi division. There is also the popular Juryo Game and, more recently, the Makushita Game. The “Pick the Yusho Winners“ game was designed to increase interest in all divisions of sumo, particularly to identify the up-and-coming rikishi from the lower divisions.

When I started to follow sumo, the only rikishi I could identify was Konishiki. From the occasional sports digest programs which showed sumo highlights, I gradually got to know more of the top sumo men. Eventually, I read a few sumo books and started to follow the Sumo Mailing List. Pretty soon I knew who most of the top division rikishi were but I never expected to have any interest in juryo or below. After a while of following sumo, however, I found
I was following former top division rikishi who fell to juryo and trying to figure out who in juryo would become promoted to makuuchi. It didn’t take long to expand my interest into the lower divisions trying to identify who were the future stars to watch rise up the banzuke.

The Internet now has several sites which provide information in English about the rikishi in all divisions. Also, the Sumo Mailing List and the Sumo Forum now have regular posts about rikishi and results from makuuchi down to jonokuchi and even the newcomers in mae-zumo. Because of the ever-expanding interest in all levels of sumo, it seemed there was a niche for a new game which covered all the divisions. This was the inspiration for Pick the Yusho Winners. To participate, before each basho starts players simply predict who they think might win the
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