Now in the 29th Year of Publication!
ln This Issue
On the Coyer - Yokozuna Takanohana performs the dohyo-iri at Kitakachidoki's Intai-Zumo on June 3. (Photo by Clyde Newton). On the Back Coyer - Mitoizumi throws his trademark huge handful of salt for the last time in his final bout, with Toki, at his Intai-Zumo onJune 9. Mitoizumi retired last September, at 38, after 22 years of active competition. (Photo by Clyde Newton)
* ln This Issue, Editor's Box 2 * Sumo'sJungyo Cri sis By Clyde Newton 3-4 * Hatano-san's Column .4 * Interview with Kuniazuma (Part 1) 5-7 * By Shinobu Suzuki 5-7 * Sumo Movie Review by Kyoko Kawakami 8 * Hatsu Basho Roundup 9-11 * Looking Back at Tamanoumi by Andy Adams 12-13 * Dampatsu-shiki for Retiring Rikishi 14-15 * Hatano-an's Column 14 * YokosukaJungyo Pictorial... 15 *Then & Now: Sumo Magazines (IV) 16 By C. Newton * Meishobu Revealed (Takanohana vs Musashimaru) By C. Newton 17 * Juryo Results, Behind the Curtain 18 * Keep Your Eyes on Kitazakura 19 * Natsu Basho Preview by M. Newton 20 * Natsu Basho Banzuke Makunouchi Division: Rankings and Profiles 21-26 Juryo Division: Rankings and Profiles 27-29 Makushita Division: Top Ranks 29 * Natsu Basho Makunouchi Torikumihyo 30 * Natsu Basho Results 31
Editorial Staff: Clyde Newton Editor and Publisher Andy Adams Associate Editor Ryo Hatano Senior Editor Shinobu Suzuki Staff Columnist Lora Sharnoff Staff Columnist David Meisenzahl Staff Columnist Mark Newton Staff Columnist Mark Schreiber Guest Columnist C. Newton Photographer C. Newton, S. Suzuki Translators Ail subscription checks should be made out to: Sumo World/Clyde Newton. Ali checks and correspondence should be mailed to: Clyde Newton, Editor & Publisher Sumo World 1-2-16 Inokashira, Mitaka -shi, Tokyo 181-0001, Japan Tel/Fax: 0422-47-5715 e-Mail: email@example.com URL: <http://www.sumoworld.com> Please send registered mail only to the following address: Clyde Newton cio Foreign Correspondents' Club ofJapan Yuraku Denki Bldg. 1-7-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100,Japan Annual Subscription Rates: Japan: Regular Mail--;Y3,900; Express Mail: ;Y4,900 SUMO WORLD is a bimonthly magazine published in English on sumo for the foreign community in Japan, the U.S. military stationed in Japan, foreign tourists visiting Japan and sumo fans in Hawaii, mainland United States, the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe, Brazil and Latin America, Asia/Oceania and elsewhere in the world. Subscribers who do not pay by credit card (via kag.com) are strongly recommended to send cash by registered mail (dollars or yen) or by international postal money orders. This saves time and money bath for Sumo World and subscribers. Make out ail checks, including those for subscriptions, back issues, books, etc., ta Sumo World/Clyde Newton, payable by a U.S. bank or the US. branch of a non-US. bank or in pounds sterling payable by a British bank in the UK. Please do not send checks addressed in any way other than Clyde Newton / Sumo World. Please do not send bank drafts or remittances payable by a Japanese bank. As for Japan, aIl those living outside Tokyo should pay by postal cash envelope (genkin kakitome) or postal check.
* Our thanks to"Sumo" of BaseballMagazine-shafor use of photos
(continued on p. 8)
Tokitsukaze Rijicho(center) gives Kyokai Goaisatsu Address on the Senshuraku o/the Natsu Basho (eN Photo)
Sumo's Jungyo Crisis By Clyde Newton While Japan continues to weather a seemingly endless series of recessions, Sumo is facing its own depression of sorts, with few full houses, a shortage of corporate sponsors, and steady errosion in the number of new rikishi. The current decline in sumo's fortunes became apparent in the late 1990s, and followed a period of phenominal popularity, during the years when Takanohana and Wakanohana were rising up through the sanyaku. The current crisis came to a head just before the Natsu Basho, when Tokitsukaze Rijicho (ex-Ozeki Yutakayama) announced that the Sumo Kyokai was holding an internai meeting the following day, to decide the fate of the jungyo (regional tour) system. There was even the possibility that jungyo would be suspended indefinitely. Attendance at jungyo has declined markedly in the last few years, especially since the end of the Waka-Taka boom of the early- to mid-1990s. The Sumo Kyokai restructured its jungyo system from 1994, to eliminate outdoor performances, as weil as sites that lack gymnasiums that can accomodate 5,000 or more spectators. A PR company, Same Two, was hired to organize jungyo along a new model, as weil as to help recruit major corporate sponsors. This project eliminated the traditional jungyo format and did away with chanko for rikishi on jungyo, and replaced it with buffet-style lunches. This was supposed to give the
low ranking rikishi, who se task it is to prepare chanko, more time to train. Despite complaints from the rikishi, who did not find the buffet lunches appertizing, the new system intially seemed to result in an improvement in the amount of keiko done on jungyo. The Makunouchi and Juryo keiko became a two hour session, as opposed to only one hour under the old system. However, this attention to keiko was only momentary, and as monitoring became lax, the only one ho ur session again became the norm. A key pillar of Same Two's concept was to offer local sumo fans a taste of hombasho. At great expense, the hombasho dohyo roofing was taken to the individual jungyo sites. Initially the number of rikishi on jungyo was greatly reduced, to save money. Juryo rikishi did not participate in jungyo, and were only called in as substitutes when Makunouchi rikishi dropped out with injuries. The new jungyo system was in trouble as early as 1996 or 1997. Sumo's popularity was starting to fade somewhat, and attendance at jungyo was beginning to fall. A faction in the Sumo Kyokai opposed to Same Two and the changes in the jungyo system, headed by Magaki Oyakata (ex-yokozuna Wakanohana II) and Takadagawa Oyakata (exozeki Maenoyama) demanded that the new jungyo system be scrapped as weil as other changes, especially to the myoseki (toshiyori kabu) system pro-
posed by the then rijicho, Sakaigawa (ex-yokozuna Sadanoyama). The anti-Sakaigawa faction gradually gathered force, to the extent that the rijicho was virtually ousted from his position at the Sumo Kyokai elections held inJanuary 1998. The new Tokitsukaze Rijicho, basically a moderate trying to balance the interests of both sides, promised to review the jungyo system and other measures taken by Sakaigawa. Magaki and Takadagawa maintained their power basis at the Kyokai elections in 2000, and gradually jungyo began to shift away from the Same Two mold. Same Two's contract was supposed to be terminated, but the Sumo Kyokai decided it could not assume the PR company's role with its own staff, despite having more than 100 oyakata available to help. The errosion of jungyo profits has accelerated, and for the first time, the Sumo Kyokai actually made a loss on jungyo in 2000. After reflection, however, the Kyokai has decided to make a clean break away from the Same Two jungyo style and to restore the old pre-1994 jungyo system. This is no easy task, as bridges must be made back to the people and companies who sponsored the old jungyo. Full-fledged reversion to traditional jungyo will be completed by 2003. However, it has proved extremely difficult to recruit sufficient support for next year's jungyo, and as a result, the number of days of jungyo will be only 20 for the who le year in 2002, as opposed to the usual 60. ln fact, it appears likely there will be no summer or win ter jungyo in 2002, for the first time since the end of W orld War II. One troublesome question regarding jungyo has been the quality of the exhibition bouts. Since it is not a hombasho, and thus not reflected on the banzuke or in remuneration, rikishi seldom go aIl out to win on jungyo, to avoid risking injury. Same Two's system was supposed to encourage more exciting bouts, but the reverse has been true. Jungyo bouts in recent years have been at hanazumo level. On the other hand, the indoor jungyo at large gymnasiums have deprived fans of the chance to actually have personal contact with rikishi. Su ch contact is often valuable in the recruitment pro cess for new deshi. At the indoor tournaments, fans have, if anything, less opportunities to actually meet the rikishi. It can also be argued that the reformed jungyo format was too sterile to attract the public. Traditional ceremonies were often abbreviated or eliminated. Without colorful tradition, jungyo are simply not jungyo. And there is a certain attractiveness associated with outdoor jungyo. And, of course, an element of risk since, if it rains, performances have to cancelled, necessitating refunds to aIl those who purchased tickets. Now there is only one truly outdoor sumo performance remaining (not strictly a jungyo, since it is open free-of-charge to the public)at YasukuniJinja in Tokyo in April. Reverting to the traditional jungyo is extremely timely. Having failed to make the move at this stage would have risked losing traditions as the number of those in the Kyokai who have experienced traditional jungyo has, of course, declined with time. 4
An Unforgttable Bout by Ryo Hatano ln my many years of watching sumo, l have seen a number of great bouts. One of those was the playoff for the Natsu Basho yusho between Takanohana and Musashimaru. As you will recall, Takanohana was undefeated until the 14th day, when he lost to Musoyama. ln losing that bout, he sprained his right knee. His opponent on the final day was Musashimaru, who has been his strongest rival in recent basho. Some injuries heel overnight, but many get worse. If Takanohana were to have been absent on the senshuraku, Musashimaru would automatically have won the yusho. He would have won their honwari (regularly scheduled bout) by default, and since both rikishi would have finished with 13-2 records, Musashimaru would also have won the playoff by fusensho. Thus Musashimaru would have come from behind to take the yusho without even having to compete. That would have been unprecedented. But was really worrying was the current low popularity of sumo. Su ch a yusho by default might have sent sumo's popularity even further into the depths. Of course, the Sumo Kyokai was also concerned about this. Takanohana chose to compete. He lost the honwari bout very easily. Everyone believed he would also lose the playoff to Musashimaru. But it was not to be that way. Taka quickly grasped Musashimaru from the right and executed a superb uwatenage. Takanohana would not have stood a chance in a protracted bout. He had to win quickly or not at aIl. At the moment Takanohana won, the TV cameras focused on his face. There was a fierce, dramatic look on it, "I made it!" Takanohana is usually expressionless either when he wins or loses, and l have never seen such an expression on his face while on the dohyo before. The sports papers captured this expression and ran it on their front pages the next day. l think this really made an impression on sumo fans. The Jungyo Prob1em N ewspapers reported just before the N atsu Basho that the money-Iosing jungyo would be suspended. l was really shocked. Hombasho are, of course, essential, but historically the role that jungyo play has always been significant. l think there is a need to analyze the reasons why jungyo have become less popular and unprofitable, and to rectify them. At the time of the Waka-Taka boom, a change was made from the traditional way of holding jungyo, in which local sponsors (kanjinmoto) took the leading role in holding jungyo. Instead, to (Continued
on page 8)
Interview with Kuniazuma: Part 1 By Shinobu Suzuki (This interview was held on the aftemoon a/June 7, 2007, in a hall on the secondfloor o/Tamanoi Beya after the moming keiko was over.)
K: May 1 ask a favor of you? S: Sure, what can 1 do for you? K: 1would be happy if you print mye-mail address in your magazine. It would be great if! receive e-mails from those who read Sumo World aU over the world. Here is my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. S: 1 am sure printing your e-mail address in Sumo World will result in the promotion of sumo worldwide as weil as an increase in the number of your supporters. S: After almost nine years in the lower divisions, you were promoted to Juryo for the Aki Basho of 2000. Ranked at No.9 Juryo, you achieved kachikoshi on the 12th day. However, the next day you dislocated your left wrist in a bout with Juzan, although you actually defeated him by kotenage. You withdrew from the basho with a respectable 9-5-1 record. On the 14th day of the recent Natsu Basho, you defeated No.5 Juryo Daishi of Oshiogawa-beya, and thus achieved kachi-koshi by kotenage after stopping your opponent's momentum by wrapping both his arms inside your arms, before you stepped backwards. 1 don't think that the way you fought is the
style you are aiming for. K: No, the fighting style 1 have been intending to establish is a fast offensive one. ln reality, however, transforming your ide a into practice is a totally different matter since you have to deal with opponents who try to offer the greatest resistance and prevent you from doing what you want to do. ln the course of action with a tough opponent, 1 tend to lose my guard by allowing the opponent to place his arms inside, leaving me with only one technique, kotenage, to resort to. S: 1 don't think your huge physique helps you utilize delicate techniques. K: No, far from it, 1 have to find a way in which my large physique produces the greatest effect. S: They say it's better for you to grab the front of your opponent's mawashi, thus locking his arms, rather than securing a hold on the rear of his mawashi by extending your arms over the opponent's shoulders. K: What you just said is very reasonable. 1 know that better than anyone else. If 1 could do sumo as 1 please, 1 would never have to struggle, and 1 would already be in Makunouchi. As 1 said before, your opponent's aim is to offer you the greatest inconvenience. S: You finished the first week of the recent May Tournament with a record of 6-1 and the second week with 2-6. As for September 2000, your Juryo debut basho, you won four bouts straight from the opening day, followed by 1-4 in the following five days and repeated what you did at the beginning of the basho, four straight wins from the 10th day through the 13th day before withdrawing from the basho on the 14th day. 1 don't like to say this but it can be said that you perform inconsistently. What do you think about this tendency? K: The cause of this lies in my lack of stamina. My tachiai changes as a tournament proceeds since it is hard for me to main tain the sharpness of the jump-off at the desired level throughout a tournament. The路 momentum with which 1jump off diminishes gradually as a tournament continues, allowing my opponent to place his arms as he pleases since the effectiveness of my guard tends to deteriorate when my stamina runs out. S: Before asking you about your career in the sumo world, 1 would like to ask you about your life in Brazil before you left for J apan in 1991. You started practicing judo at the age of eight, right? What brought you into judo? K: Yes, 1 took up judo when 1 was eight years old and continued it for about two years. When 1 was a boy, being big for my age, 1 tended to stay at home and sel dom played outside and, as a result, 1 grew rather short tempered, constantly being irritated for no reason, making my parents worried, although 1 was basically a well-behaved kid, and never caused any
problems in the neighborhood. As a measure to relieve accumulated stress, my parents recommended that 1 take up judo at a nearby dojo. S: At 12, you began practicing sumo, again, what brought you into sumo? K: It was sheer accident that 1 took up sumo. Helping my mother, 1 run errands to a deep-fried foods store renowned for its tasty products. It was run by a japanese-Brazilian, an amateur sumo athlete. Noticing my well-built physique, the proprietor asked me if 1 was interested in joining the private sumo club of which he was a member. At that time 1 had little ~nowledge about sumo and 1 felt embarrassed imagllllllg myself wearing only a mawashi. ln Sao Paulo, sumo iS popular among j apanese-Brazilians but not so much among those of non-japanese origins, like our family, which is of Italian origin. When 1 went to the club 1 found the members, most of whom were of japanese ancestry, were friendly and they welcomed me warmly. Also my parents found the president of the club congenial and were so favorably impressed by the pleasant atmosphere in which the members were practicing sumo that they encouraged me to join the club. ln Brazil students in compulsory education are required to attend school half a day, either in the morning or in the afternoon, and spend another half day for extracurricular activities in sports. The judo gym of WhiCh 1 was a member was designed for school students taking judo as an extracurricular activity and was under control of the education board of the region, so the fee you had to pay was small. The sumo club we were considering was not under the control of the board of education and consequently the fee you had to pay was a little higher than what 1 paid to the judo club. However, my parents considered the members of the club to be respectable people, and thus they made up their mllld to leave me in their charge. My principal Objective was to make friends, not to become a strong sumo athlete, although eventually 1 was one of the top eight or, 1 can recall exactly, sixteen nationally. S: What sports did you persue other than judo and sumo? K: Only basketball, volleybaH and swimming. S: After finishing the eight-year compulsory educatIon, you entered high school. What month of 1991 did you come toJapan? K: August, August 24 to be exact, just one week before the physical checkup for the the new apprentices was conducted. S: What you said means you 1eft senior high school after completing the first year there. Did you come to Japan together with the other three youths from Brazil who joined Tamanoi-beya along with you? K: Yes, we did. S: AlI of you were from the same club? K: Except me. The other three were from the same club. S: Would you tell me what brought you to Tamanoibeya? K:. One of the three, who bec orne Azumakaze upon JOimng the sumo world, came to J apan in 1990 and stayed at the house of a family and developed a close relationship with Tamanoi Oyakata (ex-sekiwake 6
Tochiazuma). ln 1991 the future Azumakaze visited Japan for the second time and stayed here for four months. ln August 1990, one year before 1 came here, his father approached me and asked if 1 was interested in coming to J apan to seek my fortune in the sumo world. He expressed concern about sending his son alone to a place on the opposite side of the world from Brazil, saying he would be relieved if 1 would go with his son. 1 had known his son, the future Azumakaze, since 1 had talked with him on several occasions in sumo meets held there. 1 thought over it and became more interested as time passed until 1 revealed my plan to my parents inJune 1991. S: What reactions did they have-fierce opposition? K: No, they readily agreed to let me do as 1 planned, provided 1 did not create trouble for others, saying that they had no right to steer my future life since they could not bear to think of my blaming them later for the unfulfilled life 1 might lead in Brazil. They offered me the "go" signal and, furthermore, promised me to extend a helping hand if 1 had trouble. S: When you joined the sumo world in September 1991, a local newspaper issued in your hometown, Sao Paulo, carried a front-page story about you, didn't it? K: Yes, it did. S: Doesn't your sister work as a secretary for the president of the newspaper? K: Yes, you are right. You are really well informed. S: You made your debut in September 1991 and were promoted to J onokuchi for the following N ovember 1991 Tournament. You reached NO.11 Makushitain November 1993, only to fall aH the way down to Jonokuchi in November 1995 due to a lower back hernia. You went as far as NO.5 Makushita in May 1997, but were sent back down tojonokuchi for the second time inJ anuary 1999. However, you made a dramatic comeback, and finally achieved promotion to juryo in September 2000, nine years after your debut. So far your career in the sumo world has unfortunately been plagued with injuries, like the
those who are in utter desperation, and resulted in by hernia, a left wrist dislocation and a sprained right chance a majority of wins, at 4-3. ankle, but you have overcome those misfortunes and But, on the 13th day, standing at 4-2, 1 took on have demonstrated relentless fighting spirit. Kitazakura of Kitanoumi-beya and was pushed back1 would like to review what you have achieved in the ward to the edge of the dohyo before offering the sumo world, item by item, roughly in chronological final resistance against his advancing movement. 1 order. To begin with, you finished with a fine record collapsed there, feeling excruciating pain in my of 6-1 at NO.34 Jonokuchi in November 1991 and lower back and walked to shitaku-beya by dragging took part in the jonokuchi yusho playoff together my feet. 1 could no longer walk when 1 reached there. with five jonokuchi rikishi including two hailing 1 was rushed to a hospital by ambulance without from Brazil, with Brazilian Kitaazuma, also from untying my wawashi, wearing only simple thin clothTamanoi Beya, winning the yusho. Didn't you feel ing. any hesitation in taking on a fellow Brazilian? S: When did you become aware of symptoms of your K: Kitaazuma, two years older than me, was too worsening back condition? strong for me to defeat, so from the beginning 1 gave up ail hopes of winning the yusho. At that time his K: in March of that year, 1994, 1 felt something strange in my back while 1 was practicing at strength was equivalent to that of a Makushita Isenoumi-beya. However, 1 was OK after that until rikishi. So my bout with him was like that of an adult the Setember 1994 Tournament. against a child. He had become strong through pracS: You skipped five straight tournaments from Noticing wrestling while he was in Brazil. As for the vember 1994 throughJuly 1995 before returning to other rikishi from Brazil, 1 had no particular feelings the dohyo in the September 1995 basho at NO.168 in competing with them, sin ce 1 sometimes practiced with them before coming to Japan, due to the close- J onidan. How long were you hospitalized? K: For eight months, a long period. The September ness of our ages, except Kitaazuma. 1995 basho was terrible for me. S: ln that tournament, ozeki Konishiki won his secS: You finished that tournament with a losing record ond yusho with a 13-2 record; do you still remember of 2-5 and were demoted to the jonokuchi NO.13 for something about that? the last tournament of 1994 (to be continued). K: 1 can recall it vividly. To take part in the playoff for the jonokuchi championship, 1 went to shitakubeya to prepare for the yusho playoff after 3:00 PM and found the room was crowded with top division sekitori with no room for a low ranked rikishi like me because of the smallness of the shitaku-beya there compared to those in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, 1 had to stand. And 1 felt oppressed by the atmosphere, wondering what 1 should do to secure a space, when then-ozeki Konishiki-zeki addressed me, allowing me to use the area allocated to him, for preparations to appear on the dohyo. ln addition, he offered me space to keep my personal belongings. Since our heya had no sekitori at that time, we had no opportunities to go to the shitaku-beya so late in the day. For me the shitaku-beya in the afternoon looked totally different from that of the early morning. S: Have you got assistance from Konishiki-san, Akebono Oyakata or Musashimaru-zeki? K: Yes, a lot. Just a few days ago, 1 was invited to Konishiki-zeki's house for a barbecue. 1 owe them much but 1 have returned little. S: Your record of 56 wins and 28 losses, for a winning percentage of 0.66, in the 12 tournaments from November 1991 to September 1993 boosted you up as far as NO.11 Makushita for the 1993 Kyushu Basho. You remained in Makushita for a couple of years, moving up and falling down between NO.19 and Win Kuniazuma's Tegata! -Kuniazuma-zeki has given NO.35 the division, before skipping the November Sumo World three of his tegatafor readers. These are real 1994 basho, the first withdrawal in your sumo career. tegata, not the printed ones sold at the Kokugikan. To have A lower back injury prevented you from appearing a chance to win one of the tegata, send your guess as to on the dohyo, right? How did it develop? Kuniazuma's record in the Nagoya Basho by July 14 (the 7th K: When the September 1994 basho began, 1 had day of the basho). The readers who accurately predict pain in my lower back. It was so sharp that 1 could Kuniazuma's record or come clos est will be the winners. 1f not sit properly, and had to eat meals standing, but there are more than three winners, a drawing will be held to appeared on the dohyo despite the pain. 1 performed de termine the winners. P lease send your prediction by e-mail unexpectedly weil at NO.35 Makushita considering ta email@example.com to Sumo World / Clyde the poor physical condition 1 was in-probably the Newton, 1-2-16 lnokashira, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181-0001, helplessness led me to adopt a fighting style suited to Japan. 7
Reviewof "Secret Society"路 Sumo Movie by Kyoko Kawakami British women fight against malejapanese rikishi on the dohyo in Britain-this is the last scene in the film released in the middle of June, "Koi wa Hakkeyoi!" ("Secret Society"). It is directed by Imogen Kimmel and distributed by GAGA Communications. Actresses who wear mawashi and specially made supporters for their busts had to have technical training in sumo for five weeks and were instructed by Syd Hoare, Chairman of the British Sumo Federation. Hoare, who himself appears in the film as a gyoji, said they had a difficult time learning sumo's unique rituals, aside from sonkyo, shikiri and shiko. Keshomawashi and mawashi were handmade by Suzannah Buxton, a costume designer. She had studied sumo at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London for several weeks. Daisy, the heroine of the film, is as plump as a dumpling and lives in the English countryside with her husband, Ken. Since he loses his job, Daisy starts working for a local cannery and encounters sumo. The cannery has a secret sumo club that has half a dozen large women. As Daisy learns spirit of sumo and trains hard, she overcomes her inferiority complex in being fat. Ignorant of his wife's secret activities, Ken becornes deeply worried about her strange behaviour and one day follows her to the venue of her sumo training and ends up believing his wife is being brainwashed by extraterrestrials. Mariene, the head of the club, organizes a real sumo tournament against a group of male j apanese amateur competitors. Finally Ken finds out the truth and realizes that his wife is needed to join the tournament. Daisy is on the dohyo facing a male competitor. Is sumo still alien to people outside j apan as it is to Ken? According to Steve Pateman, the president of the British Sumo Federation, "the British have a lot of respect for sumo and there is a lot of knowledge about the sport among ordinary people." Francois Wahl, General Secretary of the Swiss Sumo Society and Treasurer of the European Sumo Union daims that "recently you can see something about sumo on TV every week in Switzerland, as world championships for women have been held since 1999." World championships for women started in 1999, while, world championships for men, launched in 1992, have now been held outside japan for the first time. The International Sumo Federation, which holds world sumo championships annually, currently has more than 80 member countries and territories. On the other hand, Giovanni Parutta, coach of the Italian National Sumo Team, had a hard time when he tried two years ago to open a session dedicated only to sumo in his town, which is an hour's drive from Venice. "Nobody showed up. Parents did not want to send their kids to do sumo because they believed the
kids were not sufficiently heavy. They've got limited information about sumo from TV and they didn't know its cultural background. It is not easy to spread sumo." He now coaches local kids and adults in sumo in addition to judo. "Sumo is easier to understand and safer than judo. You can concentrate on pushing your con tender rather than making him fall. So you feel at ease from the very first moment even though you know very little technique," said Parutta. Wahl admits this and sumo has the potential to be more popular outside j apan. Ali members in the International Sumo Federation are keen to see sumo recognized as an Olympie event. Parutta thinks sumo's becoming an Olympie event is good for making it more popular and making people achieve a deeper understanding of it. Wahl, who also hopes sumo becomes an Olympie event, expects it will succeed if Osaka is selected for the 2008 summer Olympics. "Sumo will become an event for the W orld Games this year. It is a good step, anyway." "Secret Society" is now showing injapan, and will be released in the United States and then Britain. Will it be a success and help boost sumo's popularity?
Akebono Intai-Zumo Tickets Go on Sale Former Yokozuna Akebono's intai-zumo tickets went on sale in midJune. To reserve masu-seki or isu-seki for the intai-zumo, to be held at the Kokugikan on Saturday, September 29, contact the Akebono Intai Hiroozumo jimukyoku at the following numbers: Tel: 03-5770-1924 Fax: 03-5770-1925 The intai-zumo will get underway at Il :00 a.m. and conclude at about 4:00 p.m. Plans are for Akebono are to perform his final dohyo-iri, flanked by fellow yokozuna Takanohana and Musashimaru. Akebono will also have his final tsuna tied on the dohyo, rather than in shitakubeya. The poster for Akebono's intai-zumo features calligraphy by his old friend, the retired 28th Tate Gyoji Kimura Shonosuke. (Continued from page 4) maximize profitability, an event company was hired to manage jungyo and corporate sponsors were recruited. However, this resulted in failure. This brings us back to the real purpose of jungyo. They provide an excellent opportunity to present sumo to outlying areas and also to recruit promising new deshi. Furthermore, sumo fans are shown things that are not presented in hombasho. And giving up jungyo just because they don't make money? However, the Sumo Kyokai has decided to resume the traditional format of jungyo and will complete the reversion to the old style of jungyo from 2003.
Natsu Basho RoundupjHi-lights Summary of the Natsu Basho Takanohana totally dominated the Natsu Basho until the 14th day, when he injured his knee in losing to ozeki Musoyama, thus giving yokozuna Musashimaru-who had climbed into second place-what appeared to be a strong chance to grasp the yusho away from him at the last moment. Takanohana's performance until the 14th day was reminiscent ofhis peak years in the rnid-1990s. Musashimaru on the other hand, got off to a rocky start by losing to new komusubi Asashoryu on the first day and to No.1 maegashira Takanowaka on the third day. After limping back to shitaku-beya in pain on the 14th day, it appeared likely that Takanohana would have to withdraw, thus losing the yusho to Musashimaru. The yokozuna had no broken bones, however, and though in very poor condition, was able to compete on senshuraku. The odds that he would be able to overcome Musashimaru were extremely slim; he was unable to raise his injured leg properly in his dohyo-iri on the senshuraku. ln his honwari bout on senshuraku, Takanohana tumbled down right after the tachi-ai as Musashimaru moved aside. The two yokozuna were thus to meet in a playoff. Takanohana cut his uninjured knee in the first bout and obviously in agony, nearly lost his balance in the shikiri prior to the playoff bout. He withstood Musashimaru's initial thrusts however, and quickly seized his opponent's mawashi. Musashimaru became rather sluggish, perhaps out of concern of further aggravating his opponent's injuries. Takanohana then moved quickly, using his last energy to throw Musashimaru off balance and come through with his 22nd yusho. While Takanohana's dramatic victory was a popular one-theJapanese always like tragic heroes-Musashimaru would undoubtedly have won ifhe had taken the offensive in the bout and kept Taka away from his mawashi. The greatest disappointment of the basho was Kaio's disastrous quest for promotion to yokozuna. ln poor condition with severe back pain, in retrospect, he would have been wel!-advised to have skipped the Natsu Basho.
Takanowaka Upsets Musashimaru - Takanowaka achieved his first kinboshi by upsetting yokozuna Musashimaru on the 3rd day.
Instead, he insisted upon competing, and took a thrashing. He finally withdrew after the 8th day, finishing with a poor 4-5-6 record. From the verge of yokozuna promotion he will slip to kadoban status inJuly, without sufficient time to get back into shape. Chiyotaikai, who had been expected to have difficulty in retaining his endangered ozeki rank, turned in a fine 12-3 record. Sorne of his wins were less than impressive, but he still managed to far surpass the performance of the other ozeki. The three Musashigawa Beya ozeki were another disappointment in May. Musoyama had his good and bad days, losing in humiliating fashion at times, and then excelling unexpectedly, such as in his upset of the undefeated Takanohana on the 14th day. He finished with a mediocre
First Setback for Kaio - Kaio lost to Kotomitsuki on the 3rd day by okuridashi. It was the ozeki s first loss in what was to be an abortive challengejĂ r yokozuna promotion.
9-6 record. Miyabiyama had only a week to train for the Natsu Basho, and being kadoban, he was thus in grave danger of losing his ozeki rank. However, while the overalllevel ofhis sumo was a far cry from that of the powerful sekiwake Miyabiyama of 1999-2000, the ozeki managed to achieve kachikoshi as early as the llth day. Dejima totally fel!apart with a 5-10 record. It was almost an upset when he defeated komusubi or sekiwake opponents. While sekiwake Tochiazuma turned in a solid, but unspectacular 9-6 record, the two komusubi stole the limelight for the second consecutive basho. New komusubi Asashoryu upset yokozuna Musashimaru and ozeki Musoyama, Kaio, Chiyotaikai, and, of course, Dejima. The Mongolian's upset of Musashimaru on the opening day was perhaps the most significant upset of the tournament. Kotomitsuki also excelle d, overcoming Miyabiyama, Kaio, Musoyama, and Dejima, to finish with a 9-6 record. His marathon struggle with Musoyama on the sixth day was the longest bout in two decades. Maegashira Higonoumi, Toki, and Kyokushuzan al! recorded 11-4records, but were not awarded sansho prizes since they achieved no real upsets. 9
Gruelling Bout - O<f!kiMusoyama and sekiwake Kotomitsuki grapple endlessly in theirflrst bout on the 6th day. After more than flve minutes of inconclusive sumo, a rematch was scheduled after a break.
Chiyotaikai Maintains Blistering Pace - Ozeki Chiyotaikai defeatedjèllow ozekiMiyabiyama on the 70th day,for his 9th win. At that point, he was only one loss between the leader, Takanohana.
Conclusion at Last - Kotomitsuki flnally overpowered an exhausted ozeki Musoyama in the rematch on the 6th day. The two rikishi grappled for a total of nearly 75 minutes.
Kachi-Koshi for Musoyama - Musayama easily bulldazes Na.5 Maegashira Tochisakae out of the dohyo on the 73th day, to secure kachi-kashi with his 8th win.
Fourth Loss for Kaio . Ozeki Chiyotaikai pulls down jèllow o<f!kiKaio on the 8th day. Kaio s record thus jèll to 4-4 and he withdrew thefollowing day.
12th Win for Takanohana - Yakazuna Takanohana easily averpowers o<f!kiMiyabiyama by yarikiri an the 72th day, ta remain undejèated at 72-0.
Musashimaru Holds Second Place - Yokozuna Musashimaru quickly overpowered sekiwake Tochiazuma by kimedashi on the 73th day, to rise into second place at 77-2.
Easy Win for Musashimaru - Takanohana falls fiat to the dohyo after the tachi-ai in his honwari (regular) bout withMusashimaru on the senshuraku. Both rikishi were thus to face each other in a 73-2 playoff.
Painful Loss for Takanohana - Ozeki Musoyama brings Takanohana s winning streak to an end on the 74th day. The yokozuna suffired a painful knee injury in the bout.
Yusho for Takanohana
in Dramatic Playoff - Yokozuna Takanohana overcomes fellow yokozuna Musashimaru by uwatenage in their playoffbout. Musashimaru looked sluggish in the playojf, enabling the almost crippled Takanohana to take the offinsive.
Natsu Basho Awards Fatal Loss for Chiyotaikai - Ozeki Chiyotaikai crumb lesunder Musashimaru s withering assault on the 74th day. It was his third loss and eliminated him from contention jĂ r the yusho.
* Yusho: * Jun-Yusho: * Shukun-sho: '" Gino-sho:
Yokozuna y okozuna Komusubi Komusubi
Takanohana: Musashimaru: Asashoryu: Kotomitsuki:
13-2 13-2 8-7
A Look Back at Tamanoumi by Andy Adams Tamanoumi was one of only four yokozuna who have died while still active, also including the 3,dyokozuna Maruyama, the 4th yokozuna Tanikaze and the 32nd yokozuna Tamanishiki. But Tama's death at age 27 was probably the most unexpected and regrettable one sin ce the other three yokozuna were all in the late stages of their careers at 34 years or older, while Tama was just hitting his peak wh en he died. Death came suddenly at age 27 while he was recovering in a hospital from a delayed appendectomy. Tama had an incredible winning percentage of .867 in his year and a half as yokozuna. Moreover, he was probably the most outstanding rikishi of Korean parentage (Tamanoumi was born to a Korean father and Japanese mother). Many sumo commentators had expected him to be among the better yokozuna of history and sorne even felt that he might even have
become a great yokozuna had he lived. Like his contemporary, ex-yokozuna Kotozakura, Tama was a judoka before ente ring sumo. He reached the rank of nidan judoka, or second-degree black belt. He actually entered Nishonoseki Beya in March 1959 at the age of 15 and for a time was a stablemate of yokozuna Taiho, but he left the heya with Kataonami Oyakata (exSekiwake Tamanoumi II), who broke away from Nishonoseki in 1962 and set up his own Kataonami Beya. It took Tama only two and a half years to gain promotion to the rank of ozeki after reaching the Makunouchi Division in March 1964, attaining sumo's second-highest rank in November '66 at the tender age of 22. Even though he was no longer in Taiho's Nishonoseki Beya, they still trained together since they were from related heya in the same Nishonoseki Ichimon. Thus, he gradually grew in power by training with the powerful yokozuna. Add to this his ashi-koshi agility and strength, and it was obvious that Tama was on his way to bigger and better things. Tama with two yusho to his credit was promoted to yokozuna along with Kitanofuji with three titles in January 1970. That climax came on the heels of a 13-2 playoff with fellow-ozeki Kitanofuji, and although Kita took the playoff and the yusho, the Yokozuna Shingi-iinkai decided to promo te them to yokozuna together just as Taiho and Kashiwado had both been promoted to the top rank a de cade earlier. It was touted as the beginning of the new Kita- Tama Jidai, and accordingly the two new stars of sumo each won two more yusho in 1970, with Taiho accounting for the other championship. Just one year later in J anuary '71, fresh on the heels of two consecutive 14-1 championships in September and November 1970, Tama found himself facing fellow-yokozuna Taiho on the senshuraku of the '71 Hatsu Basho. This was to be one of the most momentous confrontations in the history of modern sumo-between the aging, 30-year-old sempai in the twilight of his historie career and the rising, 26-yearold kohai in the blossoming of a potentially brilliant new career. Tamanoumi had lost only three bouts sirice the Aki Basho of the previous September, including one to Kitanofuji in September and to Taiho in November. Although Taiho had defeated him the last time they met on the senshuraku of the Kyushu Basho the previous November, Tama had taken his tiring rival in the playoff to capture the yusho. Now here they were again, face to face, on the last day of the Hatsu Basho. When a determined Taiho outlasted the aggressive Tamanoumi, history seemed to be repeating itself as the two rival yokozuna again moved into the playoff. But this time Tama found himselfup against a rejeuvenated Taiho as they clashed in the playoff, and after a long, protracted struggle, Tama was
An autograph ofTamanoumi when he was still Tamanoshima, probably in the late 1960s. Autographs and tegata of the ill-fated yokozuna, especially those dating from his yokozuna career, are seldom in circulation and are quite valuable.
steadily driven to the edge and was unable to overcome the Golden Boy. Undeterred by his narrow loss to Taiho, Tamanoumi bounced back in March to chalk up his third straight 14-1 record and take the yusho. AIthough he produced a strong 14-1 jun-yusho mark in May, rival Kitanofuji took the title with a perfect 15-0 record. That disappointing outcome may have inspired Tama in July, because he came through in the Nagoya Basho with the first and only 15-0 zensho yusho of his career. It was to be Tamanoumi's final tournament victory, as Kitanofuji stormed back in September with another perfect 15-0 performance and Tama had to settle for a 12-3 runnerup record. Tamanoumi appeared to be on the verge of launching his long-awaited drive to dominate sumo in the first half of the 1970s, when he finally decided to go through with his long-delayed appendicitis operation in Octo ber. Although the operation itself was successful, Tama suddenly died a several days later-apparent1y from heart failure. The story of what might have been will never be told now, but Tamanoumi will still go down in history as one of sum's outstanding yokozuna who might have achieved greatness had he lived. TAMANOUMI'S VITAL STATISTICS Birth/Death Dates: February 5, 1944-0ctober Il, 1971 Real Name: Masao Takeuchi (Iater Taniguchi) Born: ln Osaka (but brought up in Gamagori-shi, Aichi-ken) Measurements: 177 cm. (5-9 1/2) and 130 kg. (287 Ibs.) Entered Sumo: March 1959 Reached J uryo: September 1963 Reached Makunouchi: March 1964 Yusho: 6 Consecutive Yusho: 2 Zensho Yusho:1 Sansho: Shukun-sho-4 Kanto-sho-2
Sumo World Website www.sumoworld.com
Shikishima and Daiden Retire Former NO.1 Maegashira Shikishima announced his retirement on the second day of the Natsu Basho. The 30 year old Michinoku Beya rikishi had been absent since the second day of the Hatsu Basho, and had fallen down to NO.43 Makushita. Shikishima was forced to drop out in J anuary due ta a heart ailment. He has managed to slim by more than 50 kilograms since January, from 190kg to 140kg. As a result, he has recovered from the heart trouble, but at his retire ment press conference, Shikishima noted that doctors had warned him that he would be risking his life if he attempted a comeback. Shikishima will remain in sumo as Shikishima Oyakata. He has two years to find his own toshiyori name if he is to remain in sumo on a permanent basis. The humorous Shikishima stated that he is looking forward to training the young rikishi of his heya, and that he will not hesitate to advise them not to put on too much weight, like he did. Shikishima's intai-zumo date has still not been set. Former Taiho Beya Juryo rikishi Daiden also retired after the Natsu Basho, in which he had a 2-5 record at N 0.49 Makushita. The 30 year old veteran reachedJuryo for one basho in March 1994, but never returned.
Akebono Intai-Zumo Tickets Go on Sale Former Yokozuna Akebono's intai-zumo tickets went on sale in midJune. To reserve masu-seki or isu-seki for the intai-zumo, to be held at the Kokugikan on Saturday, September 29, contact the Akebono Intai Hiroozumo Jimukyoku at the following numbers: Tel: 03-5770-1924 Fax: 03-5770-1925 The intai-zumo will get underway at Il :00 a.m. and conclude at about 4:00 p.m. Plans are for Akebono are to perform his final dohyo-iri, flanked by fellow yokozuna Takanohanaand Musashimaru. Akebono will also have his final tsuna tied on the dohyo, rather than in shitaku-beya. The poster for Akebono's intai-zumo features calligraphy by his old friend, the retired 28th Tate Gyoji Kimura Shonosuke.
(Sumo World - Continued from P.2) Yen checks drawn on Tokyo banks are acceptable sa long as no handling charge is involved. We are now set up to receive payment by credit cardo (See pg. 18) AlI subscribers should print their name and address in block letters. AlI communication with Sumo World can be in either English orJapanese. NOTE: ALL MlLITARY SUBSCRIBERS ARE ASKED TO lNCLUDE THE NAME OF THE COUNTRY lN WHlCH THEY ARE STATIONED lN THElR RETURN ADDRESS-lN BRACKETS.
Intai-Zumo Held for Kotonishiki, Kitakachidoki, and Mitoizumi Photos by Clyde Newton Farewell to a Lengendary Rikishi . At his intai-zumo on June 2,former Sekiwake Kotonishiki donned his old shimekoshi for one last time, to face his friend Takatoriki. Kotonishiki has lost quite a bit of weight, and his mawashi seemed to be too largefor him. The old warrior offered a few spirited, but ineffective thrusts to Takatoriki, after which his opponent gently forced him out.
End orthe Line - Kotonishiki sits on the dohyo with flowers presented by his children after the conclusion of the dampatsushiki. Now ajun-toshiyori, he must secure his own kabu by September 2002 to remain in the Sumo World. He was originally expected to seek a career outside sumo, but he nows says he would like to stay, and will thus try tofind his own myoseki (toshiyori kabu).
Rock Singer - Rock singer Demon Kogure, an ardent sumo fan, takes his turn to eut Kotonishiki'smage. 277 men, including Governor Kodera of Kotonishiki's native GunmaKen, took part in the dampatsushiki.
Sadogatake Beya rikishi Kotonowaka and Kotonishiki are both 33; Kotonishiki made his debut in March 7984 and Kotonowaka in May of the same year. Kotonowaka will be the next Sadogatake Oyakata. But it was Kotonishiki who won two
Heavyweight Speaker - Hokkaido Governor Hori Tatsuya (left) gives the traditional address immediately prior to the dampatsushiki on June 3. Governor Hori summarized Kitakachidoki's career and expressed his hopes that Hokkaido would produce strong rikishi like Kitakachidoki in the future. With Kitakachidoki 's retirement last September, there is only one sekitori from Hokkaido, 35 year old Kotokanyu. Last Keiko - Prior to the dampatsushiki, the 35 year oldformer NO.3 maegashira, accompanied by kohai Tosanoumi, donned his shimekoshi for a last keiko session-with his liule twin sons and other children. Despite the passage of nine months since his retirement, Kitakachidoki appeared not to have lost weight. Daizen's Turn takes his turn Kitakachidoki's Both rikishi started in 7987 as 75 and olds.
Tomebasami - Sadogatake Oyakata (ex- Yokozuna Kotozakura), Kotonishiki's mentor, makes thefinal eut. Kotonishiki constantly smiled and appeared totally relaxed during his dampatsushiki.
Terao - Terao represents the rikishi of the Tokitsukaze Ichimon. At 38, Terao has outlasted al! his contemporaries, and even younger rikishi like Kitakachidoki.
Daizen to eut mage. together 76year
Rijicho - Tokitsukaze Rijicho makes his eut right befOre the end. The most senior oyakata from the retiring rikishi 's ichimon lift up the entire mage to make their cut; everyone else Just snips hair around the mage without touching it. Tomebasami
Kokonoe Oyakata - ExYokozuna Chiyonofuji cuts Mitoizumi 's mage near the end of the ceremony. The 46-year-old Kokonoe Oyakata is from the same ichimon as Mitoizumi.
Isenoumi Oyakata (exsekiwake Fujinokawa) makes the final eut on Kitakachidoki's mage. 326 men took part in the ritual.
Mitoizumi's younger brother, fOrmer Juryo rikishi Umenosato cuts his brother 's mage. The two brothers competed on the dohyofor a total of 42 years. Umenosato retired thisJanuary at 36. Thanks to Fans - After the end of the ceremony, Kitakachidoki, jOined on the dohyo by his twin boys, bowed in each direction from the dohyo to thank his fans fOr their support. He is staying with his heya as Katsunoura Oyakata.
Final Bout with exTsukebito - Mitoizumi goes through the shikiri fOr the last time with his fOrmer tsukebito Toki. Very much out of shape, Mitoizumi was ousted in less than a second. End of an Era - A record 475 men eut Mitoizumi 's mage in the longest dampatsu in history-two hours. At the end, the veryfrail KONISHIKI - Former Takasago Oyakata (ex-Komusubi Fujinishiki) made thefinal eut. Ozeki Konishiki takes his Takasago Oyakata reaches the Sumo Kyokai retirement age of 65 turn to eut Mitoizumi 's next March, and Mitoizumi is a leading candidate to succeed him mage in the dampatsuas head of the heya. Mitoizumi had difficulty holding back tears as shiki. Konishiki and Takasago made the tomebasami, orfinal eut, onJune 9. Mitoizumi were close friends as rikishi and were the stalwarts of Takasago Beya from the mid-1980s to 1990s.
Akebono - Akebono Oyakata takes his turn. Mitoizumi was Akebono 'sfirst tachimochi.
New Nishikido Oyakata - At the end of the day, after a quick haircut, the new Nishikido Oyakata setfOot on the dohyo again to thank his fans fOr their support over the years. 15
Now: Sumo Magazines (IV) By Clyde Newton
The period between 1970 and 1976 saw the transition from the Hakuho Era to the brief Kita-Tama Era of Kitanofuji and Tamanoumi, and from there to the Rinko Era of Wajima and Kitanoumi. At the beginning of this period, there were only two Sumo magazines-Sumo and Ozumo, however, by 1975, there were four, with the addition ofthe English-language Sumo World and NHK's Sumo magazine in the spring of 1975; the same four sumo magazines that publish today. The 1970s saw the increasing use of color; from just a few pages per issue at the beginning of the decade, to full color sections at the end. Circulations rose in the mid-70s with the rise of the very popular Ozeki Takanohana 1.
Left-Yokozuna Taiho depicted on the February 1971 coyer of Sumo. This was Taiho's 32nd and final yusho. Right-Yokozuna Tamanoumi appeared on the April 1971 coyer of sumo, after winning his fifth yusho in the Osaka Basho in March. He died at 27 in October of that year, after only 10 basho as yokozuna.
Left-Yokozuna Kitanoumi is shown on the October 1972 coyer of Sumo. He won his 9th yusho, with a 15-0 record in the September tournament of that year. RightYokozuna Kotozakura won his fifth-and last yusho inJuly 1973, and appeared on the August 1973 coyer of Ozumo. 16
Left-The October 1974 issue of Sumo depicted Yokozuna Wajima. Right-The April 1975 issue of Ozumo featured ozeki Takanohana, who won his first yusho in March. He was phenominally popular at the time and the April issues of Sumo and Ozumo completely sold out in a few days.
Left-Sumo's June 1976 issue depicted yusho winner Kitanoumi. Kitanoumi's promotion to yokozuna after theJuly 1974 basho marked the beginning of the Rinko Era. Right-Maegashira Kaiketsu as shown on the October 1976 coyer of Sumo. He was ozeki twice and won hiramaku yusho in September 1976 with a 14-1 record.
Left-In September 1972, Andy Adams published Sumo Rankings, the first of its kind in English, and the forerunner . of Sumo World. Right-The first issue of Sumo World in January 1973 depicted Takamiyama, as did the September 1972 pre-issue.
Meishobu Revealed YokozunaT aka1WhanavsY okozunaMusashimaru (uwatenage) 15thDay (senshuraku) May 2001 PlayoffBout
Frame 1-Musashimaru (left) humiliated Takanohana in the first bout; easily stepping aside and winning by tsukiotoshi.
Frame 2-Barely able to walk, Takanohana returned to the dohyo to face Musashimaru in a playofffor the yusho. During the shikiri, his knees buckled and he almost lost his balance.
Frame 3-The badly battered Taka (left) absorbed fierce thrusts from Musashimaru. Musashimaru's arm is coated with blood seeping from Taka's wounds.
Frame 4-The moment of truth as Takanohana grabbed Maru and applied his last reserves of strength to twist around his opponent. Musashimaru had become strangely passive.
5-Taka twisted Maru around. Musashimaru's balance was out of synch.
Frame 6-Leaning precariously on his damaged knee, Taka lifted Maru off his feet and threw him down on the dohyo in a heap.
Frame 7-The moment ofvictory
as TakanohanĂ walks away from the defeated Musashimaru. The devlish look on Taka's face appeared in newspapers throughout the country.
With one knee heavily bandaged and the other still bleeding, Takanohana celebated his 22nd yusho with his supporters in shitaku-beya after being awarded the Tenno Shihai. Winning the yusho despite being in such po or condition made Takanohana a popular victor. His walkingwounded victory was reminiscent ofthat Wajimain November 1973 and Chiyonofuji in March 1989. Both yokozuna were absent on the final day of the tournament, having clinched the yusho the previous day. But Takanohana, despite being in extremely poor condition actually competed for the yusho on the senshuraku and won. (CN photo).
Juryo Results By Mark
NO.1 Kitazakura won the Juryo yusho with an excellent 13-2 record, narrowly edging out No. 5 Oginishiki, who finished as runner-up with a 12-3 mark. After the Il th day the race for the yusho had narrowed to Kitazakura and Oginishiki who at 9-2 were two steps ahead of Minatofuji, Juzan, Oikari, and Wakatoryu who were tied for third place with 7-4 records. Kitazakura went on to win his last four bouts to take the yusho while Oginishiki was dealt his third loss by Shimotori on the 13th day, losing his share of the lead. ln a normal tournament 12 wins would have been sufficient to take the yusho but Oginishiki got sorne consolation as his 12 wins will win him promotion back to Makunouchi inJuly. After losing two out of his first three bouts Kitazakura moved into high gear, winning the next 12 matches in a row. Kita has suddenly come to life in the last three tournaments winning 10, 9 and 13 bouts after his return to the J uryo. He will be promoted to Makunouchi after over 14 years in the lower divisions. His 13 wins will probably win him promotion to Maegashira No. 8 or 9, so he will have little difficulty avoiding demotion back to theJuryo next tournament. Although Kita used to try to get into an advantagous position before going for the kill in his bouts, his new strategy of taking the offensive as he moved into a commanding position o bviously paid off. Kitazakura commented that rather than worry about the result of his matches he concentrated on each bout. Oginishiki will be promoted back to Makunouchi after only two tournaments in the Juryo. He sat out the March tournament after his injury in the January basho. Oginishiki looked washed up in the bouts he lost, and he admitted he felt his strength had declined. It is ironic that Kitazakura who entered sumo together with Oginishiki in 1987 March is at the peak of his strength. Brazilian Kuniazuma was one of the early leaders with a 6-1 record after the 7th day but only managed to win two bouts after that, winding up with an 8-7 mark. The other Brazilian in J uryo, Wakaazuma, who barely gained promotion to Juryo with a 4-3 mark at NO.4 Makushita last tournament seemed to be out of his depth in Juryo and only managed to win four bouts. Minatofuji won promotion back to Makunouchi with a fine 10-5 record at NO.3 Juryo. At one point it seemed likely he was destined to stay inJuryo, but he came back from a 3-4 record to win 7 out of the last 8 bouts for a 10-5 mark. No doubt Minato wanted to finish the tournament knowing he had won promotion back to Makunouchi with his wedding to Makoto Kanaya scheduled for June 16. NO.3 Wakatoryu seemed headed for promotion to Makunouchi with a 6-1 record going into the 8th day but it was ail downhill after that, and to make matters worse he injured his right knee in his bout with Kobo on the 14th day, and had to miss the last
day of action, winding up with a 7-8 record. Ex-Komusubi Hamanoshima was injured on the 13th day, ending his string of 805 bouts without an absence. He finished with a 5-9-1 record. Another former Makunouchi rikishi, Aogiyama turned in a disappointing 5-10 record atJuryo No. 2. Tamanokuni (No. Il 6-9) is falling back to Makushita together with Wakaazuma and Sumanofuji. Kinkaiyama, Tomonohana and Tamarikido will stay inJuryo at their present ranks as their injuries in the March tournament were recognized by the Sumo Kyokai.
Behind the Curtain By David
At this Nagoya basho, the sumotori stepping out from behind the curtain have all be there before. Ali three are from large heya: Takasago, Dewanoumi, and Musashigawa. Although we have seen them in the Juryo ranks before, this could be the tournament where one of these rikishi starts a streak that could le ad to an extended stay in the paid ranks. Let's begin with this writer's favorite, Senshuyama, who posted a respectable 5-2 record at NO.l Makushita in the Natsu basho. Senshu has been in and out of Juryo since his debut there last year May. He will turn 26 years old in September, so he really needs to put things together soon, if he hopes to someday debut in Makunouchi. His height of 177cm. is a slight disadvantage, but he has bulked up over the past few years to 132kg. ln the N atsu basho he was .500 againstJuryo-ranked competitors. Senshuyama lost to NO.11 Juryo Tamanokuni by kimetaoshi on day 7, then won against NO.11 Sumanofuji by yorikiri on day Il. He is a tsuki-oshi man and in recent tournaments has won most frequently by oshidashi. From Dewanoumi-beya, the Natsu basho Makushita title winner with a 7-0 record at the rank of No.2, Towanoyama, returns toJuryo for Nagoya. This was the second Makushita title he has won, the last time was back at the 1999 Ham Basho. He certainly has the size to move throughJuryo, at 190cm and 168.5kg. His first visit in front of the cUl-tain was way back in May 1999. Towa faced oneJuryo rikishi last basho-No.13 WakaazumaJ13, whom he defeated by yorikiri. Towa favors migi-yotsu, like Yokozuna Takanohana. Towanoyama is not in the same category as Taka, but sin ce he is only 23 years old, with a lot of effort and a little luck, he still has a chance to one day face Taka on the dohyo. Our finalJuryo returnee is from the other Yokozuna's heya-Musashigawa-beya. 26 year old Buyuzan debuted inJ uryo the same tournament as Senshuyama, at the Natsu basho of last year. He is also a tsuki-oshi rikishi like Senshu. Like Towanoyama he has the weight and height to remain inJuryo for a long stretch, at 181cm. and 153kg. One attribute he does not share with the other returnees is that he entered sumo after graduating from university. Buyuzan must get a great deal of support and advice from the five Makunouchi rikishi in his heya. It would seem that ofthe threeJuryo returnees, Buyuzan could be expected to have the best chance of remaining inJ uryo the longest.
With three rikishi getting back in front of the curtain and no retirements, it can be expected that three sekitori will be going back behind the curtain. Not only will these three be putting their silk mawashi into a box, to hopefully use again, but also they will be surrendering all the perks that come with being in the paid ranks. First of all, Wakaazuma, who posted a weak 4-11 performance in May, lasted for just one basho in Juryo. It took Waka, aJapanese issei from Sao Paulo, Brazil, almost 10 years to get in front of the curtalll, from his sumo debut way back in September 1991. Like Senshu, he is small and light, 176cm and 124kg, so no one should be shocked that he fell back into Makushita. Obviously, he has the heart and determination to cIimb back up toJuryo again. No.IIJuryo Tamanokuni and NO.I0 Sumonofuji both had makekoshi with 6-9 records and should be joining Wakaazuma back in the Makushita ranks. A quick glance at the final standings of the Juryo in the Natsu Basho shows that both NO.13 Tamarikido and NO.12 Tomonohana were absent, suggesting that they should be heading back to Makushita. However their kosho (public injury) status will allow them to remain in J uryo for the Nagoya Basho. This will give the crowd favorite Tomonohana one more chance to win at least 8 to remain in front of the curtain.
Keep Your Eyes On ... Kitazakura By Clyde
Kitazakura is finally about to make his mark at 29, more th an 14 years after his debut. He is the only new Makunouchi rikishi in July, following his superb 13-2 yusho at No.IJuryo in May. Born in Usakita-ku in Hiroshima on December 15,1971, Kitazakura is the son of a former Tokitsukaze Beya Makushita rikishi, Toyozakura, and the eIder brother of the current Toyozakura, now ranked in Makushita, but a former Juryo rikishi. Kitazakura and Toyozakura are in different heya and even different ichimon- Toyozakura belongs to exOzeki Kirishima's Michinoku Beya. Initially Toyozakura appeared to be the more promising brother, but he has had frequent injuries in recent basho. Now, close to 30, Kitazkura is abruptly showing great promise, perhaps even to the extent that he must be considered a potential future Sanyaku rikishi. . As a boy, Kitazakura, whose real name 1SMuko Hidetoshi, was strong at judo. He took up judo in the first grade of elementary school and kept it up until he graduated from junior high. ln his second and third years of junior high, he won the prefectural judo championship in Hiroshima-ken. He never practiced sumo, but became interested a~ter browsing through sorne old photos of h1Sfather III h1Sdays as a rikishi. He was recruited by Kitanoumi Oyakata in early 1987 and made his debut in March of the same year, along with Takanonami and Oginishiki. Whereas Takanonami and Oginishiki reached
Juryo in 1991, Kitazakura's progress on the banzuke was far slower. He reached Makushita early, in January 1991, but did not arrive inJuryo untilJuly 1998. Achieving sekitori status just as Kitanoumi's Beya's then Makunouchi stalwart, Ganyu, began to decIine, Kitazakura initially appeared unlikely to go beyondJuryo. Seemingly strong enough only to hold his own in the bottom of the division, he had makekoshi in 9 of the Il basho in which he competed in Juryo betweenJuly 1998 and September 2000. However, he was a changed man when he returned to the division for the fifth time in January 2001. He achieved a 10-5 record inJanuary, 9-6 in March, and 13-2 in May. . Kitazakura attributes his current success to h1S ability to use his orthodox yori tactics effectively. He is a large rikishi at 188 centimeters and 173 kilograms, and has now has the power to match his bulk. He takes a large handful of salt during the shikiri, much like former sekiwake Mitoizumi, and he is now nicknamed Salt Shaker II. Kitazakura loves movies and is a fan of Sharon Stone. He also enjoys drinking, but in moderation for a rikishi, since he typically consumes only two or three bottles in a sitting. His shikona is derived from the Kita of Kitanoumi and Zakura of his father, the first Toyozakura. How far will Kitazakura go? With his present selfconfidence and power, he has the potential to hold his own in Makunouchi. 19
Nagoya Basho Preview
Musashimaru Favared ta Take 9th Yusha By Mark Newton With Takanohana likely to be sidelined in the Nagoya basho, Yokozuna Musashimaru is favored to take his first Emperor's Cup since September 2000, as he likely to face little serious opposition. Musashi's only real competition is likely to come from Chiyotaikai, who should be in top form. Not much can be expected of the other four ozeki as Kaio and Dejima will have their hands full hanging on to their ranks, while Miyabiyama is unlikely to pop out of his lethargic ways any time soon and Musoyama looks set for another lackluster performance. It is unlikely that Tochiazuma, Wakanosato, and Kotomitsuki can go beyond 10 wins. Musashimaru will be anxious to put last tournament's final day fiasco behind him and take the yusho after playing the villain at the end of the Natsu Basho. ln sorne of the worst sumo ever seen on the senshuraku, Musashi seemed preoccupied with avoiding further aggravating Takanohana's injury in both bouts, and this cost him the yusho, and made a hero out of Takanohana while Musashi was in the unenviable position of being criticized for whatever he did. Taka should have withdrawn and spared the public the sight of a yokozuna in obvious pain just going through the shikiri, let alone the actual bouts. By winning his ninth yusho, Musashi will 'have an opportunity to show he really is the top gun in sumo today. At 219kg, Musashi's mobility in the dohyo is not what it was when he was lighter, but he makes up for it with his ability to fight on the mawashi now. Musashimaru needs to avoid lapses of concentration, like those that cost him two bouts in the May basho. His losses to Asashoryu and Takanowaka could have been avoided if he had been more careful. Musashi needs to get through the first week with one loss at most. He needs to be careful with Wakanosato, Kotomitsuki, Tochiazuma, Asashoryu and Tochinonada. Takanohana is unlikely to compete in the Nagoya tournament as he had not been able to do any keiko as of mid-June. It is not clear yet how badly he injured a ligament in his right knee, but he will probably not want to risk a more serious injury by competing. Even if he does compete he will probably not be a factor in the race for the yusho. At most he would probably win 10 or Il bouts. Although a lack of training was expected to hold Chiyotaikai down to 8 or 9 wins in May he set a blistering pace, staying in competition for the yusho down to the wire, finishing third with a 12-3 record. With a few exceptions though, Chiyo's sumo was po or, as he won most of his bouts by pulling down his opponents or sidestepping them in the course of his bouts. Chiyo could take a few hints from exyokozuna Hokutoumi who had a similar physique, but had sorne of the best oshi-zumo (pushing) seen for years. With Chiyo likely to be in top shape it will 20
be interesting to see whether he tries to drive his opponents out, or engages in hataki (slapping down) and sidestepping tac tics. Either way Chiyo is likely to win Il or 12 bouts. Every tournament Musoyama tells the press he is not happy with his performance as an ozeki. Although a linge ring back injury has taken its toll, Muso doesn't seem to have the stability to become a serious yokozuna candidate. He can be counted on to win 9 bouts every tournament, and once in a while Il or 12. As he came in for sorne criticism for wearing his mawashi somewhat loose in his bout with Takanohana on the 14'h day of the May basho, it is likely that he will be under pressure to tighten his mawashi inJuly. Expect another 9-6 performance. Miyabiyama managed to avoid losing his rank with 9 wins in May, overcoming a still healing fractured finger injury. ln addition to lacking fighting spirit and self-confidence, Miyabi fights like an ozeki who is over the hill, in the twilight of his career. ln fact in sorne of his bouts with lower ranked opponents it is hard to tell which rikishi is the ozeki. Expect another 9-6 performance. As he is likely to be in reasonably good shape for the first time this year there is an outside chance, though, that he could surprise everyone with Il or 12 wins. ln retrospect Kaio should have sat out the May tournament. His back injury in keiko with Asashoryu before the N atsu Basho was worse than expected, and had he continued competing in the tournament he might have had difficulty making his eight wins. He will probably be going into the Nagoya basho with little if any keiko, so 10 wins may be as far as he can go but he should have no difficulty hanging on to his rank. Dejima seems to be on the verge of losing his ozeki rank. Injuries, over-reliance on his tachi-ai and a drop in his self-confidence have taken a heavy toll on Dejima. It is hard to believe Dejima is an ozeki these days. It will be touch and go whether he can save his rank in Nagoya, but is likely to pull through once again with 8 wins. The two sekiwake, Tochiazuma and Kotomitsuki are capable of upsetting any of the ozeki and yokozuna. Both are likely to win 10 bouts and upset sorne of the ozeki. It is getting hard to call Koto's victories over the Musashigawa ozeki trio upsets these days. ln fact it would be an upset if two of them could defeat Kotomitsuki. Komusubi Wakanosato is likely to get back into the groove with ten wins and launch his bid for ozeki promotion. Asashoryu is gradually bulking up, and now tips the scales at 131kg. Expect sorne exciting sumo from him again. He should get his 8 wins. ln the lower maegashira ranks Kaiho and Tokitsuumi, Chiyotenzan and Tochinohana could win in double figures, and stay close to the lead during the first week.
MA Y 2001 MAKUNOUCHI lst Day (Winner-Loser) Kyokushuzan-Wakakosho Daizen- Takatoriki Toki- Tochinohana W akats utom u - Hamanishiki
Tamanoshima -Miyabi yama Takanohana-Tochinonada
Higonoumi-Asanowaka Aminishiki -Akinosh Terao- Kotonowaka Otsukasa-Kyokutenho Jumonji- Tokitsuumi Kaiho- Takanonami
5th Day WakatoryuTochinohana Daizen- Toki HamanishikiTakatoriki
Hayateumi- Tochisakae Tosanoumi- Tamakasuga ChiyotenzanTamanoshima ChiyotaikaiWakanoyama MiyabiyamaTakanowaka Tochiazuma-Dejima Wakanosato-Musoyama Kaio- Tochinonada Asashoryu- Musashimaru TakanohanaKotomitsuki 2nd Day Takatoriki-Ki
KyokushuzanToki Tochinohana-Daizen Higonou mi -Hamanishiki Wakatsutomu-Asanowaka Aminishiki -Terao Otsukasa-Akinoshima J umonji- Kotonowaka KyokutenhoTokitsuumi Tochisakae-Kaiho Takanonami-Hayateumi WakanoyamaTamakasuga WakanosatoTochinonada Kaio- Takanowaka Chiyotaikai -Tochiazuma Kotomi tsuki -Mi Yabi y ama Asashoryu-Musoyama TakanohanaTamanoshima M us as himaru -Chiyotenzan 3rd Day KyokushuzanTakatoriki Tochinohana -Hamanoshima Toki-Hamanishiki Wakatsutomu-Daizen Higonoumi- Terao Kotonowaka-Asanowaka Aminishiki-Otsukasa Kyoku tenho- Akino shi ma Tochisakae-J umonji Hayateumi- Tokitsuumi Tamakasuga-Kaiho TakanonamiTosanoumi TochiazumaWakanoyama Musoyama- Tamanoshima Kotomitsuki-Kaio ChiyotaikaiTochinonada Mi yabi y ama-Chi yotenzan Wakanosato-Dejima Takanow aka -M il sash mafU
Takanohana-Asashoryu 4th Day Kyokushuzan-Daizen Aogiyama- Takatoriki Tochi no h ana - Ham anishiki Toki-Aminishiki WakatsutomuTerao Asanowaka-Otsukasa Higonoumi-Kotonowaka Akinoshima-J umonji Kyokutenho-Kaiho TokitsuumiTochisakae TakanonamiTamakasuga Hayateumi- Wakanoyama TochiazumaTosanoumi ChiyotenzanDejima Musoyama- Takanowaka Asashoryu-Kaio Chi yotaikai -Kotomi ts uki
6th Day Daizen-Minatofuji Toch inohana- K yo ku sh uzan Toki-Wakatsutomu Takatori ki - Asanow aka Akinoshima -Haman ish iki Higonoumi-Otsukasa Jumonji-Aminishiki
Terao- Kaiho KotonowakaToki tsuumi TochisakaeTakanonami HayateumiKyokutenho W akanoyam a -Chiyotenzan Tochiazuma-Asashoryu Chiyotaikai -Tosanoumi MiyabiyamaTamakasuga Dejima- Tamanoshima Kotomits uki -Mu soy am a Wakanosato-Kaio Takanohana-Takanowaka MusashimaruTochinonada 7th Day Wakatoryu-Daizen TochinohanaTakatori ki Aminishiki -Kyokushuzan Toki-Akinoshima Kotonowaka -Hamanishiki Wakatsutomu-Otsukasa Kyokutenho-Higonoumi TokitsuumiTerao Kaiho-Asanowaka Jumonji- Tamakasuga TochisakaeTamanoshima Tos an ou mi-Ch iyotenzan WakanosatoTakanonam i Kaio- Wakanoyama Chiyotaikai -Takanowaka Miyabiyama-Asashoryu Kotomitsuki-Dejima Tochinonada-Musoyama M usashimaruHayateumi TakanohanaTochiazuma 8th Day Minatofuj i- Takatoriki KyokushuzanHigonoumi AsanowakaHamanishiki Daizen-Aminishiki Toki-Terao AkinoshimaWakatsutomu KotonowakaTochinohana Otsukasa-Jumonji Kaiho- Tokitsuumi TakanonamiTamakasuga-
HayateumiTamanoshima Takanow aka -Chi yoten zan TochiazumaTochinonada Musoyama- Tosanoumi Chiyotaikai-Kaio MiyabiyamaWakanosato Asashoryu-Dejima TakanohanaWakanoyama MusashimaruKotom itsuki
KyoknshuzanWakatsutom Higonoumi-Aminishiki Akinoshima-Asanowaka Otsukasa- Terao KotonowakaKyokutenho Takanonami-J umonji Hayateumi-Kaiho TamakasugaTokitsuumi TochisakaeWakanoyama KotomitsukiTochinonada MiyabiyamaTosanoumi Takanowaka-Dejima Musoyama-Chiyotenzan Kaio- Tochiazuma Asash oryu -Chiyotaikai MusashimaruTamanoshima TakanohanaWakanosato
u 9th Day Takatori ki-Hamanoshima WakakoshoHamanishiki Aminishiki - Tochi nohana Kyokushuzan-Aki noshima Asanowaka- Terao Otsukasa-Daizen Toki-Kyokutenho Wakatsutornu-J umonji KotonowakaTakanonami HigonoumiTochisakae TokitsuumĂŽTamanosh ima Kaiho-Chiyotenzan Asashoryu- Takanowaka Toch iazuma-Kotomitsuki Musoyama- Tamakasuga Hayateumi-Kaio ChiyotaikaiWakanosato MiyabiyamaTochinonada MusashimaruTosanoumi Takanohana-
lOth Day WakakoshoTakatoriki Daizen- Hamanishiki A sano w aka - Ami nishiki Akinoshim a - Higonou Kyokushuzan-Otsukasa KotonowakaToki
Tochinohana-J umonj i KyokutenhoWakatsutom TamanoshimaTerao Tosanoulll i -Kai ho Tokitsuumi Kotomitsuki
Toch i non ad a - Asas horyu WakanosatoTochiazuma Tamakasuga-Dejima Musoyama- Takanonami Chiyotaikai -M iyabiyama Takanohana-Hayateu mi MusashimaruTochisakae llth Day Aogiyama- Hamanishiki HigonoumiWakatsutomu Takatoriki-Aminishi ki Daizen-Akinoshima Kotono w aka -Kyo ku s h uzan Tochinohan a-Kyokutenho Toki-Jumonji Asanowaka- Tokitsllumi TosanollmiTamanoshima ChiyotenzanTerao Otsukasa- Wakanosato Kotom itsuki-Asashoryu TochiazumaTalllakasuga Toch inonada- Takanowaka Miyabiyama-Kaiho Chiyotaikai -Dej ima Mlisoyama-Hayateumi MusashimaruTakanonalll i TakanohanaTochisakae 12th Day Tochinohana-
Wakats u tomll
Haman ishi ki -Haru noyama HigonoumiToki Asan 0 waka - Minatofllj i Am inis h iki - Hamanoshima AkinoshimaTerao Otsukasa- Takatoriki Daizen- Tokitsuumi
Toch isakae- Kyokush uzan Tamakasu ga -Kyoku tenho J umonji-Ch iyotenzan Tosanoumi- Takanowaka TakanonamiKotomitsuki Wakanosato-Asashoryu TamanoshimaTochinonada TochiazumaMusoyallla Chiyotaikai -Hayateumi Dejima-Kaiho Takano h an a - Mi Yabiy ama Musas hi m aru - Kotonowaka 13th Day Daizen-Oginishiki Takatoriki -Wakatsu tomu Kyoku tenho- A s anow aka Jumonji- Terao Kaiho-Otsukasa TakanonamiTochinohana AminishikiTamakasuga KyokushuzanTosanoumi Tam anoshima - Hamani shi ki A kinoshima- Takanowaka Toki- Wakanosato Asashoryu- Kotonowaka KotomitsukiHigonoulll i Tochinonada - Ch iyotenzan Dejima-Tokitsuumi Musoyama- Tochisakae Miyabiyama-Hayateumi MusashimaruTochiazllma Takanoh an a - Chiyotaikai 14th Day Sentoryu- Takatoriki Asanowaka-Daizen HamanishikiTerao AkinoshimaTochinohana Otsukasa-Kotonowaka Kyokushuzan-Jumonji Kaiho-Aminishiki WakatsutomuTokitsuumi Toki- Tochisakae HigonoumiTmakasuga Chiyotenzan -Kyoku tenho TakanowakaTamanoshima KotomitsukiWakanosato Hayateumi-Asashoryu Tosanoumi- Tochinonada Tochiazuma -Miy abiyama Takanonami-Dejima Musoyama- Takanohana Musashimaru-Chiyotai kai 15th Day Minatofuj i- Wakatsutomu Higonoumi-Daizen Toch inohana-Otsukasa Jumonji- Takatoriki Kyokushuzan-Takanonami Toc h isakae- Kyoku tenho TamakasllgaTerao Tosanollmi-Asanowaka Tamanoshima-Kaiho Haman i sh iki -Ch i yotenzan TakanowakaToki tsuumi Wakanosato-Aminishiki Asashoryu-Akinoshima Toki-Kotomitsuki Hayateumi- Tochiazuma KotonowakaMi Yabi y ama Dejima- Tochinonada Chiyotaikai-Musoyama M usashimaruTakanohana Playoff Takanohan
a -Mu sashimaru
3-4 Absent4-3 6-1 4-3 Komahikari Ushiomaru 4-3 7-0* 3-4 1-6 2-5 5-2 3-4 1-7 Makushita Tanaka 4-11 13-2* 4-11 Absent** 2-13 Y okozuna Musashimaru 13-2 4-115-10 4-5-6 5-10 MA 5-10 11-4 13-2*5-10 Absent** 7-812-3 6-9 5-9-1 10-5 7-8 6-9 8-7 9-6 6-9Y 2001 RESUL Sekiwake Tochiazuma 9-6 9-612-3 5-102-6-7 7-8 4-117-8 Toyozakura Makushita 26457938110 Wakakinryu Towanoyama Otoryu Saigo NISHITS Absent 8-7 Makushita Kasuganishiki Juryo 5313 Daishi Maegashira Miyabiyama 579114 Tokitsuumi Kotonowaka Akinoshima Takanonami Kyokutenho Aminishiki Maegashira 1213 Il10 Takatoriki Hamanishiki Tochinohana Asanowaka 112 Kitazakura Juryo JOzeki uryo Juryo 796428Il 10 Masutsuyoshi Yotsukasa Kinkaiyama Hamanoshima Kuniazuma Sentoryu Wakatoryu Tamanokuni Sumanofuji Tomonohana Wakaazuma Maegashira Komusubi Asashoryu 23468Takamisakari Takanowaka Tosanoumi Hayateumi Chiyotenzan Musoyama 31