Haru Banzuke Weekend!

It’s the weekend that sumo fans have waited 6 weeks for – the time when the banzuke for the upcoming Haru Basho in Osaka is published. We expect it to appear some time around 4:30 PM Eastern US time on Sunday, and we will of course bring you coverage, including one of our world famous Tachiai podcasts.

Our own prognosticator, lksumo, has already gazed into his formula and produced his forecast, but who knows what is actually going to be published?

Leave your forecasts, predictions and wild guesses in the comments.

18 thoughts on “Haru Banzuke Weekend!

    • Origin of the actual name: the cat was kind of adopted by Arashio oyakata a little prior to Sokokurai’s arrival there. Sokokurai came from Inner Mongolia, speaking mostly Mongolian and probably Mandarin, and had to go through the usual pains of both rigorous sumo training and being alone in a foreign country. So he took some comfort in the cat, calling “Cat, cat, come here” etc.

      “Cat” in Mongolian is “Muur”. The oyakata asked him what “Muur” means, he said “cat”, so the oyakata said “It’s a good name, let’s call it that”. Only, of course, in Japanese you can’t actually pronounce the Mongolian “u” or a silent “r”, so it was rendered as “Moru” and that’s its name to this very day – the sign next to its perch in the keiko-ba at Arashio beya, where it always oversees keiko, says “Moru Oyakata”.

      As for why Bruce calls it “Mole Boss” – well, I guess it’s because the word “mole” would be rendered exactly the same in Japanese – “moru”.

      The heya also has one younger cat named Mugi. Unlike Muur, who is an oyakata and hangs mostly around the keiko-ba, Mugi prefers the deshi dormitory. There is also a dog named Sankichi, who gets to travel to regional basho.

      • Thanks so much! I just found out (via Wikipedia article about Arashio Beya) that there is a book about these two kitties! (Unfortunately it does not seem to be available anywhere I can find.) Article here: http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003600664

        Now if Bruce should just explain the Great Sumo Cat of the Kokugikan for me…, Is it a divine protective spirit? Is it physically manifested in the formidable looking kitty that Hakuho is hugging here? https://tachiai.org/2018/04/30/natsu-banzuke-bruces-comments/

      • Herouth is right, as usual. As you can see, someone made a tegata for him. If I could get one of those, I would frame it and hang it above even Takayasu’s (but not Takamiyama)

        As to why he’s the “Mole Boss”, I am trying to recall where that came from. Suffice to say, he is the most powerful real cat in all of sumo.

        He is also the scion of the oft mentioned “Great Sumo Cat of the Kokugikan”, who is more of a spiritual force than an actual feline. The legends say that he favors some rikishi from time to time. There are other legends that say it’s really the spirit of Futabayama’s cat, and others say it was Raiden’s closest feline friend… but no one is quite sure.

        • Thank you so much! I wonder how one gains the favor of the Great Sumo Cat of the Kokugikan – whether it’s a matter of offerings (catnip incense?) or a reward for good deeds toward kitty-kind. Very interesting in any case!

  1. My prediction. News media will feature a big picture of Hokutofuji grinning and pointing at the banzuke.

    • I do in fact lose it on the podcast recorded tonight. Andy made it a point of yanking my chain declaring that Shodai would take the yusho. I am once again going to need to season and grill my own buttocks should that happen.


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