[sumo] Henka

Harold Shaver hal6671 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 23 11:10:23 EDT 2016

<rant> Agreed, there in Japan there are degrees to everything and the
dreaded "henka" is no exception. Even Yokozunas are not immune. I have  seen
Asashoryu, Harumafuji and even the vaunted Hakuho apply this technique,
albeit rarely. For the most part done at the level it is a subtle thing
almost a "was that a henka or not". But in the case of Aminishiki it is
never subtle and likewise in the case of Goeido it is never subtle. And in
the two previous bouts this basho he did absolutely seem proud of what he
had just done and that sort of action is what truly angers me about henka at
the Sanyaku level. It is one thing in the waning days of a basho with kachi
koshi on the line and desperation setting in but quite another to just admit
that as an Ozeki you cannot save your rank while kadoban without resorting
to this technique not once but three times in one basho.

One possibility would be to all additional lines to each end of the shikiri
sen at say 45 degree angling toward the east and west sides and if a rikishi
mad a move that put him at or past those lines at the tachi ai it would be
an illegal inashi or a henka and they would forfeit.

On the other hand, one could argue that for wrestlers to be employing the
henka they haven't received the proper instruction from their Oyakata during
their careers. And as well, it could be argued that if you have managed to
last long enough in Ozumo to achieve Sanyaku rank you should have developed
a knowledge base of your opponents and be expecting certain rikishi to
literally do anything at the tachi ai and act against them accordingly. I
have seen many henkas fail to achieve their objective because the attacking
rikishi was aware of all the possibilities and persevered.

In any case it is a moot point because the move, which is not a recognized
winning technique after all, cannot be banned as such. No one ever has henka
listed as their win, it usually ends up as hatakikomi or some such.


Hal "Chisaiyama" Shaver

-----Original Message-----
From: sumo-bounces at webtrek.com [mailto:sumo-bounces at webtrek.com] On Behalf
Of "Doreen Simmons"
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 6:35 AM
To: sumo at webtrek.com
Subject: Re: [sumo] Henka

No Ben, I think your remarks are entirely reasonable. A lot depends on the
rank of the player and how desperate he is.  A search will find that almost
all the conversation about henka cones from foreign enthusiasts. 


>While it would be nice to see better sumo, banning henkas would be tricky I
think. Just how much of a shift at the tachiai would constitute a henka? How
would you judge whether the amount they shifted violated the rule or not?
While some henkas are blatant and unquestionable, there is such a big gray
area, I think instituting a ban would be impossible. It's probably why they
have never been banned, just frowned upon and booed when too blatant. That's
my two cents anyway, I'm sure there are plenty on this list with a better
understanding than me.
>> From: jeffand at regent.edu
>> To: sumo at webtrek.com
>> Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 19:48:02 +0000
>> Subject: [sumo] Henka
>> Watching Moti's videos of the daily bouts, I am saddened to see all the
henkas happening in Makuuchi this basho, especially by Goeido and
Aminishiki. What do you all think - do you think that the Kyokai should ban
henkas? No one likes them and no one at the venue wants to pay to see that
kind of sumo.
>> Best regards,
>> Jeffrey Anderson
>> Gaijingai
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