Japanese figure skating 2019-20 season news & updates

Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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JGP assignments to date:

Men (6 spots in 7 events)
Yuma KAGIYAMA (Courchevel)
Shun SATO (Lake Placid will be his JGP debut)
Kao MIURA (Riga, JGP debut)
(No man in Chelyabinsk)

Ladies (14 spots total)
Nana ARAKI (#1 Courchevel & #4 Chelyabinsk)
Tomoe KAWABATA (Courchevel)
Mana KAWABE (Lake Placid, JGP debut)
Azusa TANAKA (Lake Placid, JGP debut)
Rino MATSUIKE (Riga, JGP debut)
Rion SUMIYOSHI (Riga)
Yuna AOKI (Chelyabinsk)

Ice Dance
Utana YOSHIDA / Shingo NISHIYAMA (Lake Placid, JGP debut)

Listed subs so far:
Ladies: Moa IWANO, Chisato URAMATSU
Men: Sena MIYAKE, Tatsuya TSUBOI
Dance: Ayumi TAKANAMI / Yoshimitsu IKEDA
 

Marco

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Side story: Yuzuru Hanyu's Chinese name 羽生結弦 is subject to a few trademark registrations in the PRC, one of which is a leather goods company. Fans have raised this to Yuzuru's representation / sponsor All Nippon Airways which responded that they were aware and had been successfully striking down those applications.
 

rosewood

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rosewood

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Jack Gallaghar's interview with Rafa.

His assistant (translator) posted a time table. Thanks.
coach philosophy 5:09
Hanyu is Unbeatable? 11:05
Mischel Kwan 12:43
Marin Honda 19:10
Eun soo Lim leave 31:10
Nathan and Pooh 44:45
Nathan and School 48:50
Gogolev 51:05
Rafael's future 58:48
Memory of Mao and Japan 1:01:0
 
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Jeschke

#teamtrainwreck
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Jack Gallaghar's interview with Rafa.
So the summary of Honda's situation according to Raf:
  • hard for JPN skaters living abroad
  • he had a 2yrs plan for her
  • he says something, she does something else; not sure if on purpose or because she does not understand
  • seems he thinks she is lacking the hunger (as far as I understood)
  • it's problematic now, as he has no clue in which shape she is coming back and how long he will need to get her in shape.
  • communication is not that great (seems not much contact right now as she is away)
  • Taichi (brother) is scheduled to come back in september (but focuses on college)
 

Firedancer

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Jack Gallaghar's interview with Rafa.

His assistant (translator) posted a time table. Thanks.
Thank you! Raf is a little hard to understand for a lot of it. But this was a really great interview.
 

Colonel Green

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Raf mentions that his program is basically full right now, but that he has a list of people in his head that he'd love to work with and he'd make room for those people regardless -- I guess we'll learn if Shoma is on that list.
 

rosewood

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Raf mentions that his program is basically full right now, but that he has a list of people in his head that he'd love to work with and he'd make room for those people regardless -- I guess we'll learn if Shoma is on that list.
That's my thought, too. But on another hand, I got an impression Rafa loves Gogo so much that he can't afford to add Shoma on his student list. What do you think?

Rafa said in the end of his interview that he always wish Mao to come to his rink and show her skating to his students. Mao's very much busy these days but I wish she'll do so in the future. Visiting his rink and seeing how Rafa is working as a coach must be useful for her if she wants to be a coach after she quit skating in shows.
 

feraina

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Rafael said he’d love to have a young girl who has the potential to learn 3A and quads. I’d love to see Alysa Liu go to him and learn them properly. Sometimes undoing bad technique is harder than starting from scratch. Unfortunately Alysa has a single dad and four younger siblings. I just can’t see how they could all move to Irvine.
 

Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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Jack Gallagher also wrote earlier articles on the 2 other top Japanese contenders in Courchevel:

Yuma Kagiyama looks to continue father's legacy (August 15, 2019)
Excerpt:
The native of Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, has a solid relationship with his dad, who was a three-time Japan champion and represented the Hinomaru at the 1992 Albertville Games (where he was 13th) and the 1994 Lillehammer Games (where he came in 12th).
“I respect my father as a skater. He is also a good father,” Kagiyama commented. “Expression is my strength. My jumps are not as good as my expression.”
Despite that proclamation, Kagiyama believes that the quality of his quads is improving.
“This season I have good balance on my quad jumps,” Kagiyama noted. “I want everybody to look at my expression and quad jumps this season.”
...
“My goal this season is to win the Japan Junior Championships,” Kagiyama remarked. “Then I can go to the world junior championships and the Youth Olympic Games.”
The article also includes a bit about Shun Sato, Shiika Yoshioka winning the Kanto Summer Trophy over Kawabata, and Shoma Uno working with David Wilson.

Top junior Tomoe Kawabata poised for a breakout season (August 8, 2019)
Excerpt:
If Kawabata wins the domestic junior title this season, it would be no surprise. She talked about the upcoming campaign at the recent national junior team training camp at Chukyo University.
Kawabata made a late coaching change last month to join Yukina Ota, the 2003 world junior champion, and Yutaka Higuchi at the Meiji Jingu rink in Tokyo and addressed the move with media at the camp.
She had been working under legendary coach Shoichiro Tsuzuki, who was an early mentor for two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, for the past several seasons in Yokohama.
“I read an article where Coach Higuchi said, ‘Looking at flowers can be utilized in skating,’ and it had a lot that I liked and it made me want to get better with this coach,” Kawabata stated, when asked about the transfer.
 
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rosewood

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Rika Hongo's fan club revealed that they received a message from her which says she'll sit out of this whole season. She decided it by discussing with her coaches. She'll try her best to come back next season. :(
 

Jeschke

#teamtrainwreck
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Rika Hongo's fan club revealed that they received a message from her which says she'll sit out of this whole season. She decided it by discussing with her coaches. She'll try her best to come back next season. :(
Didn't Rika just switch to CAN to train with Nagai's former coach at the end of last season?
Is she back to JPN now?
(or am I totally wrong here?)
 

rosewood

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Didn't Rika just switch to CAN to train with Nagai's former coach at the end of last season?
Is she back to JPN now?
(or am I totally wrong here?)
Yes, she's trained in Vancouver under Nagai's former coach since last October. Here is a link to a podcast interview with Rika which was uploaded two months ago. She talked about her training/life in Vancouver. Try this.
 

ostile17

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During the press conference after the open rehearsal of FOI 2019, Daisuke Takahashi announced plans for the season. He is planning to participate in one of the Challengers Series competitions, West Japan and Japan Nationals.
His aim this season will be making the podium at Nationals.

Raugh translation, sorry

A short clip from his new SP "The Phoenix"
 

rosewood

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Komatsubara announced Ko/Ko withdrew from Autumn Classic. The reason is she suffered concussion twice within a short term. She also had external injuries in her head and neck. She said she'll do her best with rehab. Wish a quick and complete recovery!
 

nimi

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Rika Kihira is now headed to Canada for Autumn Classic, and there are articles:

A fan twitter account has translated some bits of this interview. Basically, Rika seems to be in good condition and she currently plans to include the 4S and two 3As in her FS.
The final decision about whether to include the 4S will be made with coach Hamada, depending on how her practice goes.


Also, if you haven't already seen Rino Matsuike's bronze winning FS from JGP Riga, do yourself a favor and watch it! She's very musical.
 
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rosewood

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After finishing the first three JGP events here are some remarkable results.

Yuma Kagiyama won a gold in men's field at JGP #1 (234.87 1 1).
SP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1YbX6EsOtU
FS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK40WxI6IJg

Shun Sato won a gold in men's field at JGP #2 (217.12 1 1)
SP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idpmTdz_svE
FS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WsOKXiDzQU

Nishiyama/Yoshida debuted in JGP series in ice dance at JGP #2 and placed 6th (139.75 6 5)
RD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PL6JmbzXMrM
FD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DObGEghQgrE

Rino Matsuike debuted in JGP series in ladies' field at JGP #3 and won a bronze (193.03 4 2)
SP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiZBKZtm6Qw
FS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn29fv9L1OY

Honorable mention: Kao Miura who moved to Nobuo Sato from this off-season made his debut in JGP series at #3 event. Yay! Mr Sato is back on the international scenes.
 
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all_empty

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oleada

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From Jackie Wong:

During my Oakville adventures for Autumn Classic, I got to visit with the pair teams coached by Bruno Marcotte and Meagan Duhamel - of note, the new pairing of Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara. Only 1mo in and already lots of potential, could very well be a top 10-15 pair this season
 

Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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Yuzuru Hanyu makes winning start to season in Canada (Rika Kihira's Autumn Classic win is mentioned at the end): https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2019/09/c2fc8e55d120-figure-skating-yuzuru-hanyu-makes-winning-start-to-season-in-canada.html
"I was in good shape until I got here and that's what disappoints me," said Hanyu. "I would really like to have skated without making any mistakes."
Speaking to reporters after the competition, Hanyu opened up for the first time about the possibility of participating at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
"I can't say for certain, but I want to be the strongest version of myself at all times, and I hope it is something that comes (as a possibility) in the future," he said. "I will compete if I keep skating until (the 2022 season)."
But he added that he would rather not take part if he doesn't feel at his best and capable of victory, adding that his current goal is simply to become the first skater to land a quadruple axel.
"I noticed that I've been skating just to nail the quad axel. That's what I live for," he said.
 

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