Japanese figure skating 2019-20 season news & updates

Sylvia

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Thank you for the correction! (It was a copy and paste error by me.)
...
Notable scores from the Eastern Section (Senior and Junior) Championships last weekend:
...
... Junior Ladies was won by Shiika YOSHIOKA 2 2 151.74.
1. Mone CHIBA 3 1 160.94
 

denise3lz

Active Member
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Yuhana Yokoi(1 1 204.70) won Western Section Senior Ladies and qualified to National with 11 other skaters.

Ayaka Hosoda(19 15 141.02) landed 3A in SP and FS but missed other jumps, finished 16th and could not qualify.
Reportedly she has pain on her hip.
 
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haribobo

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MEN- (200+) bold = international scores/skaters, unbold are from sectionals
Yuzuru Hanyu 322
Shoma Uno 255
Keiji Tanaka 250
Yuma Kagiyama 245
Sota Yamamoto 240
Kazuki Tomono 229
Shun Sato 219
Koshiro Shimada 216
Mitsuki Sumoto 209

Ryuju Hino 207
Shu Nakamura 200
Taichiro Yamakuma 200

LADIES (160+)
Rika Kihira 230
Satoko Miyahara 204
Kaori Sakamoto 202
Rino Matsuike 193
Yuhana Yokoi 191 (204 @ Sectionals)
Nana Araki 181
Wakaba Higuchi 181
Marin Honda 179
Tomoe Kawabata 177

Rin Nitaya 176
Chisato Uramatsu 171
Sakura Yamada 166
Mana Kawabe 163
Mako Yamashita 163

Rino Kasakake 163
Yuka Nagai 162
Yura Matsuda 162
Yuna Shiraiwa 161
Rion Sumiyoshi 161
 
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clairecloutier

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I just saw this tweet, which says that Mai Mihara is hospitalized and that “everyone is worried because she was so thin,” but it also says her condition may be improving.


I’ve been missing Mai this season. :(
 
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rosewood

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I just saw this tweet, which says that Mai Mihara is hospitalized and that “everyone is worried because she was so thin,” but it also says her condition may be improving.


I’ve been missing Mai this season. :(
This article has a bit more detailed info about Mai's current status from Coach Nakano.

(my rough translation)
Coach Nakano(at IdF): When I left home [for IdF], she was still hospitalized. I can't say anything for sure at this point. I'll talk with her after I'm back in Japan. I heard she changed her medicines, too. I don't have any info about how it's working right now, though. That said, my impression is things are going in the right direction. Her current status is her body doesn't absorb nutrients. It does NOT mean anorexia. Lots of people are worrying about her being "thinner", but I can tell you she eats good amount of foods.

____

I guess the side effect of the medicines for her chronicle disease did something wrong to her digestive organ. I googled and it said that it's often the case. Wish the new medicine works well for her. Get well soon, Mai!
 

oleada

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IIRC, Mai has a form of arthritis (rheumatoid?). They are often correlated with other auto-immune diseases like Crohn’s. My husband has both psoriatic arthritis and Crohn’s disease. It can be very debilitating if you can’t get the right treatment. I hope she can find what works for her :(
 

Simone411

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So sorry to see this news about Mai. Sending thoughts and prayers her way for healing and hope she's better soon. 💞💓
 

rosewood

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IIRC, Mai has a form of arthritis (rheumatoid?). They are often correlated with other auto-immune diseases like Crohn’s. My husband has both psoriatic arthritis and Crohn’s disease. It can be very debilitating if you can’t get the right treatment. I hope she can find what works for her :(
(((oleada's husband & Mai)))
Yes, she has juvenile idiopathic arthritis (rheumatoid). Last off-season she was struggling with the side effect of medicines, too. She changed her medicines and things went well. But since this past off-season things are going much serious so far compared to last season. I don't know what's actually wrong with her but maybe her medicine didn't fit her again since Coach Nakano said "She changed her medicines." It sounds she's going through trial and error in medical treatments for years. Hope she'll find any treatment that fits her current status well. Wish all the best for her and oleada's husband!
 
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GarrAargHrumph

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Do we have any news on Shoma Uno and his search for a coach? My daughter is asking. We just watched his free skate from Trophee Something de France. She was distressed.
 
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Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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Do we have any news on Shoma Uno and his search for a coach?
An article was summarized here: https://twitter.com/figureskatingm1/status/1191168443954823168
Rather than returning to Japan from France, Shoma Uno will spend about a week training with Stephane Lambiel in Switzerland before heading to Russia for Rostelecom [next week].
ETA an optimistic-sounding quote:
 
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MAXSwagg

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I actually think that part of the issue is that his poor jump technique is finally starting to catch up with him. A jump coach won’t help much at this point, imo. He’d have to do a Mao and spend a few seasons trying to completely rebuild his technique starting with singles. Maybe it helped Mao a little bit but her technique was okay and no where near as wonky as his.
 

rfisher

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(((oleada's husband & Mai)))
Yes, she has juvenile idiopathic arthritis (rheumatoid). Last off-season she was struggling with the side effect of medicines, too. She changed her medicines and things went well. But since this past off-season things are going much serious so far compared to last season. I don't know what's actually wrong with her but maybe her medicine didn't fit her again since Coach Nakano said "She changed her medicines." It sounds she's going through trial and error in medical treatments for years. Hope she'll find any treatment that fits her current status well. Wish all the best for her and oleada's husband!
rheumatoid arthritis can be very difficult to deal with and each person is different. Medicines can work well for a while and suddenly stop working. I had a classmate in college who became completely disabled from rheumatoid arthritis and it seemed to happen very quickly. I hope Mai has a much better outcome and finds a regime that works for her. There's much more at stake than her skating career.
 

barbarafan

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rheumatoid arthritis can be very difficult to deal with and each person is different. Medicines can work well for a while and suddenly stop working. I had a classmate in college who became completely disabled from rheumatoid arthritis and it seemed to happen very quickly. I hope Mai has a much better outcome and finds a regime that works for her. There's much more at stake than her skating career.
ITA .. my nephew got it when he was 11. AT first they tried to give him the medicine on every 2nd day as it stops you from growing as well as compromising your immune system. It was not enough for him so they switched it to lower dosages each day.
 

all_empty

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That's really a shame to hear about Mai Mihara and Ayaka Hosada, two skaters who had great performances at Nationals last year.

I'm not holding my breath for Marin Honda, but this sounds like an excellent chance for Wakaba Higuchi to get back on the World team (and certainly Four Continents) if she's skating well. Any updates on her?

I suspect we may see Kihira-Sakamoto-Miyahara trio, which I'm fine with, especially since I like their material this year.

Ironically, Yuhana Yokoi is right there in age (19) even though this is her first season competing full senior internationally.
 

rosewood

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It was nice to see Ryuichi Kihara's very nice comeback to competitions. At NHK Kihara/Miura team looked a magical match. :cheer2:
SP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOjs5cw_fVY
FS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=To8K3WImNqo
Result http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1920/gpjpn2019/data0390.htm

ETA:
His comeback story (in Japanese)
 

miffy

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I was so impressed by Miura and Kihara! If this is their first big competition I think they have an exciting future. They will also improve Japan’s chances in team events. They seem to really enjoy skating together and their sheer delight at their scores was lovely to see :cheer2:
 

all_empty

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Just realized this is Yukina Ota sitting in the Kiss N Cry with Tomoe Kawabata. She looks great.


Shiika Yoshioka skated to "Lyra Angelica" -- the first skater to use this music to my knowledge outside Michelle Kwan with none of the precision, unfortunately. She used just one piece of music instead of cutting it with Satie.


I'm wondering if they'll send an age-eligible senior to Junior Worlds instead.
 
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Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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@denise3lz posted the full results of JUNIOR Nationals in the Kiss & Cry section here:
https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/2019-20-japan-national-qualifying-domestic-competitions.106094/page-2#post-5688194

Men top 9:
Yuma KAGIYAMA 251.01 1 1 (171.09 FS w/ 4T2T, 4T, 3Aeu3S) [FS Video]
Shun SATO 213.20 3 2 (139.01 FS w/ 4Lz<< fall, 4T2T, 4T) [FS Video]
Lucas Tsuyoshi HONDA 194.75 4 6 [FS Video]
Tatsuya TSUBOI 192.77 6 3 [FS Video]
Nozomu YOSHIOKA 184.35 9 5 [FS Video]
Yuto KISHINA 183.57 2 12
Sena MIYAKE 180.56 5 11
Kao MIURA 180.40 15 4 (too bad his FS wasn't televised; refer to his 2019 JGP Riga Cup videos)
Shingo NISHIYAMA 8 8 175.94 (JR ice dance champ)

Ladies top 10:
Mana KAWABE 193.57 1 1 (128.62 FS w/ 3A) [FS Video]
Tomoe KAWABATA 178.95 2 2 (FS video linked above)
Hanna YOSHIDA 167.86 10 3 (3A in FS) [FS Video]
Momoka HATASAKI 164.95 8 4 [FS Video] (Novice A champ)
Shiika YOSHIOKA 163.63 4 7 (FS video linked above)
Mone CHIBA 161.59 7 6 [FS Video]
Chisato URAMATSU 158.28 11 5 [FS Video]
Moa IWANO 157.92 6 11
Rino MATSUIKE 156.70 3 14
Azusa TANAKA 153.93 5 13

Articles:
ETA:
https://twitter.com/sponichiyamato/status/1196041111501856769
Sponichi (sports paper) writer tweeted:
Youth Olys: Yuma Kagiyama, Mana Kawabe, Utana Yoshida/Shingo Nishiyama
alternatives: Shun Sato, Rino Matsuike

Sr Nationals:
men: Yuma Kagiyama, Shun Sato, Lucas Tsuyoshi Honda, Tatsuya Tsuboi, Nozomu Yoshioka, Yuto Kishina
ladies: Mana Kawabe, Tomoe Kawabata, Hanna Yoshida, Shiika Yoshioka, Mone Chiba, Chisato Uramatsu
 
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rosewood

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It was nice to see Ryuichi Kihara's very nice comeback to competitions. At NHK Kihara/Miura team looked a magical match. :cheer2:
SP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOjs5cw_fVY
FS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=To8K3WImNqo
Result http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1920/gpjpn2019/data0390.htm

ETA:
His comeback story (in Japanese)
(my rough summary of excerpts from the Japanese article published after Sectionals)

Kihara: In the end of July, after Miura/Ichihashi split, I got an offer. At the time I was working back in [my former home rink] Howa Sports Land. My job was to deal with rental boots as well as to keep night watch. I hadn't experienced such work before and I enjoyed it a lot. Honestly speaking I didn't have any idea to make a comeback as a pairs skater. I even had a plan to go on vacation in August. Then I got a sudden offer. On 21st August I flew to Toronto, Canada. I went there without any preparations. I didn't even have my proper visa.

Kihara: (Re Miura) She is a determined skater who can overcome fears. It's easy for me to skate with her since she tries something new without hesitating due to fears.

Miura: Kihara gives me a great sense of security. He told me he'll never drop me during lifts. These days I even feel it's OK to fall down. (laugh) Since I feel so safe, I don't care to fall down. (laugh)

Kihara: Please stop that! (laugh)

Kihara: (Re coaches) Bruno Marcotte, Meagan Duhamel and another coach Brian are teaching us. We have former ice dancer coaches who brush up our programs, too. We have five coaches in total in our team. The coaching system is completely different from that of Japan. Until last season we were the only pairs team in our team. But this season we have eight pairs teams in total. I'm not alone in the locker room. My rink mates cheer me up when I'm facing difficulties. When our team had something wrong that we couldn't deal with well during daily training, our rink mates exchanged our partners to discover what's wrong with us. We could immediately find out what's wrong with us and our coach told us how to correct it. Before I worked with my current coaches, it used to take long time to improve, since we were the only pairs team in our team and we were unable to check the issues by exchanging partners. It's so easier now. "Oh, there is such a useful method!" I felt. It's so fun to learn a lot in Canada.

Kihara: (Re this season) We moved to Meagan Duhamel this season. She used to do acrobatic tricks when she was competing. I want to learn such tricks from her and introduce them to our programs in the future. That said, we're just a brand-new team. We focus on receiving minimums and not on difficult stuffs for now. Our coaches agree with us. We'll aim at receiving minimums at NHK.

Kihara: (Re concussion) It was May when I completely recovered from the concussion. In those days I was training as a singles skater. My jumps were getting better. However, I was struggling in finding my motivations. Once I had an idea to make a one-year comeback as a singles skater and then retire. It was such a period when I got an offer from Miura.

Kihara: (Re injury in his wrist/shoulder) My wrist is completely OK now but my shoulder is not yet. That said, my doctor said I don't need rehab any more. Comparatively speaking, I don't have any particular part in my body where I feel notable pains. My coaches Meagan and Bruno pay attention to my health. I'm avoiding overwork.

.....

Miura: (re Olys) When I was a junior skater, I thought Olys are great stages where people over clouds skate. I didn't even imagine that I aim at making it to Olys. But now I'm in the place where I can say that I want to reach the great stages.
Kihara: The weak point of both of us is mental toughness. There are cases where our weakness comes out during daily training. We need to improve in the aspect. Otherwise we can't expect much in our future. Honestly speaking I think we are doing very well as a brand-new team who started skating together just two month ago. That said we haven't reached the scores to expect on the Sr level. Skating in Olys is our big dream which we cannot reach if we stay on our current level. Considering we need to earn the spot for Olys, I think high qualities in daily training are needed from now on.

Kihara: (re ideal team) At this point we are not on the same level as Meagan's team used to be in their era. We aim at taking over what they did. If she approves. (laugh)
 
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rosewood

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Wakaba landed a 3A during a show practice a while back and she lands it (during training) now again.
 

Marco

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Is it me or is Japanese ladies as a whole a bit of a disappointment so far this season, Rika aside? Satoko is getting a lot of UR calls and Kaori is popping all over the place. Mai is injured and Wakaba is still inconsistent. And let's not even get into Marin. All the 2018 hopefuls are kinda becoming extremely underwhelming.

Here's hoping for a return to form for these wonderful ladies.
 
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Tak

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It is not just the Seniors, the Junior Ladies in Japan looks like a Field Hospital after a major battle!
IMHO, only Tomoe Kawabata (and Chisato Uramatsu) skated reasonably well and remained relatively healthy during 2019-2020 JGP season. It was so bad that JPN did not have any Ladies competitors to send to JGP #7 in Egna.
Mana Kawabe: Just returning to competitive form. Came back with 3Ax!
Hana Yoshida: Ditto, Always had 3Ax.
Rino Matsuike: Injured after the first JGP assignement and not yet back to competitive form.
Nana Araki: Recently injured and not yet back to competitive form.
MIA includes Yuna Aoki (reportedly due to broken left ankle) and Rinka Watanabe (Only 3rd in Tohoku/Hokkaido Regional Junior: Edited to add, According to newspaper report I found, "Rinka lost her motivation when JSF declined to send her to JGPs after test skate in May, in spite of her landing all her jumps. She is just beginning to have her motivation back in August after competing in Gensan Summer Cup.")
Even in Novice A, only Momoka Hatasaki (and Kinayu Yokoi) maintained tip-top competitive form.
Sara Honda: Last season she was so good, but evidently struggling to overcome "puberty monster" now.
The question is why so many injuries, now?
Since the Russian "Tsunami" was clearly visible and it was expected to arrive in 19-20 Senior Season, IMHO, JSF has upped the ante for the Junior/ Novice Ladies skaters to be classified as "world competitive". Now it seems 3Lz/3T is a must, and 3Ax or Quads are also being required. At recent Junior Nats, three 3Ax were landed, one (Kinayu Yokoi) with negative GOE, two (Mana and Hana) with positive GOE.
It is hoped that Mana Kawabe (Junior Nats winner and confirmed to compete at Junior Worlds) and her team-mate will skate well enough to regain three slots and to maintain JGP slots at the Junior Worlds!
 
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Colonel Green

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It definitely was not a banner season so far, especially on the junior circuit where the Japanese ladies were on the back foot (though in compensation, the Japanese junior men were showing signs of life after the last few really troubled seasons), but whatever else is happening, Japan has Rika, who is arguably the only non-Russian senior lady who really "matters" at the moment when talking about Grand Prix Final and World medals.

Satoko is in the middle of a big transition in terms of coaching/technique, so while missing the Final is a disappointment, winning a silver medal isn't too bad a deal under the circumstances.
 

Tinami Amori

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Wakaba landed a 3A during a show practice a while back and she lands it (during training) now again.
:biggrinbo old saying "those who seek, will always find". Wakaba started landing them (in practice) in 2017. Now she is regaining it, good girl!
 

ostile17

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A much needed new ice rink and skating trainig center in Japan will soon open its doors.

In fact the New Kansai Ice Arena (KANKU Ice Arena) is finally completed!!!

Very conveniently located in Osaka (Izumisano City) near the Kansai International Airport, it has a main rink (30X60) and two minorr rinks. Built to hold main international events such as worlds, GPF, 4CC etc.

It will officially open as a training center on January 2nd. On December 29 and 30 the arena will be open for free to the locals.

The opening Ceremony will take place on December 25, with an exhibition with the following skaters:

Daisuke Takahashi (involved in the project since the very beginning), Satoko Miyahara, Rika Kihira, Kazuki Tomono, Keiji Tanaka, Ayaka Hosoda, Moa Iwano, Yuna Shiraiwa, Shu Nakamura, Sena Miyake and more.


 

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