Japanese figure skating 2020-21 season news & updates

rosewood

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Under current circumstance the annual local summer event will be held in a small size.

Kanto Summer Trophy 2020
Aug 8, Shinyokohama Skating Center
*organized by Kanto block prefectural feds (Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Yamanashi, Nagano)
*Only SP in 6th level Jr ladies field (programs should be based on ISU's Jr rules) will be done.
 

Sylvia

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I've posted a Yukari Nakano update (she is the mother of 2 children now!) in a separate thread: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/yukari-nakano-update.107381/

Clip of Lucas Tsuyoshi Honda (11th in Senior/3rd in Junior at Nationals) doing a Rippon3Lz: https://twitter.com/lakessports/status/1281366336434651136
Recently, I can sometimes jump with both hands raised! I was glad that I couldn't do it easily because it was a practice to be aware of how to use the shoulders required for the initial rotation.
 

Tinami Amori

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Just an FYI: only reposting what's published. did not check the japanese press.

Russian popular newpapers/sport sections (over 10 publications) are re-quoting Sports24 news info that Rika Kihira will not train with Brian Orser. The reason is travel and visa restrictions between Japan and Canada. But she also is not planning to go to Orser after the travel and visa restrictions are lifted.

 

rosewood

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Just an FYI: only reposting what's published. did not check the japanese press.

Russian popular newpapers/sport sections (over 10 publications) are re-quoting Sports24 news info that Rika Kihira will not train with Brian Orser. The reason is travel and visa restrictions between Japan and Canada. But she also is not planning to go to Orser after the travel and visa restrictions are lifted.

I've seen no Japanese articles based on Japanese source. I read an article which translated the Russian article which you posted here, though. Rather, how reliable is Russia's Sports24 as a news source?
 

rosewood

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Adding to Kanto Summer Trophy (in my post #32), two other annual summer local competitions were announced to be held. Those competitions are the ones where skaters can earn minimums (for Regionals, 6th level ladies= SP 35, FS 57).

Tokyo Summer FS Competition
Date/place: Aug 29-30, Tokyo
Segments: Sr&Jr (based on ISU rules)=SP only, Novice A&B (based on JSF rules)=SP FS only, 6th level ladies=skaters enter to SP or FS (based on ISU rules)

Osaka FS Championships
Date/Place: Aug 29-30, Osaka
Segments: Sr(7th level or higher) & Jr(6th level or higher)=FS only, Nv A(ladies 6th level or higher, men 4th level or higher)=FS only, Nv B(ladies 5th or higher, men 3rd or higher)=FS only
*Access to stands can be restricted.
*This competition can be cancelled.

____

In April JSF changed the criteria for Regionals entries. Ladies with 6th level but no 7th as well as old enough to enter to Sr field but want to enter to Jr field need to earn minimums below in specified competitions. Earning either of the two is enough.
SP=35, FS=57
 
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denise3lz

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Tokyo Summer FS Competition
Date/place: Aug 29-30, Tokyo
Segments: Sr&Jr (based on ISU rules)=SP only, Novice A&B (based on JSF rules)=SP only, 6th level ladies=skaters enter to SP or FS (based on ISU rules)
Novice A&B is FS only.


In April JSF changed the criteria for Regionals entries. Ladies with 6th level but no 7th as well as old enough to enter to Sr field but want to enter to Jr field need to earn minimums below in specified competitions. Earning either of the two is enough.
SP=35, FS=57
Junior ladies requirement was Lv 6 until 2017-18 season.
Then JSF rose to Lv 7 for Sr age skaters from 2018-19 season.

The change is likely to reduce entries enough to handle Regional competition.

For instance, Kanto Regional Junior Ladies
In 2017, It had 85 entries. SP competition had 15 groups 10 hours.
In 2018, It had 51 entries. SP competition had 9 groups 6 hours.
In 2019, It had 45 entries. SP competition had 8 groups 5 hours.

This season JSF loose requirement a bit, if you could score corresponds to maximum of 24th places score at 6 Regional of last season,
you can compete even if Sr age and Lv 6.

I found few Lv 6 skaters cleared these minimums at Inter High School competition in February.


(Required jump for Lv 7 is two kinds of triples, for Lv 6 it is double Axel.)
 
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seabm7

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Japan Skating Federation will not send their athletes to JGP and CS series:


This notice has the detail:

It seems JSF gave up the entire JGP series and the first half of CS series up to Budapest Trophy.
 
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rosewood

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Novice A&B is FS only.
:duh: I should have taken a second look before I posted. Thanks.

Japan Skating Federation will not send their athletes to JGP and CS series:


This notice has the detail:

It seems JSF gave up the entire JGP series and the first half of CS series up to Budapest Trophy.
JSF's announcement says (via the second link posted) due to ******** they cancelled sending their skaters to the whole JGP series and the listed five CS competitions: Asian Open Trophy, Autumn Classic International, Nebelhorn Trohphy, Finlandia Trophy and Budapest Trohphy.

ETA:
This article mentions further info. The main reasons were 1) risks to be infected by the ***** 2) 14 days quarantine regulation which skaters are given when they are back home from abroad.
 
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Sylvia

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Final sentence machine translates as "The target is the [CS] Asian Cup (China) whose due date is undecided."
Does that mean it's still a possibility, depending on if/when it's re-scheduled?
 

seabm7

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Final sentence machine translates as "The target is the [CS] Asian Cup (China) whose due date is undecided."
Does that mean it's still a possibility, depending on if/when it's re-scheduled?

The Google machine translation is not correct. Somehow, this translation divided one super-long sentence into two sentences, even though there was no period in the middle. The Papago Japanese - Korean translation says

Concerning the B-class Challenger Series, September-scheduled Autumn Classic (Canada), Nebelhorn Cup (Germany), October-scheduled Finlandia Cup (Finland), Budapest Cup (Hungary), and date-undecided Asian Cup (China) are the affected targets.

Here "target" means relevant event.

(note: I changed the English translation to emphasize the order of words.)
 
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rosewood

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Final sentence machine translates as "The target is the [CS] Asian Cup (China) whose due date is undecided."
Does that mean it's still a possibility, depending on if/when it's re-scheduled?
The last sentence sounds to me that they just cancelled sending their skaters to the named competitions and the undecided date is not a big deal. The fact that the article tells is that JSF cancelled sending skaters to the named competitions. The article explained the schedule of all the other competitions and added in the last sentence that AC's schedule is still undecided.
 

Sylvia

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Today at the new Kanku Ice Arena in Osaka is a senior training camp (follow this thread with English translations):
... On the ice now (for the media?) are Yuma Kagiyama, Shun Sato, Rin Nitaya, Mitsuki Sumoto, and... Mai Mihara!

Mai Mihara ran through her “It’s Magic” [short] program—sounds like without jumps, but according to the following tweet, practiced 3S after.
Attending JSF senior training camp:
*It’s normal that not all skaters attend, so it’s not necessarily alarming if a top skater’s absent.
Group A Keiji Tanaka Wakaba Higuchi Yuhana Yokoi Tomoe Kawabata
Group B Yuma Kagiyama Shun Sato Mitsuki Sumoto Rin Nitaya Mai Mihara
 

Sylvia

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Kaori Sakamoto has a new short program, choreographed remotely by Benoit Richaud. She’ll keep her Matrix free skate.

This article says she’s at the senior training camp, although she wasn’t listed in another publication’s tweet of attendees—so unclear how many skaters are there.
Link to the Kaori Sakamoto article:
 
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rosewood

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Group C:
Kazuki Tomono, Sota Yamamoto, Kaori Sakamoto, Rino Matsuike

ETA:
BTW, according to the updated schedule of Aichi prefecture federation, events below were crossed out (so far).
Nagoya City FS Competition (July 3-5), National Novice Scouting Camp A&B (July 10, 14), THE ICE Aichi show (Aug 2-3), Western Japan Elementary-Jr High School FS Competition (Aug 6-8), Gensan Summer Cup (Aug 10-13), JGP Japan (Sep 16-19)
 
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rosewood

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Shun Sato: https://twitter.com/fskating_Life/status/1285475492766683136
SP, Pirates of Caribian (4T combo, 4Lz, 3A)
FS, Battle of Kings (4Lz, 4S, 4Tx2)
*ETA: This article says both of his programs were choreographed by Richaud.

Kagiyama: https://twitter.com/fskating_Life/status/1285472310774751232
SP, Take 5 (choreo by Misao sato)
FS, from Princess Mononoke ST (choreo by Misao Sato)

Mai Mihara: https://twitter.com/fskating_Life/status/1285486062328922112
SP, It's Magic (continue)
FS, Fairy of Forest + Galaxy (Lori Nichole choreographed for Mai's last season)
Mai "I'm fine. My love for skating never changes."

ETA:
Kaori Sakamoto: https://twitter.com/fskating_Life/status/1285464721060016129
SP...Kaori can't say the name of the music because Richaud told the name of the music in French. LOL According to this magazine account it sounded like Prelude No. 2 by Bach (The Jacques Loussier Trio ver.) in person.
*ETA: The twitter account said later that the version was not JLT's and deleted the tweet.

Rin Nitaya: https://twitter.com/fskating_Life/status/1285492788105113600
SP, Red Viorin (continue)
FS, Black Swan (choreo by Mihoko Higuchi)
Rin "This season's goal is to win over myself of last season."

Tomoe Kawabata: https://twitter.com/fskating_Life/status/1285494087160741888
SP, TBD (torn between last season's SP and Twilight Walz which Yuki Nishino used)
FS, Theme of Yumeji/ Sikuriadas (continue)

Wakaba Higuchi: https://twitter.com/fskating_Life/status/1285495654215593987
She continues both of last season's programs.
Wakaba "Wish to show more completed programs this season.""(as for 3A) I can fully rotate on 3A. Planning to do it as the opening jump of my FS. (Don't have a plan to include it in SP)."

Rino Matsuike at her first Sr camp: https://twitter.com/fskating_Life/status/1285497824684040192
SP, Color Purple (continue)
FS, Perhaps Love
She attempted 3A during the practice.
*ETA: This article says both of her programs were choreographed by her coach Machiko Yamada. https://www.nikkansports.com/sports/news/202007210000443.html

Yuhana Yokoi: https://twitter.com/fskating_Life/status/1285499249954705408
SP, Nandemonaiya (choreo by Akiko Suzuki)
FS, Tom and Jerry (choreo by Misao Sato)
Yuhana "It was my mom's idea to try a comical number."

Mitsuki Sumoto: https://twitter.com/fskating_Life/status/1285501189983924225
SP, The Feeling Begins
FS, The mission
He moved to Takeshi Honda in February.

Sota Yamamoto: https://twitter.com/fskating_Life/status/1285503122740088832
SP, Dark Eyes (choreo by Kenji Miyamoto)
FS, Dragon (remake of his former program which he skated in his Advanced Nv season, done by Kenji Miyamoto)
Sota "Wish my SP will be a gorgeous image."

Kazuki Tomono: https://twitter.com/fskating_Life/status/1285504239347707904
He continues both of his programs from last season. He wishes to include three quads in FS every time.

Keiji Tanaka: https://twitter.com/fskating_Life/status/1285505564168970242
He continues both of his programs from last season. He couldn't make new programs and it frustrated him. He wants the frustration to be a spring to jump up and will go on the 'pursuing completion of programs' path instead. During the quarantine period he tried not to think too much and stay calm with the minimum training.
 
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rosewood

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Glimpses of Kagiyama (Take 5 and quads), Shun Sato, Mai and Kaori.
https://twitter.com/MAKA_blueICE/status/1285516527010103299
Kagiyama: I'm in a good condition. Sr skaters talked to me friendly and it made me relaxed enough to enjoy this camp.
Sato: I sometimes contacted him (=Kagiyama), such as "How's your training going? Can you skate?" etc. When I was not able to skate, I was frustrated. During that period I discovered how important skating was to me."
 
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rosewood

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Interview with Mai Mihara (my rough translation)
Q: What about this national camp?
A: I was grateful to be invited to this camp. It was surprising. I'm so happy to skate together in the same group with Sr-debuting quad jumpers (Kagiyama and Sato) as well as other skaters whose competitions I saw on TV just sitting on my sofa last season. This opportunity is inspiring for me to work even harder.

Q: When did you re-start training after the re-opening of rinks? How's your training going?
A: Rinks were closed due to c0rona v*rus. At first my health condition was not good enough to do on-ice training. And then, just after I re-started my on-ice training, rinks were closed due to the v*rus. In total, the interval became very long. Joining this camp and skating together with other members, today I truly feel joy of skating. Actually there was a period when I had to stay out of the ice for a while even after the re-opening of rinks. I will keep working hard. Every day I'll do everything that I can.

Q: Any new training during the quarantine period?
A: I stayed home as much as possible. I did stretch everyday in any circumstances. Also did exercises for building up core muscles. Very basic ones. I had to start from scratch of re-building my muscles. There were lots of difficulties. Still, I have long way to go to catch up with other skaters. I'll live each day to the fullest.

Q: Any new thoughts/feelings on skating?
A: Above all I discovered my love for skating never changes. All I wanted was to be on the ice again. Even a day earlier.

Q: Programs for this season?
A: Although David Wilson made a new SP for my last season (*never skated due to health condition), I plan to continue It's Magic (2018-2019 season) which was also choreographed by DW. As for FS, I'll skate Fairy of the Forest/Galaxy which was choreographed by Lori Nichol for my last season. It was the first time for me to work with her.

Q: Any thoughts on each program?
A: This is the second season to skate the SP. I wish I'm more matured now than last time I skated it. I want to play a role of a fantastic woman. It's gonna be a debut of my FS. I want to show everything that I learned from Lori last year. I want to skate that program with lots of energy and emotions. Will work hard on run-throughs.

Q: Any new jumps?
A: At first my goal is to take back my jumps which I used to do. At this point I can do good jumps up to 3-loops. So now my focus is on taking back my 3F, 3Lz and 3-3 combo. And skating consistent programs with them. Now it's the period of 3A or quads, but it will be the next step after being back on the same level of former myself.

Q: This is the pre-Oly season.
A: I couldn't go to PeongChang Olys. Maybe there were things I was missing at that time. So I want to make sure that I can do them. At this point my nearest goal should be to skate in coming competitions. To do so I need good practices first. And I want to enjoy skating. I will not forget smiles with gratitude in my mind.

Q: How's your condition?
A: I'm fine. Honestly speaking, I think my conditions prior to this camp were not comparable on the level of other skaters who are here today. I can't talk about my current conditions in detail, but all I wanted was to get on the ice when I felt better. Now I'm getting better and better. My heart is healthy. I wish my body will be able to follow my heart well. I will keep my focus. I want to stay strong-willed.

Q: You sat out of whole last season.
A: Now I'm feeling very good. I want to work hard and get into this season, leaving the last season behind. Well, I'm fine now. The sense of getting on the ice was very different from being on the floor. When I got on the ice again after a long time, it was like "Oh, ice is so slippery!"

Q: Did it remind you of the days when you started skating?
A: At first, I sometimes got a little behind the center of gravity, and it was difficult to balance, but since I became able to jump a lot now, I should regain my skating level. I wish good skating will lead me to good jumps. I'll pursue skating with good flow.
 
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rosewood

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Interview with Wakaba Higuchi (my rough translation)
Q: Anything affected by c0rona v*rus pandem*c?
A: I had to stay out of the ice from April 8th to June 1st. After the reopening of the rinks it was like gradually getting used to the ice, just little by little. My current status is I've taken back everything that I used to do. I think the off-ice training I did during the restricted period worked well.

Q: Any new off-ice training?
A: I increased the intensity of the off-ice training that I used to do, or increased the frequency of them. I worked almost every day. Yes, the amount of training was reduced since I had to stay away from the ice, but I tried to run and jump (off-ice) more than before.

Q: (Last season's) Worlds were cancelled.
A: (At first) I didn't know what kind of training I should do. I had been feeling uneasy for the first couple of weeks. I gave up for about a month and a half. I tried not to think about skating. My focus was just avoiding catching the c0rona v*rus.

Q: Programs for this season?
A: I want to continue both of the programs from last season. I once thought about working with choreographers from abroad for this season. But I can't go over there. Thought about getting it done on-line. But the work can be confusing if both of me and choreographer(s) can't skate on the ice, since I had no idea when the rinks in the US or Canada will be re-opened. So I thought it's a better choice to continue both of the programs and work on making them more completed ones than last season.

Q: This is a pre-Olys season.
A: I don't think too much about Olys. I think about what I can do now, such as how to make my 3A more consistent. I want to receive good results in the competitions I'm focusing on.

Q: Current status?
A: I can have private ice time in the morning and at night. At my Jingu Ice Rink the number of people on the ice is limited during the public time. I'm not able to skate when I want to. Probably I'm skating a couple of hours less than before. That said, I do more off-ice training than before. All in all I think I'm doing well.

Q: What were the hardships during the pandem*c? What did you learn?
A: To wear a mask, not to touch needless stuffs, to be careful when using a train. I didn't care about these things at all prior to the pandem*c. I want to continue these little things even after the pandem*c is done. I can make it a good experience. Meanwhile, I can't practice and competitions are being cancelled. Probably there will be a competition with no spectators. I need to get used to every such a thing. I'll miss the crowd. I discovered the importance of the spectators.

Q: How consistent is your 3A?
A: I could include it in my program at the very end of last season. This time, I want to make sure that I can include 3A from the first competition of the season. I'm doing well with 3A these days, like yesterday and today I did good ones.

Q: The feasibility of Beijin Olys is unclear at this point.
A: Some people may concern about it, but I don't care much. I'll focus on the things in front of me. I do what I can do now. I want to clear near goals, and I wish it will lead me to important stages i.e. Olys. I try not to think too much about things that can make me feel uneasy.

Q: 3A?
A: I can't include it in my SP yet. My 3A is not that consistent. I want to include one 3A in my FS. My current status is I can save it avoiding stepping out of it. I think I can fully rotate on 3As. I want to land it in a good way.

____

note: Wakaba's Jingu Ice Rink is in the middle of Tokyo. Tomoe Kawabata is another top skater who trains there. I wish they stay healthy throughout this pandem*c! Take care girls!
 
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rosewood

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Interview with Kaori Sakamoto (my rough translation)
Q: What do you want to do at this national camp?
A: It's a good opportunity to watch other skaters up close. Very good chance to see men's quads and research the jumps I need to learn. I want to research.

Q: Any changes in your mind?
A: I had never taken a break for that long. So I needed to catch up after I restarted my training. I needed to live to the fullest every day. I always focused on how to finish everything in a shortest time. It was a good opportunity to think about how to make my daily training more fulfilling.

Q: Programs?
A: I didn't understand the title of my new SP in French. Benoit told me in French so... I continue (my FS) Matrix.

Q: Jumps?
A: I'm working on jumps, but I'm trying not to say my current situation. No words from my mouth for a while. At this point I focus on fulfilling what I'm doing now.

Q: It's a pre-Olys season.
A: I hope it'll be a good season that will lead me to next. Assuming there will be less competitions this season than usual, I try to keep my focus.

Q: How did Benoit choreograph the new program?
A: Via Zoom....no, not zoom, it was via Line video call. Was difficult. When you do it on your screen, you can easily lose your sense of direction. I didn't know if it was left or right, or where was the front. At first I struggled a lot.

Q: It's unclear whether competitions can be held this season. How do you keep your motivation?
A: Talking about motivations, I am quite positive now. It's playing a big role here that I don't want to leave as awful results as I got last season. Never again. I'm assuming we'll have only a few competitions this season. I try my best to keep my focus. I think I should show everything that I can do out there.

Q: Mai Mihara has come back. Is it inspiring for you?
A: It's amazing that Mai-chan came back! I was so happy. We can't expect too much so soon, though...(It will take some time for her to take back everything that she used to do.) I can't tell what her current status is, but I hope we will fight together while pushing each other.

Q: You said you want to research quads. Are there anything you've already learned during this camp?
A: In a competition you can watch each program only once. While, in a practice skaters attempt the same quad again and again. Good jumps and bad ones. You can analyze the reasons of a good one and bad one in a practice, i.e. "the skater attempted the quad in this way, and it caused the mistake" etc. I can learn a lot from watching practices. There are a lot of chances to watch other skaters practices during this camp. It's a very good opportunity.

Q: What do you want to express with your SP and FS?
A: SP is a different type of program from my former ones. I hope I will show a matured woman in my SP. And I want my FS Matrix to be cooler than last season's.
____

This journalist tweeted on the first day of the camp that Kaori attempted 4T again and again in a practice. The reporter said her eagerness was so impressive.
4T(fall) 2T 4T(fall) 2T 2T 4T(fall) 2T 4T(fall) 4T(fall) 4T(fall) 4T(fall) 4T(fall) 4T(fall)

Stay injury free Kaori!
 

Sylvia

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Articles dated July 21 (@rosewood, please translate highlights of whichever skaters you can):

Yuma Kagiyama:

Shun Sato:

Tomoe Kawabata:

Yuhana Yokoi:

Rin Nitaya:

Kazuki Tomono:

Sota Yamamoto:

Mitsuki Sumoto:

Keiji Tanaka:

Mr. Yosuke Takeuchi (JSF's new manager of the strengthening section):
 
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