Japanese figure skating 2021-22 season news & updates

nekkidgator

Active Member
Messages
513
Watched most JO programs, plus Carnival on Ice, thanks to Epic Skating Live channel. I was quite impressed by Wakaba’s huuuuuge Ito-style 3-ax and the way that her Lion King program built. However, as a total skater (for elegance, line, musicality PLUS high tech, w/ 3-ax), I was most impressed by Rino Matsuike’s Moonlight Sonata LP! Wow, has she become quite the beauty in every sense! She almost beat Wakaba...about 2 points difference.

I totally agree that Uno’s Bolero LP is a real clunker. However his SP (to Bach...I think...or Vivaldi? Oboe tune),skated at today’s COI, is exquisite.

Rika, Yuzu & Yuma not at this event. We’ll have to wait a bit more to see their new programs in full.
Agree completely about Rino. Her progression in the last year reminds me of Kwan between 1995 and 1996. She is fast and has gorgeous edges and great ice coverage. The footwork is interesting and so musical, i forgot it was a judged element. It doesnt look like "rulebook" footwork like most ladies. If she keeps progressing like this, she will easily become my favorite skater to watch repeatedly. As someone else mentioned, watching her and the other top 3 was like watching 1980s and 90s skating with today's scoring system - fast deep-edged skating, jumps with height and distance, disciplined posture and control with thoughtful arm and body placement versus unattractive flailing. Rino has the elegance of an ice dancer. Im a big new fan.
 

kalle

Well-Known Member
Messages
140
Oh wow, I cannot stop watching Rino Matsuike's LP 😍. By far, the best LP I have seen in a long time! Love all the details and her lines are gorgeous.Who is the choreographer behind this master of a LP? Why was her score so low? I would have thought this score +140..Hope to see a lot of this beautiful and talented skater this season.
 

cohkaix

Well-Known Member
Messages
211
Oh wow, I cannot stop watching Rino Matsuike's LP 😍. By far, the best LP I have seen in a long time! Love all the details and her lines are gorgeous.Who is the choreographer behind this master of a LP?
Rino's Sr. programs (both last year and this year) have very distinctive characteristics of her coach and also the choreographer, Mihoko Higuchi. Higuchi has choreographed for Mao Asada (programs at Jr. level), Kanako Murakami, and Shoma Uno. So actually you can find similarities in their skating and past programs.
 

Frau Muller

From Puerto Rico, via Russia - to the World!
Messages
15,209
Clue to name of the YouTube channel in my previous post #84. I don’t want to ruin it for the rest by posting direct link.
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
Messages
67,996
Yuma Kagiyama attempted 4Lo in his FS at Kanto Regional competition earlier this month - it was called 'q' with -4.9 GOE (scored 261.90 total - 94.51 in SP & 167.39 in FS):

Kagiyama, Shun Sato, Kaori Sakamoto and Mai Mihara will compete at the Asian Trophy Open in Beijing this week.
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
Messages
67,996
A few more news articles from Regionals...

Kaori Sakamoto won her Regional but seems to be struggling with her new FS ("I'm in the process of trial and error on how to express it."):

Kao Miura, 16, won the Tokyo Regional Junior Men's title (235.73 total/154.99 in FS - jumps incl. 3A, 4S, 4T+3T, 3A+1Eu+3F, 4T< fall) and will make his GP debut at NHK Trophy:
Although still a junior, he has already mastered two types of quadruple jumps and is practicing loops and flips. "I stood once in both cases, but I still can't say" I can jump! "With confidence," he explained. "But I will challenge by the next East Japan Championship (29th to 31st, Higashi Fushimi). I wish I could get 250 points including flips next time."
Triple Axels were landed cleanly by Mana Kawabe, 16, in her Senior SP (she was recently added to the Skate Canada GP):
And 3A+3T & 3A by Hanna Yoshida in her Junior FS (she won that segment & finished 3rd overall behind her fellow Kinoshita Academy rinkmates Ikura Kushida & Ayumi Shibayama):

Mao Shimada, 12, (also Kinoshita Academy where Mie Hamada coaches) landed a clean 4T (9.5 BV + 1.90 GOE = 11.40 points), along with 3Lz+3T, 3F, 3Lo, 2A+3T+2T & 3Lz in her Novice A free skate (scored an impressive 120.83):

Marin Honda only placed 12th at Tokyo Regionals but at least advanced to her Nationals qualifier (Eastern Section):
Marin is in her second year of Meiji University and says she would like to continue competing until she finishes her studies (like her older brother, Taichi, who retired this past spring after graduating from Kansai University):
 
Last edited:

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
Messages
67,996
Mai Mihara has replaced Rika Kihira at Skate Canada International - yesterday Kihira’s name was crossed out on the ISU Grand Prix women’s grid & Mihara’s name was added there today.

Here’s a Kyodo news article about Kihira’s ongoing recovery from an ankle injury:
… Rika Kihira will skip the competition at the end of this month while she continues rehabilitating an injured right ankle, the Japan Skating Federation said Tuesday.
…. [she] has not fully recovered from the osteochondral injury she suffered in July.
“I will focus on treatment and rehabilitation to prepare for upcoming meets,” Kihira said in a statement.
Kihira is scheduled to compete at the Nov. 12-13 NHK Trophy in Tokyo…
 

feraina

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,354
Mai Mihara has replaced Rika Kihira at Skate Canada International - yesterday Kihira’s name was crossed out on the ISU Grand Prix women’s grid & Mihara’s name was added there today.

Here’s a Kyodo news article about Kihira’s ongoing recovery from an ankle injury:
Sorry to hear about Kihira. She seemed so strong just a couple years ago. But thrilled for Mai!!
 

ЭPiKUilyam

Banned Member
Messages
1,333
Oh wow, I cannot stop watching Rino Matsuike's LP 😍. By far, the best LP I have seen in a long time! Love all the details and her lines are gorgeous.Who is the choreographer behind this master of a LP? Why was her score so low? I would have thought this score +140..Hope to see a lot of this beautiful and talented skater this season.
Her skating was the one that caught my eye at JapanOpen. Just gorgeous. Lots of room to develop, but I hope she's on the Olympic team.
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
Messages
67,996
They are both on YouTube. I just googled Mai Mihara Videos....and there they were.
I couldn't find Mai Mihara's winning FS at Asian Open Trophy on YT, just her 2nd place SP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXMSZfKrdqI
Same link as in this tweet that was posted earlier:

Mao Shimada, 12, (also Kinoshita Academy where Mie Hamada coaches) landed a clean 4T (9.5 BV + 1.90 GOE = 11.40 points), along with 3Lz+3T, 3F, 3Lo, 2A+3T+2T & 3Lz in her Novice A free skate (scored an impressive 120.83):
I came across Mao Shimada's Regional FS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p8owbXJibY
I tweeted a screen shot of her protocol: https://twitter.com/SylviaUnseen/status/1450996933737263106
 

Marco

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,993
What I wish: Rino, Satoko, Mai
What I think: Kaori, Rika, Rino

Wakaba needs to display a few more solid performances for me to consider her seriously.
 

feraina

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,354
Mai has always been super consistent even when she was physically unwell. Just poorer in skating skills thus lower PCS. It’s very impressive. I hope she makes the Olympic team.
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
Messages
67,996
Oh my. Mai!! That SP is simply exquisite - the music and choreography are absolutely perfect for her and her skating is to die for. I'm happy that she's looking healthier and less frail than last season. (Who is the choreographer?)
From @rosewood’s July 2020 translated article:
Interview with Mai Mihara (my rough translation …
Q: Programs for this season?

A: Although David Wilson made a new SP for me 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.
 

Marco

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,993
Kaori deserves very high PCS for all the power and flow that she displays but for me, does not deserve the highest out of all. IMO Satoko deserves the highest PCS based on the combination of refinement, precison and musicality in her skating. Rather than saying Kaori is overscored, I would think Satoko is underscored. Appears to me like a disastrous Worlds and a not so promising fall season is doing Satoko in.
 

Frau Muller

From Puerto Rico, via Russia - to the World!
Messages
15,209
Thoughts on Kaori’s style & possible reason for not being given extra-benefit in PCS:

For all of her speed and lean, a basic grace and femininity is sorely missing. (A voiceover screaming “I AM A WOMAN!”doesn’t cut it...doesn’t suddenly infuse Kaori with feminine grace.)

How to score such a thing in PCS? Judges are human and can’t help thinking of this as they punch numbers.

Compare this to Trusova, who may zip around too but never comes across as “masculine” ... Russian women, including Trusova’s, packaging, whether we like it or not, is “feminine.” Womanly makeup, hair, dresses that emphasize feminine physique. This might be factoring in when PCS numbers are punched in.

I’m not saying that this is right; this is reality.

p.s. - As a big Midori Ito fan, I recall when she & her team once mentioned in some interview the importance to always show femininity - make up, hair bows, sweetness in interviews, etc - to help temper the tomboyish style, bow legs, etc.
 

SkateFanBerlin

Well-Known Member
Messages
955
Hmmmm. Interesting discussion. Osmond was powerful and strong. But there were lots of curves and good lines in her skating. Kostner was naturally femmy. Their styles worked with their skating.

On the other hand Zagitova IMO mimicked a balletic style. She probably had training but it didn't come across. Recently the Russian ladies have started to add fem gestures to their 3As/4s. It also doesn't read to me. Genuineness - can you score it?
 

clairecloutier

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,318
I think if Kaori lacks something in the presentation side of her skating, it’s attention to detail—things like toe point, turnout in laybacks, hand positions, refinement in arm movements, facial expressions, framing a position for a moment and holding it and looking at the judges to call attention to it. Things like that. And, although her speed and flow can interact with long notes or crescendos to create excitement, I’ve never found her to be a very musical skater in the sense of expressing smaller but interesting moments in the music.

Looking at her presentation from a sort of traditional gender-normative standpoint feels a little uncomfortable to me (although I acknowledge that is how many people will see things).
 

Wyliefan

Trying to appease the skategods
Messages
32,962
I don't see anything "unfeminine" or "ungraceful" about Kaori -- certainly not when compared to Trusova!

I have wondered whether Kaori gets dinged in PCS for skating with no tension in her body. We often talk about skaters who are wonderful above the ankle -- with line and expression and so forth -- but then everything they do with their blades is subpar. Kaori's the opposite. Her blades are great; everything above her blades is loose and floppy. If that sort of thing gets taken into account in PCS, that could be hurting her.
 

RoseRed

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,946
I don't see anything "unfeminine" or "ungraceful" about Kaori -- certainly not when compared to Trusova!

I have wondered whether Kaori gets dinged in PCS for skating with no tension in her body. We often talk about skaters who are wonderful above the ankle -- with line and expression and so forth -- but then everything they do with their blades is subpar. Kaori's the opposite. Her blades are great; everything above her blades is loose and floppy. If that sort of thing gets taken into account in PCS, that could be hurting her.
Carriage and clarity of movement is one of the criteria for the performance mark. It could fall under that.

And on @clairecloutier 's point, "Use of finesse to reflect the details and nuances of the music" is part of interpretation.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top
Do Not Sell My Personal Information