Japanese figure skating 2021-22 season news & updates

skatfan

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6,101
I think it's the first program across any discipline I've seen this season that has me energized. If you haven't seen it, go find it.
I agree about this free skate. All the complainers about no Olympic music should listen to this one
I was honestly wondering if Yuma might steal the OGM from Nathan. He's that good. I'm glad he recovered from his nerves
I think he will be a co- favorite for gold if he keeps this up.
 

SLIVER

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2,899
Yuma Kagiyama IMO already is one of the best all-around skaters the sport has ever seen. His jump technique is amongst the most perfect if not the absolute most perfect, and he has that rare deep-knee easy landing and runout that a Japanese skater once in a decade seems to have. One of my favorite skating 'traits' is the speed on a perfect deep outside edge out of a jump, and it's so rare these days.

His free skate ranks right up there as one of the best overall performances I've seen. Seriously, it's that good, and he still has room to grow in the points with more secure quad landings and a more developed program. All of the jumps are very clearly rotated, even the triple loop as the second jump in a combination, and his spins are all excellent as well. The 4T+3T was as easy as anyone has ever made it look, too. Late in the program, he did the 3F+3Lo and then with full energy, got to the other side of the rink and landed a perfect 3A with zero preparation.

He really was on fire in this free skate, but we all know he still can be wildly inconsistent. I said during Worlds and earlier in the season that I think he's the one that really could be the spoiler in Beijing, and this performance makes me believe it even more.

I think it's the first program across any discipline I've seen this season that has me energized. If you haven't seen it, go find it.
Are you familiar with his dad? He skates exactly like him, his knee bend was totally crazy and he had the most beautiful triple lutz. He’s done an incredible job with his son. His best performance was the short at 1993 worlds, it’s not available on YouTube. I am assuming we are allowed to post links directly from YouTube, here is an example from his pre Olympic event in Hamar 1993.
 

tony

But it just doesn't fcuking glide
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11,816
Are you familiar with his dad? He skates exactly like him, his knee bend was totally crazy and he had the most beautiful triple lutz. He’s done an incredible job with his son. His best performance was the short at 1993 worlds, it’s not available on YouTube. I am assuming we are allowed to post links directly from YouTube, here is an example from his pre Olympic event in Hamar 1993.
Yes! His dad had a surprise finish to his career at ‘94 Worlds and then was even invited to the following Challenge of Champions as it was in Japan. Both he and Takashi Mura before hi. passed down their wonderful skills to their sons!
 

gotoschool

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948
Mai skated truly beautifully but was robbed of bronze again this week in dejavu after being lowballed in Political Connection Scores for a second week in a row. She has the best skating skills, smoothest speed and most sophisticated expression and also had greater and quicker rink coverage yet received far lower PCS in both the SP and LP than Loena when the reverse should have been true. She is a victim of systematized discrimination but this continues to be the case for all Japanese and Korean skaters.
 

ЭPiKUilyam

Banned Member
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1,333
Mai skated truly beautifully but was robbed of bronze again this week in dejavu after being lowballed in Political Connection Scores for a second week in a row. She has the best skating skills, smoothest speed and most sophisticated expression and also had greater and quicker rink coverage yet received far lower PCS in both the SP and LP than Loena when the reverse should have been true. She is a victim of systematized discrimination but this continues to be the case for all Japanese and Korean skaters.
I thought Loena was the strongest overall skater among the women this weekend. Mai has had a wonderful comeback from illness and I am rooting for her to make the Olympics, but her lines/extensions/positions and overall skating are not the best. Just enjoy her performances, and the joy she skates with and the joy she has just receiving her marks. Mai's marks are fair. IMO.
 

Dai's Blues for Klook

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373
Mai skated truly beautifully but was robbed of bronze again this week in dejavu after being lowballed in Political Connection Scores for a second week in a row. She has the best skating skills, smoothest speed and most sophisticated expression and also had greater and quicker rink coverage yet received far lower PCS in both the SP and LP than Loena when the reverse should have been true. She is a victim of systematized discrimination but this continues to be the case for all Japanese and Korean skaters.
I agree with you, Loena Hendricx seemed totally generic in comparison. She exhibits little control over her skates and her body movement, it's all clunky and unrefined (at least setting it against the PCS score she was given here). Mihara also has floatier jumps, and great glide as shown in her choreo sequence.

Maiia Kromykh's PCS being ahead of Mihara's (and not even two points behind Miyahara's) is a sad reality we now have to live with, too.
 
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Dai's Blues for Klook

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373
Hadn't realized Rino Matsuike was at NHK as well... the competition will be interesting for the top spot, because Sakamoto and Matsuike can very much trounce Usacheva on home ice, and there's still You Young to consider.
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
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68,716
BYES to Nationals in Senior:
Women (8): Rika Kihira, Kaori Sakamoto, Satoko Miyahara; (GP exemptions) Wakaba Higuchi, Mai Mihara, Rino Matsuike, Mana Kawabe, Yuhana Yokoi
Men (9): Yuzuru Hanyu, Shoma Uno, Yuma Kagiyama; (GP or CS-AUT exemptions) Shun Sato, Kazuki Tomono, Keiji Tanaka, Sota Yamamoto, Lucas Tsuyoshi Honda, Sena Miyake

Many thanks to @Tak for translating a key section of the 2021-22 Nationals qualification document for me in the Kiss & Cry section!
"Seeded skater" is not counted but "Exempted skater" is counted within the number of advancing skaters.
East Japan Sectional
Sr Men: 7 (including one exempted skater), 2 seeded skater so, 6 non exempted or seeded skaters advance
Sr Women: 6 (including one exempted skater), 1 seeded skater, 5 non exempted or seeded skaters advance
West Japan
Sr Men: 14 (including 5 exempted), 1 seeded skater so, 9 non exempted or seeded skaters advance
Sr. Women: 15 (including 4 exempted), 2 seeded skaters so, 11 non exempted or seeded skaters advance
SENIOR MEN qualified for Nationals through East & West Sectionals (15):
Koshiro SHIMADA Kinoshita Group 1 1 217.22 [W-1]
Sumitada MORIGUCHI Kinoshita Academy 4 1 197.37 [E-1]
Mitsuki SUMOTO Kansai Univ SC 2 2 194.54 [W-2]
Taichiro YAMAKUMA Meiji Univ 4 2 181.25 [E-2]
Yuto KISHINA Kansai Univ SC 3 3 180.61 [W-3]
Kazuki HASEGAWA Science Univ of Tokyo 3 3 176.91 [E-3]
Reo ISHIZUKA Waseda Univ 2 4 175.35 [E-4]
Takumi SUGIYAMA 5 4 167.82 [W-4]
Kazuki KUSHIDA 1 6 164.63 [W-5]
Yuga FURUSHO Nihon Univ 8 5 145.83 [E-5]
Gakuto SUZUKI Hosei 6 6 145.26 [W-6]
Rei SUZUKI 6 5 144.37 [E-6]
Takaya TSUJIMURA Doshisha FSC 7 8 131.13 [W-7]
Kimichika WADA 9 7 129.26 [W-8]
Tatuma FURUYA 10 10 123.11 [W-9]

East Japan Sectionals were held this weekend.
In Senior Women, the most surprising result was Marin Honda coming in 5th and getting the ticket for Nationals.
The Skaters going to Nationals are: Yuna Aoki(2nd), Akari Matsubara (3rd), Tomoe Kawabata (4th), Marin Honda (5th) and Ibuki Sato(6th).
The winner, Rinka Watanabe, is going to represent JPN at Universiade. Current JPN quarantine rules preclude her from competing at Nationals. If these rules are relaxed, then she will also compete at Nationals.
SENIOR WOMEN qualified for Nationals through East & West Sectionals (17 including Watanabe):
Nana ARAKI 3 1 174.23 [W-1]
Rinka WATANABE Hosei 5 1 172.34 [E-1] (see Tak's note about her, bolded above)
Yuna AOKI Nihon Univ 1 3 170.07 [E-2]
Akari MATSUBARA Meiji Univ 2 2 169.27 [E-3]
Yuna SHIRAIWA Kansai Univ SC 2 4 166.92 [W-2]
Mako YAMASHITA 1 7 165.19 [W-3]
Tomoe KAWABATA Waseda Univ 3 4 163.28 [E-4]
Ayumi KAGOTANI Doshisha FSC 9 2 163.22 [W-4]
Saki MIYAKE 5 3 163.06 [W-5]
Chisato URAMATSU 6 5 159.72 [W-6]
Miyabi OBA Tokai Tokyo FH 4 10 157.87 [W-7]
Nonoka NOGUCHI 8 8 156.43 [W-8]
Rin NITAYA 11 9 154.16 [W-9]
Marin HONDA JAL 8 5 152.02 [E-5]
Hina TAKENO 14 6 152.02 [W-10]
Niina TAKENO 10 11 149.74 [W-11]
Ibuki SATOH Meiji Univ 7 7 148.29 [E-6]

Top finishers invited to compete in Senior Nationals (Dec. 22-26) from Junior Nationals (Nov. 19-21) TBD.
 
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Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
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Has JSF stated publicly how they will select their JGP Final wildcard singles entries?

Tatsuya TSUBOI 1 1 221.79 [W-1] and Rion SUMIYOSHI Komaba Gakuen Hich School 1 1 182.56 [E-1] are the top scoring juniors from Sectionals. Will they wait for the results of Junior Nationals?

Kao MIURA, who is seeded for Junior Nationals and has the 2nd highest qualifying score (215.05) after Tsuboi, won't be eligible because he is making his GP debut at NHK Trophy this week.
 

Tak

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2,793
JSF never said anything about "Selection Criteria" for JGPF wild card. I was quite surprised that Wildcard was even accepted by the ISU.
The underlying problem is the declining popularity of figure skating in JPN, as seen in TV ratings. Of the GPS skated so far, only Skate Canada Singles SP (10PM) and FP (2PM) were broadcast at reasonable viewing time. The SP gained 6.1% ratings. The Rhythmic Gymnastics World Team Final (7PM) gained 7.2%. The highest sports rating that day was Ladies Golf (Mitsubishi Electric Ladies: Won by the most popular Ladies golfer Hinako Shibuno who eagled the 1st play-off hole) 3PM at 12.4%. TV Asahi was the broadcaster of all of the sport programs mentioned above.
The most electrifying FP skate this season, by Yuma Kagiyama in Turin was taped delay broadcasted at 3AM! TV Asahi, which broadcast GPS, GPF and Team Trophy seems to have lost interest in continuing Figure Skating coverage. Fuji TV (4CC, Worlds and JSF Domestic Comps) and NHK (NHK Trophy only) are still maintaining good coverage of skating.
My guess is that this "Wild card" was an attempt to placate TV Asahi, now hit with double whammy of non-appearance by Hanyu and Kihira, the only bankable skating stars at this time.
Who will be chosen? My guess was Kao Miura for Men and Hana Yoshida for Women. Considering a string of less than stellar skates by Hana, I am now hoping to see underage Mao Shimada or comeback from Seniors Rino Matsuike. The RUS women in Juniors are so good, if JPN Wildcard manages to come in 4th or higher, it will be a major achievement.
ETA: Skating in Senior Events does not disqualify skaters from competing in Juniors, as long as they are within age limits and have Junior rules compliant programs. Example: Yuna Shiraiwa competed in Senior GPS for two seasons, then returned to Junior Worlds to finish fifth.
 
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haribobo

Why is summer so hot omg
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ETA: Skating in Senior Events does not disqualify skaters from competing in Juniors, as long as they are within age limits and have Junior rules compliant programs. Example: Yuna Shiraiwa competed in Senior GPS for two seasons, then returned to Junior Worlds to finish fifth.

Anyone age eligible can do Junior Worlds at any time, but there has long been a rule against competing in JGP and GP in the same season. However, in this "wildcard" instance, I could imagine an exception for Kao, but I feel like another skater like Tsuboi getting the opportunity would be nice too since Kao gets his NHK.
 

Tak

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2,793
Since there was zero JPN skater competing in JGPS due to quarantine requirements, I do not see how "long standing rule" which was established and respected before current ********* applies at all, particularly for wildcard. IIRC, RUS skaters were not even allowed to compete in JGP #1&2 due to quarantine requirements, resulting in 4-5 RUS skaters in subsequent JGPs, understandably, but breaking the "long standing rule" of maximum of three competitors per nation.
 

japanice

Active Member
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JSF never said anything about "Selection Criteria" for JGPF wild card. I was quite surprised that Wildcard was even accepted by the ISU.
The underlying problem is the declining popularity of figure skating in JPN, as seen in TV ratings. Of the GPS skated so far, only Skate Canada Singles SP (10PM) and FP (2PM) were broadcast at reasonable viewing time. The SP gained 6.1% ratings. The Rhythmic Gymnastics World Team Final (7PM) gained 7.2%. The highest sports rating that day was Ladies Golf (Mitsubishi Electric Ladies: Won by the most popular Ladies golfer Hinako Shibuno who eagled the 1st play-off hole) 3PM at 12.4%. TV Asahi was the broadcaster of all of the sport programs mentioned above.
The most electrifying FP skate this season, by Yuma Kagiyama in Turin was taped delay broadcasted at 3AM! TV Asahi, which broadcast GPS, GPF and Team Trophy seems to have lost interest in continuing Figure Skating coverage. Fuji TV (4CC, Worlds and JSF Domestic Comps) and NHK (NHK Trophy only) are still maintaining good coverage of skating.
My guess is that this "Wild card" was an attempt to placate TV Asahi, already hit with double whammy of non-appearance by Hanyu and Kihira, the only bankable skating stars at this time.
Who will be chosen? My guess was Kao Miura for Men and Hana Yoshida for Women. Considering a string of less than stellar skates by Hana, I am now hoping to see underage Mao Shimada or comeback from Seniors Rino Matsuike. The RUS women in Juniors are so good, if JPN Wildcard manages to come in 4th or higher, it will be a major achievement.
ETA: Skating in Senior Events does not disqualify skaters from competing in Juniors, as long as they are within age limits and have Junior rules compliant programs. Example: Yuna Shiraiwa competed in Senior GPS for two seasons, then returned to Junior Worlds to finish fifth.

The popularity of figure skating in Japan is not declining, it is quite the contrary. It is about who is competing and the time the events are staged. If Yuzuru Hanyu and Rika Kihira had competed at Skate Canada the ratings would have been higher. The men’s FS in Italy started before 5:00 AM Japan time on Sunday. You would not have gotten much of an audience at that hour anyway. These ratings also don’t factor in streaming numbers.

You can’t judge the popularity of a sport based on TV ratings from one event in the middle of a *********.

Also, the ISU announced the Japan wild cards (Oct. 14) for the JGP Final before Kihira pulled out of Skate Canada (on Oct. 19) and Hanyu withdrew from the NHK Trophy (Nov. 4). So the talk of placating TV Asahi over Kihira and Hanyu missing events is wrong.
 

Tak

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2,793
Increase or decrease of popularity is determined by where you draw the baseline.
IMHO, the figure skating popularity peak in JPN was before Mao's retirement. Hanyu, almost singlehandedly has extended the popularity to the present day, but unfortunately nobody expect him to continue much longer.
"Placating TV Asahi" line was intended to imply that "Wildcard" was the incentive to induce them to broadcast JGPF itself, apart from GPF. You are right that Hanyu and Kihira withdrawal occurred later than the Wildcard announcement. However, the very fact that TV Asahi has not clearly indicated when and how they will broadcast even the GPF, does not bode well.
IMHO, the nadir of FS Popularity in JPN was 1997-2001, when JPN only had one slot, just barely, for Men and Women. Even then, TBS did show us somewhat abridged Worlds, and NHK some of the GPS.
The JPN Wildcard entries will probably be determined based on the results of Japan Junior Nationals.
 
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Holy Headband

T/M's relationship counsellor
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Has JSF stated publicly how they will select their JGP Final wildcard singles entries?

Tatsuya TSUBOI 1 1 221.79 [W-1] and Rion SUMIYOSHI Komaba Gakuen Hich School 1 1 182.56 [E-1] are the top scoring juniors from Sectionals. Will they wait for the results of Junior Nationals?

Kao MIURA, who is seeded for Junior Nationals and has the 2nd highest qualifying score (215.05) after Tsuboi, won't be eligible because he is making his GP debut at NHK Trophy this week.
I'm guessing they'll wait for Jr Nats, but also it would be hard for Tsuboi not to get the spot.

Which is a shame as Kataise Takeru and Nakamura Shunsuke, who both made mistakes at W Sectionals and placed behind Tsuboi, are both more interesting/talented skaters IMO. I'll be rooting for one of them to win Jr Nats and make a play for the JGPF spot.
 
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BlueRidge

AYS's snark-sponge
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59,633
I tried searching the forum and googling but I couldn't find recent information on three Japanese skaters I'm wondering about who aren't on the GP so wondered if they are competing still. Any information appreciated.

Mako Yamashita, Marin Honda, Yuna Shiraiwa
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
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68,716
I tried searching the forum and googling but I couldn't find recent information on three Japanese skaters I'm wondering about who aren't on the GP so wondered if they are competing still. Any information appreciated.

Mako Yamashita, Marin Honda, Yuna Shiraiwa
Scroll up to my post #163 above :) - they have all qualified for Nationals (also posted in the "2021-22 Japan national qualifying & domestic competitions" thread in the Kiss & Cry section).
 

BlueRidge

AYS's snark-sponge
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59,633
Scroll up to my post #163 above :) - they have all qualified for Nationals (also posted in the "2021-22 Japan national qualifying & domestic competitions" thread in the Kiss & Cry section).
Thank you!!

I know that Marin Honda has been struggling for some time, but wondered why Yuna Shiraiwa and Mako Yamashita don't seem to be in any international competitions. Glad to know they qualified for Nationals. Yuna has had some programs I loved.
 

DreamSkates

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2,810
Agreed completely. I think Kaori can improve things like her posture and the movement of her arms but I hate using terms like un-feminine to criticize her. In addition, sometimes skaters with “traditionally feminine” body types get away with having bad posture since they fit the traditional physical mold of a figure skater.
She is unique in movement, choices of music, costuming (dress) and as much as I enjoy the soft flow of what we think of as feminine types, it is refreshing to see Kaori’s style on the ice as a sum total of what she presents each time she is on the ice.
 

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