Mao Asada's 'Thanks Tour' (Starting from May 2018)

rosewood

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MTT official site announced the 2019 tour.
http://maotour.jp/

2019 Mao's Thanks Tour
1 Feb 16-17, Miyagi
2 Feb 23-24, Kumamoto
3 March 16-17, Gunma
4 April 20-21, Kagawa
5 May 3-5, Iwate
6 May 11-12, Aomori
7 June 14-16, Okinawa
8 June 22-23, Niigata
9 July 13-14, Shiga
10 Aug 10-11, Hokkaido
11 Aug 31-Sept 1, Okayama
12 Sept 28-29, Hyogo
13 Oct 19-20, Aomori
14 Nov 14-17, Fukui
15 Dec 14-15, Aichi
(Details are TBA.)

http://maotour.jp/img/img_map2019_pc.png
Mao's got serious about traveling all over the 47 prefectures, although it was sorta just a wish/joke at first. :lol: Prefectures colored pink are the places MTT's already visited. Prefectures who have a white spot are the ones to be visited within the rest of 2018. The ones who have a pink spot(s) are to be visited in 2019. There are the rest 24 prefectures but some of them don't have any all-season ice rink. Among those 24 prefectures Akita, Yamagata, Tochigi, Chiba, Tokyo, Toyama, Ishikawa, Shizuoka, Kyoto, Osaka, Yamaguchi, Ehime (12 in total) seems to have at least one ice rink available. We'll see MTT will continue until the end of 2020.
 
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cohkaix

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@rosewood thanks for the updates! Mao keeps her promise to hold the tour until next year. This is perhaps the first all-year round ice show/touring ever (at least in Japan)? :cheer2:
 

rosewood

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@cohkaix, the answer is no. Japan has Prince Ice World tour. It's funded by Seibu Group who played a big role in inviting Nagano Olys. The show ('Viva! Ice World') was originally started as the first ever ice show in Japan having Nobuo Sato together with skaters (or even coaches) of his era including his student Minoru Sano. Mr Sato used to work at Seibu Group for a short term between his retirement and starting to work as a coach as well. Minoru Sano succeeded the show and it was named Prince Ice World in 1988. Legends like Midori/Yuka Sato/Takeshi Honda/Arakawa etc skated in the show as regular members for years. PIW's 2002 tour had 12 stops and it started from Jan and finished in Dec. So no. MTT is not the first ever all-year show in Japan.

But thanks to Mao's boom (or other skaters in the era), various ice shows have been held in Japan since around a decade ago. Due to the variety PIW's popularity declined. And in 2009 PIW had only 4 stops. Since then PIW usually has 4-7 stops a year including shows held in January (as a new year's show) and from April to September (as a normal show). So, it can be safe to say MTT is the first all-year show after about a decade. :)
 
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rosewood

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For people who are thinking about going to 2019 MTT, here are the list of venues/cities.

1 Feb 16-17, Miyagi, Bellsunpia Miyagi Izumi, Taiwa-cho
2 Feb 23-24, Kumamoto, Aqua Dome Kumamoto, Kumamoto
3 March 16-17, Gunma, ALSOK Gunma Ice Arena, Maebashi
4 April 20-21, Kagawa, Tresta Shirayama Ice Arena, Miki-cho
5 May 3-5, Iwate, Michinoku Coca-Cola Bottling Rink (Morioka City Ice Rink), Morioka
6 May 11-12, Aomori, Technol Ice Park Hachinohe, Hachinohe
7 June 14-16, Okinawa, Sports World Southern Hill, Haebaru-cho
8 June 22-23, Niigata, Niigata Asahi Alex Ice Arena, Niigata
9 July 13-14, Shiga, Shiga Prefectural Ice Arena, Otsu
10 Aug 10-11, Hokkaido, Hakucho Ouji Ice Arena, Tomakomai
11 Aug 31-Sept 1, Okayama, Healthpia Kurashiki, Kurashiki
12 Sept 28-29, Hyogo, Amagasaki Sports Forest Ice Skating Rink, Amagasaki
13 Oct 19-20, Aomori, Mori Unyu Arena (Aomori Prefectural Skating Rink), Aomori
14 Nov 14-17, Fukui, New Sunpia Tsuruga, Tsuruga
15 Dec 14-15, Aichi, Ai-Chi Commemorative Park (Morikoro Park Ice Skating Rink), Nagakute

This year it was too difficult for fans to get a ticket so I heard lots of people crying (not literally) when they lost in the ticketing battle. I expect it'll be a bit easier next year since 2019 tour has 15 stops compared to 10 this year. That said, it won't be easy at any rate. (If any, you can PM me when you need my support @tamms.)
 

tamms

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@rosewood Thanks for the kind offer! I am probably going to aim for the second half of the year if time permits. Haven’t been to Aomori and Fukui prefectures yet so if this really does happen then I can hit two birds with one stone. I wish I could also make it for the Kurashiki stop though. I had such good memories of Okayama in general.
 

cohkaix

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A new interview clip from Nov. 3: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6wl30k

(Sorry I won't be able to provide detailed translation to the content, but Mao looks as genuine and happy as usual when talking about her feeling towards FS now.)

Also, MTT at the moment is touring at Hiroshima, which is the second to the last stop for this year.
 

rosewood

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Happy new year, everyone! Here are some clips from Shimane show which was the final show of MTT 2018. (As of the end of Shimane stop Mai retired from shows so they had a little ceremony for Mai there as well.)

Opening (This Little Light in Me/Smile) *scroll down
https://twitter.com/shanshang118/status/1079652312446988289
Puttin' on the Ritz
https://twitter.com/shanshang118/status/1079656849417285632
Bei Mir Bistu Shein *scroll down
https://twitter.com/shanshang118/status/1079725000242880512
Cello Suites *scroll down
https://twitter.com/shanshang118/status/1079732422957162496
Madame Butterfly *scroll down
https://twitter.com/shanshang118/status/1079348164585385984
Ritual Dance (Black & Red) *scroll down
https://twitter.com/shanshang118/status/1079384044020817920
Rach 2 (a glimpse from a preview clip aired prior to MTT's TV program)
https://twitter.com/noeccho/status/1076313737320050688
Ending (Winds Beneath My Wings & a ceremony for Mai) *scroll down
https://twitter.com/noeccho/status/1079281231085223936
Rehearsal
https://twitter.com/shanshang118/status/1079367234542174208

Shame the whole show of MTT hasn't aired. Maybe it's due to MTT's concept that Mao wants people to come to the rinks and see the skaters in person. That said, a TV program (2 hours length) is scheduled to be broadcasted on 4th January. I'm expecting most of the programs will be shown on it since MTT 2018 has finished its all shows. If not, I can provide some links to vids that I have by PM (for some reasons) if you guys want to watch.
 
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babayaga

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Thank you so much for the report. Will the broadcasted videos be available on youtube afterwards?
 

rosewood

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Happy new year, everyone! Here are some clips from Shimane show which was the final show of MTT 2018. (As of the end of Shimane stop Mai retired from shows so they had a little ceremony for Mai there as well.)

Opening (This Little Light in Me/Smile) *scroll down
https://twitter.com/shanshang118/status/1079652312446988289
Puttin' on the Ritz
https://twitter.com/shanshang118/status/1079656849417285632
Bei Mir Bistu Shein *scroll down
https://twitter.com/shanshang118/status/1079725000242880512
Cello Suites *scroll down
https://twitter.com/shanshang118/status/1079732422957162496
Madame Butterfly *scroll down
https://twitter.com/shanshang118/status/1079348164585385984
Ritual Dance (Black & Red) *scroll down
https://twitter.com/shanshang118/status/1079384044020817920
Rach 2 (a glimpse from a preview clip aired prior to MTT's TV program)
https://twitter.com/noeccho/status/1076313737320050688
Ending (Winds Beneath My Wings & a ceremony for Mai) *scroll down
https://twitter.com/noeccho/status/1079281231085223936
Rehearsal
https://twitter.com/shanshang118/status/1079367234542174208

Shame the whole show of MTT hasn't aired. Maybe it's due to MTT's concept that Mao wants people to come to the rinks and see the skaters in person. That said, a TV program (2 hours length) is scheduled to be broadcasted on 4th January. I'm expecting most of the programs will be shown on it since MTT 2018 has finished its all shows. If not, I can provide some links to vids that I have by PM (for some reasons) if you guys want to watch.
Found a dailymotion video of this TV program from Shimane show. :)

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6zu5t9
 

livetoskate

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Thanks for the links to all the videos, rosewood! This is the only way I can see the show so I really appreciate your sharing of this information.
 

cohkaix

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Thanks to @rosewood for addition the full video of Shimane show! Actually, I was in Shimane during Dec 15-16 and made it to one of the shows. I was considering going for MTT in 2019, as I've figured that the show would keep on at least for some while in 2019 (now it's for one whole year). But there was a last minute change of mind (yes, perhaps one of the reasons was that Mai would leave MTT after the Shimane show, and I really wanted to have the chance to watch MTT in its original version with Mai.) so I made it to the Shimane MTT. I enjoyed the whole performance a lot, and the venue at Shimane/Izumo was literally 'rink in the middle of the field'. In general, I'd say that Mao was in great condition and her skating (skill) is still there. Now with the experiences from the 1st year of MTT, her performance is getting better and better....

Also, I'd like to add that I adore the team members from MTT: it's just so much fun that, even though most of them are not those Japanese skaters you'd see in the international competitions, through the performance, I realize each one of them has his/her own charm and the whole team works out quite well. And finally, I'm glad that I caught the last chance to watch Mai skating in MTT. She performed especially well during the last couple of shows. Mai may never possess the skating skill as Mao, but her smooth skating, strong 2A, and beautiful body line....for sure she'll be missed by the other MTT members.

It will be interesting to see who gets to join the MTT in the upcoming shows this year. And I'll just keep on praying for a successful touring of each show (and no injury please) till the end of the year.
 

Spun Silver

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Found a dailymotion video of this TV program from Shimane show. :)

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6zu5t9
This was just wonderful. Mao is exquisite and tireless and a brilliant impresario. And the show was so emotional, bringing back so many memories of Mao's greatness, and with the beautiful tribute to Mai too. What a great gift she is making to Japan (and her fans across the globe) with this tour.

Mura should have competed to Bells of Moscow!

Thank you,@rosewood.
 

rosewood

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This documentary broadcast on Jan 4th summarizes Mao thanks tours from 2018:

(1/2)https://youtu.be/4KLRhtC9mFQ
(2/2)https://youtu.be/jF_ttYB3dDw
Thanks for posting the links, @cohkaix!

It was a nice surprise that Mao started attempting 3A and 3F-3Lo (for fun?) from around autumn. Seems her left knee got much better than it was in her final competitive season. (There was a rumor that she had a surgery on her left knee after the retirement.) It's also nice to see Mao has Mura with her as a jump adviser and Mura has her as a body-line adviser during practices for MTT. :)

That said, I was disappointed that Fuji TV didn't broadcast videos of programs from MTT other than a couple of them during the two hours long broadcast, since I know lots of her fans out of Japan are waiting to see them. :(
 

babayaga

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This was so much better than I even expected it to be. Loved every program. Made me realize how much I miss Mao's skating.

rosewood, thank you!!
 

rosewood

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This was so much better than I even expected it to be. Loved every program. Made me realize how much I miss Mao's skating.

rosewood, thank you!!
You miss Mao so much? Here is a clip posted yesterday (by a person who came across the rink) where Mao skated alone at an outside rink in the midtown Tokyo (Roppongi). :) She looks fit! Her skating even as a scenery fascinates me. :love:
https://twitter.com/antisugernight/status/1081456621081919488
 

rosewood

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Tour schedule of MTT 2019 was updated and 5 more stops were added including Tokyo. It has 20 stops in total! :cheer: (*Dates of two stops were changed.) It's a bit surprising MTT finally got a stop in Tokyo. IIRC only Prince Ice World had Tokyo stop(s) among Japanese ice show tours these years. Even The Ice didn't make it.

Tour Schedule of MTT 2019
1 Feb 16-17, Miyagi, Bellsunpia Miyagi Izumi, Taiwa-cho
2 Feb 23-24, Kumamoto, Aqua Dome Kumamoto, Kumamoto
3 March 16-17, Gunma, ALSOK Gunma Ice Arena, Maebashi
4 March 23-26, Ehime, Iyotetsu Sports Center, Matsuyama
5 April 20-21, Kagawa, Tresta Shirayama Ice Arena, Miki-cho
6 May 3-5, Iwate, Michinoku Coca-Cola Bottling Rink (Morioka City Ice Rink), Morioka
7 May 11-12, Aomori, Technol Ice Park Hachinohe, Hachinohe
8 May 25-26, Tokyo, Edogawa Sports Land, Edogawa-ku
*9 June 7-9, Okinawa, Sports World Southern Hill, Haebaru-cho (*dates changed)
10 June 22-23, Niigata, Niigata Asahi Alex Ice Arena, Niigata
11 July 13-14, Shiga, Shiga Prefectural Ice Arena, Otsu
12 Aug 10-11, Hokkaido, Hakucho Ouji Ice Arena, Tomakomai
13 Aug 31-Sept 1, Okayama, Healthpia Kurashiki, Kurashiki
14 Sept 14-15, Tochigi, Nikko Kirifuri Ice Arena, Nikko
15 Sept 28-29, Hyogo, Amagasaki Sports Forest Ice Skating Rink, Amagasaki
16 Oct 19-20, Aomori, Mori Unyu Arena (Aomori Prefectural Skating Rink), Aomori
17 Nov 2-3, Kyoto, Kyoto Aquarena, Ukyo-ku
18 Nov 9-10, Hokkaido, Douhoku Arcs Taisetsu Arena, Asahikawa

*19 Nov 16-19, Fukui, New Sunpia Tsuruga, Tsuruga (*dates changed)
20 Dec 14-15, Aichi, Ai-Chi Commemorative Park (Morikoro Park Ice Skating Rink), Nagakute
http://maotour.jp/

Map http://maotour.jp/img/img_map2019_pc1217.png
 

rosewood

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YT videos from the documentary @cohkaix posted above.

Rach 2 by team MTT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY7-PfokZmg
Bells of Moscow by Mura
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Odij0mqe7Zo

I actually love to see Mao's programs skated by other skaters with a bit of reform/arrangements for fitting them to the skaters, since Mao's programs are too good to be left behind. There are lots more nice programs which are not skated even in MTT. Mottainai!

________

BTW Mao is supporting Paralympic 2020 Tokyo. She has a NHK's TV program where she visits para-athletes for promoting them. Kakita-san is one of them. He recently won a gold at Asian Para Games in table tennis. Mao invited him to a Fukuoka show. Here is a photo of him & his wife visiting MTT. Go Kakita-san! :)
https://twitter.com/kakitanariaki/status/1079527242231799808
 
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rosewood

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Mao together with team MTT appeared at the Tokyo-midtown outside rink's opening event of this season. They skated MTT's opening number to This Little Light in Me. That was a nice way to promote MTT 2019 & its Tokyo stop. Lots of news shows aired clips from the event.

from Mao's Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/p/BsVmQCug94S/
photos & YT video
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/images/AS20190107001351_comm.jpg
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/images/AS20190107001407_comm.jpg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pCeQabQ_8U

Interviews with Mao after the event:

(clip)
Q:What are you addicted to now? A: From the end of last year I'm addicted to decluttering. I've thrown away about 20 trash bags of things- mostly clothes. One day I found I had three vegetable slicers in my kitchen. I threw away two of them into a trash bag. And the next morning when I grabbed the bag, I cut my finger with the thrown away slicer. ...I sliced my finger with the slicer and I'm still recovering from the injury. (with a giggle)

(clip)
Q:What's your goal of the new year? A: I really cried a lot last year. When MTT members had a surprise birthday ceremony for me, I was so happy that I cried a lot. My goal of this year is not to cry much and do well as a leader of MTT.

(clip)
Q: Did you change your signatures? A: I've used my former signature since I was 12 years old. That heart mark is too cute for me today (as an grown-up). Also I wanted a change of air. I wanted a simple one.
Narration: In her new signature her name Mao (真央) is written in kanji.
Mao: What do you imagine when you see my signature? Do you see my finish-pose in my long program to Rach 2 at Sochi Olys in this signature? When I was looking for a good signature by attempting lots of others, I naturally came to this one which looks like something skating related.

ETA:
In one of the interviews Mao said one member will be added this year. So other members than Mai will continue skating in MTT. I wonder if they'll continue skating most of the same programs as 2018 show's. Some of them, especially those that Mai skated as a main skater, can be replaced by other programs, tho.
 
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livetoskate

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How amazing and wonderful that that they've built up to 20 stops! But how do these skaters manage their schedules? I think a lot of them are college students, Ernesto is in fashion school, Mura and one of the ladies have young children. I wonder how they balance all the demands of touring in addition to the promotional events, e.g. they've held skating clinics for kids at some of the show stops. Anyway, I hope great, recent competitive skaters like Dice Murakami, Chris Reed, or Kana Muramoto could join the cast since it looks like they're done competing.
 

MIsty Blades/Skate Mom

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Hmm, do you think that some US Figure Skating Gold Medalists could do a "gratitude" type tour? I'm not so sure about our Figure Skating soloists or pairs would be interested right now. They might rather do a "thanks for nothing" tour. I don't know.
 

Spun Silver

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Hmm, do you think that some US Figure Skating Gold Medalists could do a "gratitude" type tour? I'm not so sure about our Figure Skating soloists or pairs would be interested right now. They might rather do a "thanks for nothing" tour. I don't know.
The only one who could pull that off, maybe, would be Kwan, and she's not an OGM. And her time has probably passed. No one in the US today has anything like the stature of Mao in Japan. She has been a star since at least her early teens.

Although I will say that the strategy of low-priced shows in little rinks all over the country would be a wonderful way to build the fan base in the US and Jason might be able to pull it off if the finances could be worked out.
 

cohkaix

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How amazing and wonderful that that they've built up to 20 stops! But how do these skaters manage their schedules? I think a lot of them are college students, Ernesto is in fashion school, Mura and one of the ladies have young children.
Actually, not so many college students as guessed...let's see, Mura and Nagisa both have children, yes. Mura and the other two Japanese male skaters (Seiya and Sei) formed a management team (aka. Team Orange Cheers) so perhaps they have their own support group. I'm not sure if Erni is still in school? As for the ladies', Mara got admission to graduate school last year from Chukyo U. And I'm not sure about Mari, so that leaves Risa to be the only college student.

I'm also curious about the new member to be added to the team. My first impression after watching MTT (and knowing Mai would be leaving) is that, they'll need to find someone as appealing as Mai and that won't be an easy task. So another method will be changing the programs somehow (like for the PR event after the new year, Mura is skating in the place of Mai for the original opening number) As for the candidate, I thought Dice is coaching in California, and Chris and Kana may still be looking for partners to try out ice skating (still sad about the split). One suggestion I saw from twitter was Haruka Imai. But of course it's just guessing.
 

Spun Silver

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Not too many available skaters are as appealing as Mai. Hana would be fantastic. Akiko Suzuki probably has a full schedule. More likely, perhaps, is Kanako Murakami since she and Mao seem to be good friends. Kanako is very endearing.
 

cohkaix

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Not too many available skaters are as appealing as Mai. Hana would be fantastic. Akiko Suzuki probably has a full schedule. More likely, perhaps, is Kanako Murakami since she and Mao seem to be good friends. Kanako is very endearing.
As Kanako is taking over Mai's regular Sport news casting position (hosting regularly on Monday), I think it's less likely that Kanako will be able to join the tour. I also think about Akiko, but not sure if she might be too busy with the choreography duties.
 

Spun Silver

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Good for Kanako but too bad if she's unavailable for the tour. I'm surprised to hear Mai won't be doing that job either. What will she be doing now (if anyone knows)?
 

rosewood

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Dunno but my feelings based on my impression from Yamanashi show say it's not necessary to have another star skater to replace Mai. Actually I fell in love with Maral's skating :love: when I saw her in person. She's dynamic and yet has polished lines as well as showed something on high level such as a nice Y-spiral. Nagisa is a trained show skater who has years of experience as a pro-skater so I wonder if she can easily replace Mai's roles in MTT, too.

Away from MTT I really wish Maral makes an Olys team of Mongolia. She posted on her instagram that she's the only competitive skater in Mongolia. How great if she makes a history of this sport in her country. Female skates don't do jumps much in MTT so I don't know on what level Maral's jumps are, tho. I loved to see this clip where Maral's learning school figure from Mao. :) MTT cast looked improved a lot in the end of 2018 tour than in the first show of MTT. Maybe they all worked hard and Mao supported them a lot.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BrdCK7HhNWE/
 
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