Given the extremely deep field in Japanese men during his era, he should be very proud of himself to have won a National title and skated at the Olympics, and to have otherwise medalled at least once in every other major international championship. Remarkable resume for someone who skated against Takahashi, Oda, Hanyu, Machida, Uno, Mura etc to even make the team for those championhips.
His beautiful edges, and his performances at 2011 Worlds and 2014-5 Nationals will not be forgotten.
I was fortunate enough to see Kozuka live at 2010 TEB, and I'll remember his wonderful free skate rather than some of the more disappointing performances of recent years. He's a special skater and I hope he stays involved in skating in some way.
Oh my ... just rewatched his 2011 free programme at Worlds as well. For some reason I thought that he made a couple of mistakes in the programme, but he didn't (even landed the 4T cleanly). Absolutely amazing.
Awww, we saw this coming but Kozuka was one of my favourite underdogs, often lowballed in PCSs... Those knees and edges . And impeccable music choices. He accomplished a lot and yet I feel he could have done so much more.
Cheers to his best skates, the 2011 Worlds and 2014 4CC. And his Nausicaa program
Love his skating so much and was just sorry to see him struggle with nerves and the judges not appreciating his introverted presentation and with that pesky hip thing. I will also miss seeing Mr Sato pat his back! Loved his sensitivity to the music, too.
But congrats on his marriage--wishing him and his wife much happiness!!
Really sorry this moment has finally arrived. I absolutely loved the softness of his skating , watching him just moving on the ice was such amazing experience. Always grateful for the great moments he provided to skating fans. My best wishes for his future.
Thank you, Taka. For all the beautiful musicality. And the smile. Saw him win Skate America live, both in 2008 and 2012, and he was the class of both competitions. Also re-watched his 2010 Olympic performances recently, and really enjoyed them. He was the most competitive early in his career, but he is one of those skaters that has always grown in performance style, musicality and interpretation, and versatility. Truly appreciated. And loved.
I always enjoyed watching Taka. Just a great all-around skater. Very happy to hear of his marriage and new job. He'll be missed, for sure, and I hope he can still maybe skate in shows now and then(?). But I'm glad he is building a new life for himself. Best wishes to him.
I will definitely miss his skating. I remember his win at Skate America skating to Romeo and Juliet and thought...who the heck is this guy...I love his skating. His back scratch will live forever in my heart.
I'm so sad to hear about this but still I guess I knew it was coming. Taka and his skating has always been very very dear to me and I'm so grateful that he's stayed around and given us so much, even with all the injuries and disappointments. I'll miss just how different he was; the quietness and sensitivity, and of course the glorious purity of his edges. He created his own beautiful little world when he skated and at his best he could pull you in like no other.
He is so very loved and I hope he's not leaving the ice for good, although I understand if he chooses to do so. Here's to the future, Taka, wishing you all the best!