Thank you...Olympia and chloepoco
Now back to skating and skaters. Here is Daisuke's interview with the college newspaper after the charity gala on April 9.
(translation by me)
"I just wanted to help"
- Tell us how the gala has come about.
D: A few days after the earthquake, when no one knew what was going to happen to the World Championships, some people including (Takeshi) Honda-sensei (one of Daisuke's coaches) contacted me to discuss whether we could hold a charity event. We were lucky that Port Island Skating Centre was available for hire at the right time and its skating club offered their support too.
- How do you think the gala went?
D: To be honest, we were not sure how many people would come to see the show, but so many people turned up and gave a round of applause to all performances. I am also glad that there was nobody got injured during the show.*
- The Worlds is only a few weeks away...
D: There were debates about whether it was right to hold the charity gala today, but this is what we skaters can do to help. The World Championships comes round every year. No matter what I was told, I really wanted to do something to help. I am glad I was part of the show.
- How did you feel today?
D: I skated my SP of the season; it is a fun programme, and I hope it helped people to cheer up a bit.
- What was your reaction when you first heard about the disaster?
D: I invited the media to a practice session on that day and it happened in the middle of it. At first, I could not believe it was real even when I was watching it all on TV, but it started to sink in as the days went by. I got very depressed. But then I thought there was no point in being just depressed. I know it will be a long time before the recovery and reconstruction of the stricken regions are completed, so I don't want to stop here and would like to be involved in charity if there are more opportunities. Figure skating is popular in Japan, so we should be able to help.
- Are you ready for the Worlds? How's your condition, compared to a month ago?
D: I felt as if I was suspended in the mid-air, not knowing what was going to happen to the Worlds. I cannot tell how I am going to be (in Moscow). I had some rest and now I am 50% of what I should be. I should work hard as if the new season was just about to start. I've got another couple of weeks, so it should be OK. I'll do as much as I can till then.
- How was your performance today?
D: It's been a while since I last skated in front of the audience, so I felt nervous. I need to work more on finer details to win though...
A picture of Daisuke making a speech after the finale; http://livedoor.2.blogimg.jp/boomspo...c/fc667d8c.jpg
* translator's note - Daisuke was worried about the audience safety and referred to it especially at the opening ceremony, asking them not lean over the the upper gallery balustrade, which was rather low.
thank you for all the translations, mot. daisuke is so lovable! i am almost at the point where i cannot read any more about daisuke because then i will be too nervous watching him skate ^_^
i read that he received mild criticism for his focus on the gala rather than preparing for worlds exclusively, and that surprised me greatly. it's just not understandable to me how he can be criticized for this, just as i won't criticize oda for going to canada to train rather than performing in the gala.
I think this one's for Treeloving and other fans of Yuzuru Hanyu.
(Translated by me)
Yuzuru Hanyu, who won the silver medal at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in February, attended the ceremony to mark the beginning of the new academic year at Tohoku High School in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture on April 14. He's now in the second year of the high school and saw his classmates for the first time since the earthquake. 'I am relieved that the life is back to normal, to a small extent.'
He was practicing at the ice rink in Sendai when the earthquake struck. They first gathered in the middle of the ice in pitch dark, then escaped with their skates still on. 'I didn't even have time to put blade guards on, but what could we do?', he recalls clearly. His family home in Sendai city was also damaged, so the family of 4 spent 4 days in the evacuation centre.
He was wondering whether it's the right time for him to continue skating, but he was convinced that it is when he saw Tohoku High School's baseball team play at the Spring National High School Tournament, doing their best; 'I felt I should do the same. Figure skating is all I have got.' His home rink is now closed for indefinite period. He is planning to go to Hachinohe in Aomori Prefecture and Yokohama in Kanagawa Pref. in order to practice and appear in the ice shows. 'I would like to give a performance that gives hope to those who watch.'
His latest pic. with school uniform on; http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/n...15-3-ns300.jpg
Sad to know that his house got damage.
Yuzuru has to practise in the town almost 300 kilometers away from home!!!, hope it will not affect his performance much.
Anyway, it good to see him to be quite positive and confident, that is already a reward for fan.
Last edited by treeloving; 04-16-2011 at 09:05 AM.
I thought I couldn't admire Daisuke any more after his gutsy performance in Vancouver, but my regard for him has grown once more. Obviously he is both a good skater and a good man. Thanks so much for your translation work, mot, as well as the translation of Hanyu's account.
Thanks for reading and your continuous interests in Japanese skaters and their stories since the earthquake.
Here is another article about Yuzuru. It’s long and some information is repetition of the previously translated materials, but it includes more details of his movements since the earthquake and how he has been feeling. I also wonder who in foreign country has invited him to practice there…
For the Stricken Areas, A Dance of Courage; 16 year-old Figure Skater, Yuzuru Hanyu
(translated by me)
‘I was on the ice. I could barely remain standing. When the shake subsided a little, we went outside. I still had my skates on and forgot to put on the blade guards.’
March 11, when the earthquake struck, Yuzuru Hanyu, who won the World Junior title last year and the silver medal at the Four Continents Championships this year, was practising in Ice Rink Sendai.
Once stepping on the ground not covered by rubber or soft fabric, the blades get damaged and you won’t be able to use them again. It is a long-term habit to put the guards on when stepping outside, but he forgot about it then.
The skaters, who were at the rink, including Yuzuru and his coach Nanami Abe, all survived. But when they went back to the rink later, the ice melted and was covered in water. They were informed of the damaged pipework, but not much more. The rink is now inaccessible. Yuzuru’s home, located close to the rink, was also affected. Without electricity, gas and water supplies at home, he and his family spent 4 days in the evacuation centre.
‘They provided water and food for us there. I realized that we were supported by many people.’ They moved back home once electricity supply was reconnected, but it was only this month that gas supply was resumed.
Once settled down a little, skaters felt they should start skating again, but they had no ice to skate on. Ice Rink Sendai was the only all-year round rink not only for the skaters in Miyagi Prefecture, but also for those in surrounding Akita, Iwate and Yamagata Prefectures. They had no means of transport to go to rinks afar. Some rinks in Kanto region (around Tokyo) are also affected by the earthquake.
Kasamatsu ice rink in Ibaraki Prefecture is part collapsed and closed for indefinite period. Parts of walls and ceiling have collapsed at Jingu Gaien in Tokyo; they are carrying out checks and repairs and hoping to reopen in June. Aqua Rink Chiba (Chiba Prefecture) was finally reopened in April 9.
10 days after the earthquake, Yuzuru went to Yokohama with his mother on the highway bus. He first bought new boots and blades, to replace the ones damaged during the evacuation, and began practicing in Yokohama. On April 4, the rink in Hachinohe (Aomori Prefecture) reopened as the electricity shortage was overcome, and 30 skaters coached by Nanami Abe, including Yuzuru, held a training camp there. Once the camp was over, he moved once again to Yokohama.
Moving from one rink to another, he felt unmotivated and often could not bring himself to show up even time was booked for him in the morning and evening. It was said that he locked himself up in the hotel room when not practising.
The change came when he saw Tohoku High School’s baseball team play in National Tournament on March 28. The team lost 0-7 to Nichidai-Ogaki, but watching his classmate on TV gave him energy.
He still experiences ups and downs; he became depressed when he heard about yet another blackout in Sendai due to aftershocks.
What gave him a chance to smile was cheer from the audience. On April 9, he shared the ice with other skaters, such as Daisuke Takahashi and Shizuka Arakawa, for the charity ice show in Kobe.
Nowadays, Nagoya is perceived as a Mecca of figure skating, but Sendai was another centre of Japan’s figure skating around the time of 1998 Nagano Olympics. Some skaters who were based in Sendai in those days now belong to Kansai University Skating Club; Takeshi Honda (from Fukushima Pref.) and Yamato Tamura (from Aomori Pref.) are both alumni of Tohoku High School and coach at Kansai University. It was Sendai where Daisuke Takahashi first met his long-term coach Utako Nagamitsu.
It was those people now based at Kansai University and a few others, who first came up with the idea of and realized the charity show in Kobe. 2700 tickets, including those for stand-up only, were sold and over ¥13million was collected as cash donations and by charity auctions held on the day.
Kobe was a victim of the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995. Seeing Kobe now, Yuzuru could not believe it was the city once destroyed by the earthquake. ‘I felt mortified watching my home town getting destroyed, but now I believe we could rebuild it if we put our efforts together.’
He skated the programme he is used to skating, ‘White Legend’, this season’s SP, and ‘Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini*’ from last season for encore. (*the original article is erroneous and thus corrected by the translator). He gave all he had and his heartfelt performance brought the audience to their feet. Nanami Abe, his coach, said of his performance ‘moving and brought me to tears.’
Yuzuru went back to Seindai to attend the ceremony to mark the beginning of new academic year at school, but he is going to be in Hachinohe from the 18th. From May onwards, he’ll be in Yokohama, Hachinohe, Yokohama again, Kanazawa, then Tokyo… He’s appearing in ice shows in those cities and planning to ask for the use of rinks there before the shows to practice. ‘Figure skating is all I have got and can do. I am hoping to show my perseverance and give courage to as many people as possible.’
Yuzuru is one of the elite athletes classified so specially by the JSF, so he could have an access to use of National Training Centre (Chukyo University Ice Arena). And the sports club in Nagoya, where coach Hiroshi Nagakubo is based, is making special arrangement for him to use their rink. (Nagakubo used to be based in Sendai.) Some connection outside Japan is also offering him an opportunity to practice abroad. However, he has no intention of moving his base from Sendai.
‘All I want to do now is to skate, and pour whatever I feel now into skating.’ He said, once it is done, he’ll then think of what to do in the future.
Original article in Japanese in Nihon Keizai Shinbun Newspaper online:
Part 1 - http://www.nikkei.com/sports/column/...E2E3E2EAEAE2E2
Part 2 - http://www.nikkei.com/sports/column/...E2E3E2EAEAE2E2
Part 3 - http://www.nikkei.com/sports/column/...E2E3E2EAEAE2E2
Last edited by mot; 04-16-2011 at 06:56 PM.
this is a promotional piece about the documentary about Daisuke and Nobu to be aired in a week time; and according to it, Daisuke in person went about making arrangements for the show; booking the venue, inviting skaters, and even sitting on each seat to decide on categorisation and prices for different seats. (It makes me smile that the piece refers to him wearing a business suit when doing all these things. )
The production team followed Daisuke and Nobu for a year, since the end of the last season, it says. They had very different endings last season but both had difficulties of their own throughout this one, though different in nature. Of course, based outside Japan, I cannot watch it on TV, but hope to catch it on Youtube or by other means. (And Nobu's baby is soooooooooo cute! I cannot wait to see more of him!)
Thank you mot for the translations. Nobu's baby is beautiful, look at that smile of his.
mot, thank you SO much for all your hard work on the translations.
They add much to my understanding of the current situation in Japan.
May I join the chorus of praise for Shizuka?
I am awed by her strength, maturity, ability to recognize what would be most helpful; and then, to do that!
Regarding to Yuzuru news, I'm glad traveling to Kobe cheered him up, motivated him to skate and made him less depress.
On another side, it still sad, not because all the things that happen to Yuzuru but form this news we can see how the natural distaster affect people. Even Yuzuru isn't the one who is the most affect by this earthquakes, it give him emotional pain, I really can't imagine how the people whom homes were swept away or loss thier love one must have felt.
From Rachael Flatt interview http://worldskating.blogspot.com/
I am certainly inspired to skate for those who lost their lives in Japan. I think several skaters will be dedicating their performances at Worlds this year, so it will be very emotional for everyone.
BTW, skfan, interviewed at the award ceremony for Mizuno Sport Mentor Awards, Utako Nagamitsu, Daisuke's coach, said she's got a feeling that he will be peaking at the right time for the Worlds. Ahhhhhhhhh.... all my fingers and toes crossed!
Layfan, I think you're right about Rachael. I think her best years are ahead of her, and isn't that a nice thought? She reminds me of a boss I had for many years. Nothing distressed that woman. We always felt that if a crisis showed up, she'd see us through. I hope Rachael turns out to be that kind of person.
This time, it is going to be in Aichi Prefecture, a Mecca of Japan's figure skating.
I think it is most likely further to the thoughts expressed by Takahiko Kozuka (see my previous post #27), the skaters in Aichi have asked Aichi Prefecture Skating Federation, whether they can hold a charity ice show.
2 shows are scheduled on May 7.
Men: Takahiko Kozuka, Takahito Mura, Ryuichi Kihara, Ryuju Hino, Shoma Uno, Yuzuru Hanyu (guest)
Ladies: Mao Asada, Kanako Murakami, Akiko Suzuki, Miyako Oba, Ayumi Goto, Miu Sato, Ibuki Mori, haruka Sakai
news source (in Japanese): http://sportsnavi.yahoo.co.jp/winter...do_sp-spo.html
detailed info (PDF in Japanese): http://www.skatingjapan.or.jp/image_...ENT/1545_2.pdf
The PDF file available from the JSF included a hand-written message from Takahiko Kozuka, representing the participating skaters, which I translated below;
First of all, I would like to offer our sincere condolences to those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. We are going to hold an ice show with a hope that it will be a help towards recovery and reconstruction of the stricken regions, no matter how small it may be.
We have realised how hard it is to organise an ice show and we are grateful for the all support we received from those around us. We are determined to give our best performances, with our thoughts and sympathies for the people in the stricken areas.
(representing the participating skaters)
Meanwhile, the update of the money raised at Kobe Charity Gala on April 9 became available. The total sum includes the cash donation collected and the money raised through charity auction on the day, as well as the money donated via bank transfers from those who were unable to come to see the show.
donation: 12,444,309 yen (9,773,515 yen on the day, 2,670,794 yen via bank transfer)
auction: 3,862,323 yen (2,954,323 yen on the day, 908,000 yen via bank transfer)
total: 16,306,632 yen (approx $197,473)
source (in Japanese): http://www.fskating.net/event/detail.php?product_id=5
picture of the skaters: http://www.fskating.net/upload/save_...54d085b3f2.jpg