Sources: 'Friends Plus vol.7', Friends talk Shizuka x Daisuke
On Air: March 18th, 2012 @ CS channel Nittere+ (日テレ＋)
Re: Earthquakes and tusnamis that hit Japan in March 2011
<Shizuka was brought up and started skating as a little kid in Sendai, where the quakes hit hard one year ago. Shiz, Takeshi, Yamato all graduated from Tohoku High School where Yuzuru studies now.>
Shiz: "The quakes also damaged a couple of local ice rinks throughout Eastern part of Japan. When things got calmed down a bit later and kids wanted to resume on-ice trainings, there was no ice rink available for them. Some of them had to give up skating. It did break my heart thinking of them.
We, the skaters had no power to build a new ice rink for them. There was nothing I could do for them, except seeing them and encouraging never to give up. The reality hit me and I felt a sort of useless of myslf at that time."
Dai: "I feel the same way. We need ice rinks first, if we want to do this sport. Not only skating. In Japan, the conditions for winter sports in general are just awful. How I wished if I were able to have enough power to do something to make things better. But the power by one person is too small, I feel helpless."
Shiz: "My advice for competitive skaters, like you Dai, is to do what you do the best as you can. There are many things you can give them while competing; hopes, dreams, joys; every reasons encouraging kids to continue by showing them your competing seriously. That is the very good side of a sport.
For myself, as someone who retired and has become professional, I visited as many places as possible and skated with local kid skaters so far. I would like to continue doing so in the future."
Dai: "I live in Osaka. For those who live very far from the areas affected by the quakes and tsunamis, we may tend to forget the reality; damages, lost lives, devastated sorrows, ongoing fears concerning the nuclear power plants accidents, as time goes by. We have to remind ourselves of it, becasue we have the same normal life as before. Especially someone like myself, I mean public figure who can voice something in the public, should be frontrunners and role models in voicing the things as needed."
Shiz: "This year I hope there will be some lights of revivals visible in the hearts of people who had to suffer. I would like to see more smiles come back on their faces."
Dai: "In this regard, it's good we have the Summer Olympic Games in London soon. Athletes can give people more liveliness and spirits. We can become one through sports. I believe sports, whether you do it and/or you watch is, have such great powers to people."
Shiz and Dai have hearts and they are so right about inspiring others and lifting their spirits.
Re: 'Friends on Ice'
<'Friends on Ice' is an ice show produced by Shizuka, with co-casting her friend skaters from all over the world held in Yokohama every year, normally late spring or early summer, since 2006 after her retirement with Torino OGM. This show is very popular among the core skating fans in Japan for its 'hand-made, at-home atomosphere', what can I say?, the least intrusive without spending too much money. Dai joins every year since 2006. Even in 2009, which was the year for Dai making a comback after knee surgery, he could make it becasue the show was held late in the summer.>
Dai: "I love your concept of the show, and look forward to hearing it every year!"
Shiz: "I'm gonna leave the half of the show to you this year. How about you doing it yourself Dai?"
Dai: "NOoo wayyyy! (=You know how I am made of as a skater. Am least good at doing choreography myself.) But I will do whatever as you wish! I'm all yours."
Shiz: "Okay...then let me know if there is anything you wanna do. Am grateful for your ideas if any."
"I would prefer doing more group numbers, because there are other ice shows, quite many actually, where skaters get to perform their own programs skating alone."
Dai: "I agree. I love to perform with the others as a couple or as a group, with the music, something that tells a story to the audience!"
Shiz: "Like The Phantom of The Opera from 2008?"
Shiz: "When I talk about group numbers, what I want is very solidly-built programs by solidly-built skaters while its top shape. Not a sort of easier numbers while skaters helping each other due to somewhat their past prime shape. I would prefer progarmas by solid skaters to get to perform together, showing their particular skills, skating techniques, uniqueness and performance ability in their own way. Sounds challenging even for me, but I like it. It gives me extra motivation as a pro skater. And that surely will attract many audience."
Shiz: "Maybe Kenji (Miyamoto) can be of great help for chreo. Simple but very detailed programs. Oh, I won't forget askimg him to include spread eagle for you. And spirals, too!"
Dai: "Alright, alright, will get myself ready for three eagles in a row. Even change-of-edge spirals as you wish..."
Dai: "The best program for me at FOI is The Phantom of The Opera."
<--- group number from FOI 2008, by FOI original members: featuring Shizuka, Takeshi, Tamato, Kenji, Yukari, Yoshie and Daisuke
Last edited by deedee1; 03-26-2012 at 12:12 AM.
Re: Motives to keep going
Shiz: "Having seen you over the years, what I noticed is your mental toughness."
Dai: "I know. When I was younger, mental weakness was always with me. Got better since then probably, but I am not the toughest yet, I'm afraid. The thing is I can deal with pressure much much better now."
"The biggest change I see in myself this season (from last season) is, my mentality and attitude towards competitions. Last season I felt much tensed, what can I say?, like walking a tightrope. This season, I can face the competitions in a more relaxed and positive way."
Shiz: "Are there any mistake that you regret now in particular, among mistakes you did in the past?"
Dai: "I did make many mistakes... But to tell the truth, no mistakes I would regret and choose one in particular. What about you?"
Shiz: "For me, every time I go out on the ice, I do mind every mistake concerning my skating, however it's a minor one. Even if it is one tiny mistake out of my many other perfect performances, I can't take it back. For those who only get to see one of my many appearances, it should count. On such a day, I even hate myself for it. After turning pro, I feel this way stronger. But if I let myself pressured for 'no-mistakes' too much, I may make mistake. Hard to keep the balance, you know..."
Dai: "I see it when I watch your performances. And I agree with you. How to ease the tension, how to feel relaxed and/or how to concentrate in a competition, these things are what we can never get through practices. That is why it's important and necessary to perform in front of the audience, whether it's a competition or ice show."
I love this conversation. But the most moving part is the section where they talk about the aftermath of the quake and the tsunami. I didn't realize that many young skaters had to quit skating because they no longer had a rink to go to. It's very impressive that both Shizuka and Dai have continued to do things to help. I love Dai's remark that sport can bring people together. Of course sport isn't a cure-all for the world's ills. But athletes who conduct their lives as if sport can bring people together usually do manage to make a difference. This is one more reason that I will always be his fan and will root for him.
Re: Things in mind to do
Dai: "(It may sound strange to you who's known me for a long time), I do not feel like going out for fun on my days off these days. I would prefer doing my stretch exercises..."
Shiz: "I would prefer doing a couple of things at the same time to keep me busy. The more I get busy with lots of work to do, the more I want to do other things for myself. If I come up with an idea, I will go for it. When I am rather busy with loads of work, it makes me dealing with things more positively and actively. It's good for me. That's how I went for whole new areas, such as golfing and long-distance running. I even obtained the driver's license for big motorcycle last year."
Dai: "You are such an active woman. Also stoical with yourself, aren't you? I am more reserved (introverted), besides skatintg."
Shiz: "To concentrate on one thing too much, your views get narrow-pointed. It does no good to you Dai. I took the license. Then I have come up with an idea of touring by my motorcycle in the US; starting up from the north to the south, or cross the continent from Carifornia to Florida. I can't do it this year. Next year maybe? I would say to myself, 'why not?' That's how a new thing opens a new door for you, and leads you to another new thing."
Dai: "Alright. Worlds in April, then knee surgery in May, I had a very short offseason. But when this season is over, I will do something new, in order to relax and to recharge my batteries. Actually, I was thinking about going to The Broadway, NY for musical shows for a week. Will surely make me inspired and spurred. Will help me to get some ideas for new programs, too. How would you like to go there with me, please?"
Shiz: "If so, it's better before you decide anything on new programs and/or choreographer. Let's talk about it later."
Last edited by deedee1; 03-27-2012 at 12:52 AM.
Re: Language & communication skills
Shiz: "I failed to achieve last year was...English. I wanted to do something with my English, which had been always my weakpoint. Made up my mind, took one month and stayed in Canada, but to no avail..."
"Normally I donot see the need of speaking it perfectly. When I am with people within the skating community, I do understand them most of the times thru body language, and vice versa. After all, things and/or thoughts we want to share are more or less relating to skating. So this time around, I decided never to get closer to ice rinks unless necessary. But you know, when being with those who are outside of the skatintg community, or those who donot know much about me as a skater, I go like 'what do I do? what am I supposed to talk about?' Eventually, I picked my skating boots, started going to ice rinks nearby, spent more time, and enjoyed skating."
Dai: "I know. Same for me. Surroundings are important! If we stay within our comfort zone, we get ourselves indulgent. I wish I could speak better English. That will help me to communicate with other people, and will help to expand my world much further and deeper."
Shiz: "I feel the need for good English in the process of producing the show; such as choreo for opening number and finale, because I have to work with skaters and give them instructions. So I would just grab bilingual person like Yuka-san and ask for a help!"
Dai: "Yeah, Yuka-san is great. She can be of great help in a swift and sharp manner."
Shiz: "She is the goddess to me!"
Dai: "English is something I want to acquire, too. I promise I will study it more seriously this summer. I will help you at next FOI as an interpreter. You can count on me. I should spend one month somewhere in the offseason, maybe?"
Shiz: "If you want to nail it, my advice is never ever get closer to ice rinks!"
Dai: "Where am I supposed to go then??? A club or bar? It may sound wierd to you, but I can speak English more fluent when I have some alcoholic beverages. I feel less embarrassed of myself, and less afraid of making mistakes with my English. I usually get along with other skaters at reception parties after competitions. I enjoy it very much! But the worst part of it is the next day when I meet them again, you know; such as Exhibition practices...Under no influence of alcohol, not many English words come out of my mouth...that is the moment I feel more embarressed of myself. I just say 'hi!' to them, and nothing else but to skate..."
"My problem is not only the language. I am too shy. I am hesitant talking to foreign people. But if I can handle English freely as I wish, there are so many things about skating I want to ask, discuss and share with other skaters in the world."
Shiz: "Alright then, a question for you. Imagine you have acquired perfect English. Who would you like to talk to? Names, please?"
Dai: "You mean skaters currently competing?"
Shiz: "Not only them. Coaches. Skaters. Ex skaters who turned pro or choreographers."
Dai: "Coach...Nikolai. Yes, Nikolai! I think I can talk about skating with him more seriously now.
I have so many things I want to talk, ask, discuss with him now."
<The way Dai said this took his fans by pretty surprise, because he mentioned Nikolai's name quite naturally. His fans understood that time healed its wounds in Dai's heart, and felt happy for him.>
Dai: "Current eligible skaters, ...Meryl! I like her very much! Patrick, Michal, and Tomas...I have many. I want to talk to everyone who have competed against each other, and shared the same time with ups and downs together. Ladies skaters, too."
"Those who already turned pro...Kurt, Stephan and Jeff! Especially Stephan and Jeff, whom I had head-to-head competitions many times in the past. I want to discuss about skating in- depths with these two. I regret I could not talk to them much while competing, because we only met each other at competitions. We got so tense or nervous, you know."
Shiz: "How about Stephan? He did choreography for your exhibition number 'Amelie' for you, didn't he? He already retired. You could have talked to him without being hesitant?"
Dai: "I was too shy...I told you.
Shiz: "Stephan told me that summer, that he worried about you, because you didn't say much during doing the choreo. He had no idea whether you liked it or not..."
Dai: "I know. I feel so sorry for him now. How I wished my English would have been better..."
Wicked Yankee Girl
deedee1, Thank you so much for the lovely translations!
Thank you for the translation, that was great!
Thanks, so much, deedee1! Every section of this is a pleasure. It's so wide-ranging and substantial.
It's funny that the two of them bring up Yuka when they talk about learning more English. As that part of the conversation started, she was the first person I thought of, because her English is so proficient. I wonder whether she's one of those people who has a flair for languages, because as I recall, she said she picked it up as a teenager or a young adult and gained fluency rather quickly. Does anyone know whether she was fluent before she came to train in North America? In any case, her English is impressive. She reminds me of Gordeyeva, who also seemed to become fluent very early on.
Something else that strikes me is the warmth of the relationship between these two. I'm so glad that my two favorite Japanese skaters (along with Mao), who are also two of my favorite skaters ever, get along so well. I'm sure I'll reread this article many times.
Oh, the lovely thought of Dai and Shizuka on the loose in the U.S., where we American fans might get to encounter them! These are two splendid skaters and splendid people. Thanks again for your translation, which has given us the opportunity to get to know them a little better.
Last edited by Olympia; 03-27-2012 at 07:48 AM.
Thanks everyone for your kind words!
Your words really encourage me to go forward!
The preliminary rounds have already started in Nice, so I should hurry up.
I try to finish translation tomorrow.
We will be delighted to read the next section, deedee1.
I remember Stephan said that Dai was a good listener while a young D10 was anxious to show him what he (D10) could do.
Originally Posted by deedee1
eta Does Yuna speak Japanese, seeing she is so appreciated as an interpreter for Shiz and Dai?
Last edited by SkateFiguring; 03-27-2012 at 12:30 PM.
Yuka, not Yuna!
Originally Posted by SkateFiguring
Thank you for translating Deedee! I would love to see Shizuka touring across the US on her motorcycle!
Originally Posted by chloepoco