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Thread: Japan-a-thon - How do the rising talents of Japan's own all compare to each other?

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    Japan-a-thon - How do the rising talents of Japan's own all compare to each other?

    There are some great new Japanese ladies on the scene. There alot that we haven't even really seen yet. Let's discuss how they all compare to each other in different areas. Experts anyone? Does anyone want to evaluate a break down their down strengths and weaknesses and the comparison? Will the new COP favor different Japanese skaters or the same ones we have here.
    Who are the ones to look for and why? And for the heck of it. I ask where is Chisato Shiina? The old Japanese champ in 99 or 2000? Whatever happened to her. I loved her "organic" styling! Does anyone remember her? She seems forgotten. Her choreographic moves seem to rise out of her edges. It inspired my own skating and I only saw her once. She may not compare with these girls now (circa 99/00) but she was enjoyable. Did anyone know if she got better, quit anything?
    Back on topic-
    Lets include some lesser known japanese girls here too, if anyone wants too take that on. I think it is clearly Arawakawa and Ando and Suguri at the top but who comes next and who is pushing them? Can these girls be seriously challenged? What will it take with in deep Japan? And one more question for anyone actually in Japan- What is the Japanese media thoughts on all of it? That I would really like to know. I am aiming overall to learn more than who is doing what jumps. (if we can know it) I know the headlines, (i think most people do- 3axels etc) But do we know the rest of it. The meat of it all. How does the basic skating, choregraphy, style and other skills compare? Then afterwards let's talk about who is doing what jumps too.

    Okay I hope this is a good fun topic! We know so much about the great US girls, let get to know all about Japan. Let the games begin.

    This might be a little too ambitious of a topic. But don't be afraid to post something small if you want to do that. I am raising all the questions I can think of. I don't really know exactly what to say yet myself. Any japan experts or fans out there let's hear your thoughts.
    Last edited by cheekers85; 10-25-2004 at 01:07 AM. Reason: misspelling corrected

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I'm not enough of an expert to compare one against another. But one thing I noticed is this. A year or two ago everyone was ready to proclaim a new era of ladies figure skating dominated by the big jumpers from Japan. And indeed Shizuka Arakawa won the world championship and Miki Ando did well.

    This year, people seem to be saying, well, now wait a minute. Yes we've seen a couple a triple Axels and quad, but how do these skaters really rate when measured against the top people in the sport. Look at the beating that Ando is getting on this very board in the Skate America folder, in terms of presentation skills, spins, spirals, "emoting," artistic expression, etc.

    At the other end of the scale is the cuddly Yukina Ota. Who doesn't love Yukina? But she hasn't yet shown that she can land the technical elements with enough consistency even to make the Japanese world team.

    The one who seems to have it all is Mao Asada. Save the 2010 Olympic gold for her.

    But she's only 14. We'll have to wait and see.

    Mathman

    PS. I hope Yoshie Onda wins Skate Canada. She's my girl!

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I believe the Japanes Ladies all have individual styles so I am happy with the diversity in Japan. I'm not too familiar with the Japanese Men, Dance, and Pairs.

    I see Russian skaters cut from the same bolt. There is little diversity among them except for the Men. They are good competitors, though and do everything by the book.

    Chinese are all going by the book, too, imo.

    American and Canadian skaters in all disciplines, of course, are all individuals as are the French. Lots of diversity within the Teams.

    Joe and JMO

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    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    I see Russian skaters cut from the same bolt. There is little diversity among them except for the Men. They are good competitors, though and do everything by the book.
    I disagree, with the exception of ladies, where all but Irina do indeed lack diversity.

    In pairs, I'd say the only team remaining from the "bolt" is Petrova & Tikhonov; the other teams like that are in juniors. Even if you dislike Totmianina & Marinin, you have to admit they are rather unusual forthe Russian school.

    In dance, you could say Domnina & Shabalin are from the "bolt". The others, IMO, are rather individual.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka
    I disagree, with the exception of ladies, where all but Irina do indeed lack diversity.

    In pairs, I'd say the only team remaining from the "bolt" is Petrova & Tikhonov; the other teams like that are in juniors. Even if you dislike Totmianina & Marinin, you have to admit they are rather unusual forthe Russian school.

    In dance, you could say Domnina & Shabalin are from the "bolt". The others, IMO, are rather individual.
    Hi Pitchka - I don't want to turn this into a Russian diversity thread. It belongs to the Japanese However, I do indeed like T&M but I see so many similarities with B&S and now O&S. Just my opinion.
    Joe

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    Chisato Shiina

    Quote Originally Posted by cheekers85
    I ask where is Chisato Shiina? The old Japanese champ in 99 or 2000? Whatever happened to her. I loved her "organic" styling! Does anyone remember her? She seems forgotten. Her choreographic moves seem to rise out of her edges. It inspired my own skating and I only saw her once. She may not compare with these girls now (circa 99/00) but she was enjoyable. Did anyone know if she got better, quit anything?
    I heard she had serius injuries after then.

    She won one of six regionals two weeks ago.
    But according to CoP protocols of the event, it was not great performance.

    Caller of the event judged no triple in SP, one triple(3T) in FS,
    Lv 2 step sequence for both programs, Lv 1 for all other elements.
    She got 37.14 for SP, 65.50 for FS.
    Last edited by miki_tan; 10-26-2004 at 08:43 AM.

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    Skaters *younger* than Mao Asada

    Novice Nationals results
    (October 23-24 2004 in Tokyo)

    Novice A Girls (age 12,11 as of July 1) top 6
    1.Shiho Sato
    2.Nahoha Sato
    3.Mari Suzuki
    4.Yurina Nobuhara
    5.Naoko Hama
    6.Madoka Hasegawa

    Novice B Girls (age 10,9,8 as of July 1) top 6
    1.Yuki Nishino
    2.Ayane Nakamura
    3.Miruku Matsushita
    4.Kanako Murakami
    5.Sawako Kando
    6.Kako Tomotaki

    You can see complete resutls in English text on Seiichi Tamai site.
    Novice competition was judged under 6.0 OBO system.
    http://skate.cx/competition/index_e....0405;10;8na_nv

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    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    I do indeed like T&M but I see so many similarities with B&S and now O&S. Just my opinion.Joe
    Interesting. I see T&M as being just totally different from anyone else Russian school has produced (which is both good and bad). As for B&S and O&S -- yes, absolutely. However, I think there Moskvina hasn't yet created a truly unique identity for O&S, and is just using something from the old book.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka
    Interesting. I see T&M as being just totally different from anyone else Russian school has produced (which is both good and bad). As for B&S and O&S -- yes, absolutely. However, I think there Moskvina hasn't yet created a truly unique identity for O&S, and is just using something from the old book.
    I don't see B&S and O&S as being all that similar except for Moskvina's choreographic slant, which I think may be hindering O&S. While they both have wonderful line and edges, I think temperamentally and artistically Berezhnaia and Obertas are opposites: Berezhnaia is a cooler skater -- Balanchine would have loved her -- while Obertas has enough wattage to melt the ice, and center stage is right in her comfort zone. Berezhnaia and Sikuharlidze were perfectly balanced in both skills and presentation (in the scoring way and in the way they projected), while Obertas is clearly featured to play to her strengths and downplay Slavnov's weaknesses.

    I think that Klimova/Ponomorenko, Usova/Zhulin, Gritshuk/Platov, Navka/Kostomarov, Bestemianova/Bukin, and Krylova/Ovsiannikov were similar in terms of basic training and having dramatic flair, but I don't think the great Russian dance teams were cut from the same cloth. If Domnina/Shabalin are "classic," I'm not sure whose classicism they follow. Kulikova/Novikov seems to come from the Denkova/Staviyski and Drobiazko/Vanagas cloth, even though they are coached and choreographed by Tarasova and Platov. Domnina/Shabalin are not at all like Denkova/Staviyski, even though they both are coached and choreographed by Gorshkov/Petukhov,

    The recent crop of Russian men are unlike one another aesthetically: Plushenko, Yagudin, Abt, Klimkin, Serov (skating for Israel), Timchenko (said by Piseev to have quit).

    Sokolova, Slutskaya, and Volchkova are very different skaters. I haven't seen Soldatova recently, and the younger women are too undeveloped to seem cut from a mold.

    On the whole, the top Japanese women have, until recently, been coached by the same few coaches, and it seems that they were taught to jump correctly and to have very correct spinning technique. It seems that Japanese coaches follow Gustavo Lussi's theory that a jump is a spin on ice, and the technique for both is the same at heart. Ota seems to be the exception that proves the rule, but often there's a skater who has other skills strong enough to compensate for lack of jumps (or mistakes on jumps), maybe not enough to make it to the podium or world team, but enough to place 4-7 in the National Championships.

    There are many skaters like these from non-competitive countries at Worlds and Euros. It's a pleasure to see skaters with beautiful skills but few (high-level jumps) from these countries, but we only see skaters like this from competitive countries when there has been a withdrawal or the rare upset, and we almost never see them on TV in North America, unless they are from the broadcast country.

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    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
    II think that Klimova/Ponomorenko, Usova/Zhulin, Gritshuk/Platov, Navka/Kostomarov, Bestemianova/Bukin, and Krylova/Ovsiannikov were similar in terms of basic training and having dramatic flair, but I don't think the great Russian dance teams were cut from the same cloth.
    To me, Bustemianova & Bukin and Klimova & Ponomarenko represent exactly the opposite extremes of Russia ice dancing. The former are all about passion and being over the top. Gritchuk & Platov came from the same style.

    Klimova & Ponomarenko, OTOH, had wonderfully pure lines. They were very lyrical. Usova & Zhulin came from this style as well.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Miki tan, thank you for your post about Japanese novice skaters. Are Shiho Sato and Nohoha Sato part of the famous Sato family?

    Mathman

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    Miki tan, thank you for your post about Japanese novice skaters. Are Shiho Sato and Nohoha Sato part of the famous Sato family?

    Mathman
    Isn't she the same girl "Nanoha Sato" who used to practice in the US?
    I also think Mao Asada has both lyrical artistic elements of Ota and jumps of Ando.. she will be a major force.
    Last edited by qoo; 10-26-2004 at 10:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    Miki tan, thank you for your post about Japanese novice skaters. Are Shiho Sato and Nohoha Sato part of the famous Sato family?

    Mathman
    No.
    Sato is very common surname like Smith in America.

    Shiho Sato trains in Sendai under Shoichiro Tsuzuki
    (according to Novice National program booklet "2" years ago)
    who coaches Chisato Shiina and other former national champs..
    From my unreliable note, she landed 6 triples including 3Lz
    in winning program.
    (It was very impressive performance for Novice of course.)

    Nanoha Sato trains in Wisconsin.
    She didn't land triple but had speed, good spins and
    overall quality.

    Mari Suzuki trains in Sendai under Hiroshi Nagakubo
    who coached Arakawa and Honda.
    She landed 4 triples including 3Lz combination.

    Novice B
    Yuki Nishino who trains at same rink that competition was held.
    She performed clean performance with 2A, 3T and 3S.

    Ayane Nakamura and Miruku Matsushita attempted up to 3Lz
    but could not complete it.

    (Matsushita is coached by Mie Hamada who is known for Yukina Ota's coach.)
    Last edited by miki_tan; 10-27-2004 at 05:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka
    Interesting. I see T&M as being just totally different from anyone else Russian school has produced (which is both good and bad). As for B&S and O&S -- yes, absolutely. However, I think there Moskvina hasn't yet created a truly unique identity for O&S, and is just using something from the old book.
    T&M's stroking looks very Russian to me- it is fast and powerful. Their extensions are also Russian. Their choice of music is not always in the Russian tradition. B&S and O&S have the Moskvina influence, but underneath there are Russian basics in B&S. Obertas moves across the ice very much like Elena Berezhnaya. Slavnov is not quite there yet, and he is basically there to present his partner. Sikharulidze had his own identity and he was as important as his partner. So I cannot say that O&S are like B&S, but they may appear that way because they share the same coach (Moskvina).
    Last edited by Vash01; 10-27-2004 at 12:30 AM.

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    Thanks for participating in the thread everyone. It had been up for a little bit before it took off I guess. And I was a little disspointed at first. I figured lack of interest. ;-) I'm glad its seems the opposite now. Unfortunately I don't know enough to compare them either. I'm not a big enough expert. That's was why I was hoping we could get some experts in here to really give us the scoop on everything in Japan.

    Mathman, I agree I looooove Yukina, too. Hee.

    In general I am not a japan-o-maniac or anything. ;-) I just like whoever is putting out the best most intriuguing stuff. I think they are great though, and deserve alot of notice for what they are doing with there program over there. And I'd am very curious to know more about that. And I am very curious to see how these skaters develp in the next few years. I hope they all push each other to the best. And they both break through to suceed, as well as are pushed byt the judges to develop more of it all. They all are very talented.

    Quote Originally Posted by miki_tan
    I heard she had serius injuries after then.

    She won one of six regionals two weeks ago.
    But according to CoP protocols of the event, it was not great performance.

    Caller of the event judged no triple in SP, one triple(3T) in FS,
    Lv 2 step sequence for both programs, Lv 1 for all other elements.
    She got 37.14 for SP, 65.50 for FS.
    Thanks Miki!! I have really wondered what ahppened to her for a long while now.
    I'm sad injuries have hurt her so much. I was wondering if it was just Japanese depth. I hope she makes a big comeback sometime.

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