How ungrateful. I actually took the time and effort to do the citations, the least you can do is skim over them. Well, I never!
How ungrateful. I actually took the time and effort to do the citations, the least you can do is skim over them. Well, I never!
"Whenever I see (Sato's) father with his students, I always feel bad for them, as if the marks aren't good enough, he never comforts or smiles and the ladies look ashamed."
Sorry to disagree with you, but I have never got this impression from Nobuo Sato. He makes his students extremely hard, but I never thought he makes them feel "ashamed" of their poor performances. Fumie looks that way when she doesn't skate well. But I think that's because of her personality, and has nothing to do with Sato. He may not smile in Kiss & Cry, but I think he is positive and costructive even when the skater performs poorly.
"These ladies need to skate with a sense of joy, not fear of failure. How can you say, have fun, lighten up when they carry a nation on their backs?"
I have never got this impression about any of Sato's skaters. If anything, Machiko Yamada's skaters seem to fit this better. Remember Midori Ito apologizing to the nation after SP in Albertville? Many people in Japan gasped at how old fashioned she was. And when the Japanese federation asked her to get Olympic berths in Nagano, she reinstated as an amateur (although it wasn't successful, and she didn't stay long enough). Yuka was also asked the same, but declined the offer. (For that matter, I don't think Yuka apologized when she messed up SP in Lillehammer.) A few years ago, I read a magazine interview of Midori and she said she was "enjoying" skating much more than her eligible years.
Yuka seemed to be more of an "individualist" even when she was an eligible skater. And to a certain extent, Fumie as well. She will probably pursue pro career in North America if it's possible. I don't know if it's Mr. & Mrs. Sato's influence or certain skaters choose them.
Finally, yes, Yuka skates with much less tension today. But isn't it true about all skaters who move from eligible to "pro" ranks? Doesn't Butyrskaya, for example, also skate with less tension?
I guess your name shows you are not an elitist By this I mean you apparently are rooting for Alexei should he make it there, and not a top Japanese skater. What do you think of Takeshi Honda? Also, why have we not seen pairs and dance flourish in Japan? Is the emphasis on single's skating? Or is it a matter of not having many pairs coaches in Japan at this time?
It is hard to post with "know it alls", whether they do know or not, but don't let that deter you. You have as much right as any other poster, especially if questions arise about skaters from your culture or country.
I remember now that you remind me, of Midori Ito apologizing.
I guess for my part, I was trying to understand why there is this feeling of pain that comes right through the tv when Fumie is not marked well. This tradition of suicide when letting someone down, is it still an issue in Japan's society? That is the Japan most Americans know of.
I can't speak to Chinese-Japanese history, or current relations. I can only say more personally, that my father was drafted into WW2 and is not a fighter by nature. He was in the Pacific theatre as a seargant for 4 years. He never talks about the war, but it affected him deeply. I have watched all the war documentaries, but he has no interest in the retelling of wars he rermembers perfectly. It has always impressed me that Japan and the United states became trade partners and allies. Amazingly, most people who fought the war, don't hate Japan or talk about mistrusting the country. I think I know more about the Japan of the past than the present. My city has no Japanese American population. Well this is off the topic, but I don't want you to think that I harbor mean sterotypes against the Japanese. I would have travelled there long ago were I able. There is so much beauty in Japan.
I think Yuka Sato is a very confident lady now. Maria B? She has been in two competitions and she was very nervous looking for the second one. I think she came in 4th in the Hallmark. Perhaps that will change when she no longer feels "eligible". I don't think she will ever be a relaxed skater. Watching her was always so painful.
Fumie, we hear is so nice. I think that's why so many americans embrace her. I hope they all work on their layback spins and extension. Also, I wonder, are they told to attend ballet classes? To compete with the Russians or the Americans, that is necessary. Glad to chat with you and happy new year. Do you live here or there, BTW?
Japan's involvement in WWII was prompted by racial elitism, the belief that the Japanese military can triumph over America's. I mean, enough people must've had that belief for Japan to go forward with a strike against the US, or is that completely unreasonable?
Just to correct that statement, first Japan's involvement in WWII was a result of many factors, including antagonism over the race issue. It started with Japanese discontent over America's racist laws that either bared Japanese immigration or discriminated against Japanese citizens (and often their children) in America (such as the law forbiding them to own land in California).
Relations between the two nations were further damaged in this regard when American President Woodrow Wilson, rejected Japan's desire to recognized as racial equals when they brought it up at Versailles Peace Conference in 1919 (although they fought on our side).
The main reason for war, though, was oil- or more specifically, the embargo of oil to Japan from the United States that was in retaliation of Japan's expansionist policy. Ironically this policy had been supported by America since before WWI (as seen in the numerous treaties recognizing Japan's domination of Manchuria) and ended when it interfered with America's belief in an "Open Door" (ie free trade) in China. The actual order to embargo oil (a crucial part of Japan's war machine that in turn provided needed materials to the homeland) was an error but FDR refused to rescind it to save face. FDR then further compounded the problem by refusing to meet with the pro-peace Prime Minister therefore aiding a pro-war faction to come into power. It also didn't help that during negotiations to prevent war, Cordell Hull, the racist American SOS (Secretary of State), refuse to compromise.
So while racial elitism on the part of the Japanese may have played a role it was a very minor one. I would actually say that America's feelings of racial superiority played a larger one. (By the way if anyone needs to verify the information, you can find it in American Age by LeFeber, Patterson's anthology, Major Problems in American Foreign Policy, or in the lectures of Professor Diane Shaver Clemens, UC Berkeley, in her History 130B: Diplomatic History of US course).
Sorry to be so long winded, especially on my first post but this is a topic that I am especially interested in. I hope none of you think of me as a know it all . As for the original topic of Japanese culture and presentation in figure skating, I personally find Yuka Sato and Fumie Suguri to be subtle but full of emotion. Yuka much more than Fumie, but I really liked Fumie's Ave Maria.
<blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>I didn't get the sense from Fetal's post that he was personally resentful of what the Japanese army did to China in WWII. It seemed to me he was just stating facts.[/quote] I used "facts" only within the context of Fetal's comments about the Japanese invasion of China in WWII. The rest of Fetal's post, as Fetal himself so well described, was obviously (at least it was to me) sociological analysis--a combination of factual events subjectively interpreted.
fml99,<blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>Suguri, however, sometimes seems to be trying too hard to be expressive. I think she'll get to the point of being naturally musical and artistic, but at this point, she still comes across as forced. Am I missing something when I watch Fumie?[/quote] I agree. I get the same feeling watching Fumie. It's an especially subjective thing, I find, in an already very subjective area. But it's not just you. I don't feel Fumie has found her presentational niche yet. I prefer Shizuka's presentation and personally feel that Fumie is overmarked for presentation. But many people prefer Fumie's style, which I find very similar to Michelle Kwan's. So we may be in the minority, at least regarding Fumie I like Fumie's personality though, and as I said before, I like a lot of her individual elements.
I did not say the impetus behind Japan's involvement was racial elitism. I said the reason they went ahead was racial elitism. It was a belief that they could defeat the military powers of the United States that allowed them to go ahead. Get the difference? No? Yes? Class dismissed anyway.
Either argue the facts and points I made or get over it.
Welcome to GS!
The irony of using the phrase "save face" to describe the actions of an American President when the original subject was Japanese skaters tickles my funny bone. Anyone up on their etymology?
"The irony of using the phrase "save face" to describe the actions of an American President when the original subject was Japanese skaters tickles my funny bone. Anyone up on their etymology?"
Um, no. I realize this thread may have gone in a unique direction, but I am learning quite a bit about something I was previously ignorant [ ashamed to admit] of. If this thread gets taken elsewhere, please let me know! I am fascinated by the knowledge offered here. Different perspectives, yes, but surely a good informational source. I save my conlusions for myself. Nonetheless, thanks!
My user name will look really silly if Alexei leaves the eligible ranks before 2006. I keep my fingers crossed. I left Japan in late '80s, and has made a few short visits ever since. I wasn't following skating in Japan very closely since Yuka turned pro in '94 until a few years ago.
I think Takeshi is a very talented skater. His inconsistency seems to come from mental weakness. I don't know what can be done... I like his skating, as well as Sandhu's and Klimkin's.
About the pairs and dance in Japan. First, there aren't many men who are willing to do this. There are fewer men than women to begin with, and most of them choose singles. (I think this is true in US as well... and probably in many other countries.) Second, there aren't coaches who can teach top level pairs or dance teams. This is a Catch-22. You don't have good pairs/dance skaters. -> You don't have good pairs/dance coaches. -> ... And third, pairs and dance take up so much more ice space than singles. Throw jumps, lifts, death spirals, etc. take up so much more space than two singles skaters practicing spins. And ice time is very precious in Japan.
So the only way to develop top pairs/dance teams is to send them overseas. Or actually, send a girl overseas, find her a partner to train under an American/Canadian/Russian coach, and convince them to represent Japan. This takes a lot of money, involves a serious issue with education (if the girl has not finished high school), and major adjustment in living environment. That's not for everyone.
I think there might be a few other problems. For pairs, the man has to be strong enough to lift his partner and throw her. Usually, Japanese men with that kind of strength do not choose figure skating. For dance, I think the shortage of people who engage in dance in general (i.e. on the floor) is a disadvantage. I have heard "Shall We Dance"? movie caused a ballroom dance boom in Japan. So maybe that will help ice dancing in Japan.
Even I, having lived through the war am learning a bunch here. Of course, when I went to school, it wasn't in the history books yet. I remember that people either loved or hated FDR with a passion. I don't hate but I sure didn't love him. I know it was such a scary time for a 12 year old. My uncle was in France, etc., and he absolutely would not talk about it. So instead he became an alcoholic. He eventually quit drinking but still would not talk about it. I am glad for all the posts here and welcome to this board, you new ones. I do hope we can keep this on a level of this is my opinion but will like yours too.
Oh, I forgot to write about ballet lessons. Top skaters do take lessons, some of them take more than others. A popular joke is that Fumie goes to a ballet lesson as soon as she is off the ice, and Yoshie goes to a gym to lift weight. (But I don't think what the commentators said about Yoshie at NHK -- that Yamada tells her to come back to the rink to practice jumps instead of taking ballet lessons -- is true. ) I think one problem here is that they don't start it until they reach a high level in skating first. I think Fumie could have become a really beautiful dancer if she had started ballet lessons earlier.
Shizuka is the best among the three but she is close to fumie fumie is amazing, but Shizuka has the artistry, spins, 3-3 combinations superb footwork, good spirals great costume and has the overall package
Fumie is also amazing but she has been bothered by her ligaments she is so berautiful and really ethereal skater
Yukina ota is super amazing i saw her and she is up there with Michelle and Sasha she is the next it girl
Yoshie she has improved but not enough but she has the spark and momentum and great jums, i just dont like it when judges gves her high marks for technique and artistry her spiraLS, spins questionable and she even falls at the 3axel so why give her 5.8