2022-23 Japanese Women's Figure Skating | Page 4 | Golden Skate

2022-23 Japanese Women's Figure Skating

RafaelAstro

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 22, 2018
Oh yes another thing is that junior skaters tend to be scored lower than seniors so the potential for the ones that jumped this season to senior was underestimated due to the scores
 

lileychristie

Lee-lay
On the Ice
Joined
Apr 17, 2022
Country
Australia
Machiko Yamada and Mihoko Higuchi were the head coaches of the Grand Prix Tokai club for years. They collaborated successfully, and coached Shoma until he left in 2019, and subsequently went to Lambiel. Last season their biggest star was Rino Matsuike, and among their skaters were also Mako Yamashita, Sota Yamamoto, Chisato Uramatsu and others. IIRC, Higuchi sometimes got criticism for only giving her students her own choreography.
Early this spring, Higuchi left the club, and set up her own club, LYS, which is based at two different rinks. She didn't keep any of her and Yamada's students, though we'll likely never know if it was their own wish, or against their will. However, at least one of those students specifically joined Tokai club last summer to be coached and choreographed by Higuchi, and she left several months later, which I personally don't like. Who knows what went on behind the scenes- there are even rumors that Higuchi didn't feel comfortable with Rika Hongo's mom, Yuko Hongo, joining the Tokai team a couple of years ago, and gaining some influence there. It is now Hongo who goes abroad with the Tokai skaters as Yamada is getting on. Higuchi has taken on Mana as her only named student since the split. Now the two camps will face each other in France.
Hopefully someone with deeper understanding can explain better...

I don't have much details myself, but I read a Japanese interview of Mihoko Higuchi about her new skate club, and in there she mentioned that her main reason of establishing her new club is that she wants to work with younger skaters more.
She said something along the lines of "I want to work with younger skaters and see them grow.".

Whether that's actually her main reason or not we'll never know, but I'd like to give benefits of the doubt.
There's still possibility that Higuchi and Yamada actually split amicably, don't think there's a clear evidence suggesting otherwise.

I do sincerely hope that the skaters are not too impacted by this and still training well, especially my favorite Rino 💕
 

rabidline

Final Flight
Joined
Aug 16, 2018
I don't have much details myself, but I read a Japanese interview of Mihoko Higuchi about her new skate club, and in there she mentioned that her main reason of establishing her new club is that she wants to work with younger skaters more.
She said something along the lines of "I want to work with younger skaters and see them grow.".

Whether that's actually her main reason or not we'll never know, but I'd like to give benefits of the doubt.
There's still possibility that Higuchi and Yamada actually split amicably, don't think there's a clear evidence suggesting otherwise.

I do sincerely hope that the skaters are not too impacted by this and still training well, especially my favorite Rino 💕

Yes, I read this interview too. Mihoko also mentioned she was not able to focus on raising younger skaters in the Yamada team because she has to focus on preparing and accompanying the senior top skaters who compete internationally. Her plan was never to take anyone with her when she starts the new club.

Actually, Rino and Mana were both interviewed in Aichispo papers (Chukyo Uni papers) and during Fantasy on Ice when they skated together at Makuhari and Nagoya. They're actually rinkmates now in the Chukyo Uni rink (skaters with different coaches can use that rink as long as they study in Chukyo or is part of national team) and they seem to be on good terms as classmates and rivals.

 
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rabidline

Final Flight
Joined
Aug 16, 2018
However, at least one of those students specifically joined Tokai club last summer to be coached and choreographed by Higuchi, and she left several months later, which I personally don't like.
In my opinion, this is a bit unfair to Higuchi, as it was common knowledge that she was not the head coach of Tokai when the student joined. And the student seems to be in good terms with Yamada as well, looking at the photo chosen to be shared for Nationals profile.
 
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surimi

Good luck this season, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
In my opinion, this is a bit unfair to Higuchi, as it was common knowledge that she was not the head coach of Tokai when the student joined. And the student seems to be in good terms with Yamada as well, looking at the photo chosen to be shared for Nationals profile.
I am not in the mood to be fair to someone who agrees to take on a student eager to work with her, only for her to walk away half a year later because hey, she's always wanted to work with children and never wanted to take the older students with her. My only concern in this split is Sota finally finding a stable coaching environment after all his previous coaching mishaps, and if he finds it now with Yamada, then good, I'm happy for him. It's not like he has much of a choice at this point. Higuchi seemed to treat all her students well, and she did some really nice choreo, I'll give her that, but my opinion on the split remains unchanged.
 

RafaelAstro

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 22, 2018
The "I want to work with young students and see them growth" it's strange to me considering she will coach Mana Kawabe that just moved to her and she still work with Shoma sometimes, I think she just wanted to be the head coach now and has her own club and there's nothing bad about it, we don't know if the split was in good or bad terms, we should think it was the best decision
 

RafaelAstro

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 22, 2018
I am not in the mood to be fair to someone who agrees to take on a student eager to work with her, only for her to walk away half a year later because hey, she's always wanted to work with children and never wanted to take the older students with her. My only concern in this split is Sota finally finding a stable coaching environment after all his previous coaching mishaps, and if he finds it now with Yamada, then good, I'm happy for him. It's not like he has much of a choice at this point. Higuchi seemed to treat all her students well, and she did some really nice choreo, I'll give her that, but my opinion on the split remains unchanged.
Has Sota say something in an interview lately?
 

Jumping_Bean

Final Flight
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
I am not in the mood to be fair to someone who agrees to take on a student eager to work with her, only for her to walk away half a year later because hey, she's always wanted to work with children and never wanted to take the older students with her. My only concern in this split is Sota finally finding a stable coaching environment after all his previous coaching mishaps, and if he finds it now with Yamada, then good, I'm happy for him. It's not like he has much of a choice at this point. Higuchi seemed to treat all her students well, and she did some really nice choreo, I'll give her that, but my opinion on the split remains unchanged.
Considering she did allow Mana to come with her (even if it perhaps wasn't the original plan), it's not unlikely that Sota just didn't try (or want) to leave with her.

It's entirely possible that they both came to the mutual decision that they were not the best fit as coach and athlete after training together for the last 6 months, which is completely normal, not every coach and athlete work well together even if the athlete is eager to work under the coach. It's also possible that Sota felt better with the training system under Yamada, or that he prefers to stay at the same training location due to logistics.

Basically, we have very little knowledge of what actually caused Sota to stay with Yamada and I don't find it particularly smart to act like we do.

Personally, I feel like Higuchi's departure was not at all planned half a year in advance, it seemed pretty sudden when it happened (some of the athletes leaving with her were in the middle of contractually-obligated ice shows at their now former skating club, it doesn't seem like anyone would deliberately plan like that) so it's not like she lured anyone in to train with her with the plan of abandoning them.
 

surimi

Good luck this season, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Considering she did allow Mana to come with her (even if it perhaps wasn't the original plan), it's not unlikely that Sota just didn't try (or want) to leave with her.

It's entirely possible that they both came to the mutual decision that they were not the best fit as coach and athlete after training together for the last 6 months, which is completely normal, not every coach and athlete work well together even if the athlete is eager to work under the coach. It's also possible that Sota felt better with the training system under Yamada, or that he prefers to stay at the same training location due to logistics.

Basically, we have very little knowledge of what actually caused Sota to stay with Yamada and I don't find it particularly smart to act like we do.

Personally, I feel like Higuchi's departure was not at all planned half a year in advance, it seemed pretty sudden when it happened (some of the athletes leaving with her were in the middle of contractually-obligated ice shows at their now former skating club, it doesn't seem like anyone would deliberately plan like that) so it's not like she lured anyone in to train with her with the plan of abandoning them.

To each their own. I have stated that we don't know what was going on backstage. I don't like the split, purely for my favorite's sake because he's already been through enough. I don't have any horses in the rest of the race (any favorite coaches here).
It is possible that it was a late decision, but a website with two ballet coaches already picked doesn't pop up overnight, along with the two new club bases which had to have been negotiated, and agreements signed, well before the split was announced. I choose to believe this plan was a couple of months in the making.
Higuchi didn't 'allow Mana to come with her'. Mana was Hamada's student, not Higuchi/Yamada's.

@RafaelAstro , I don't know about magazines, but I've read other interviews, and he was asked about Higuchi just once. It was obvious the topic wasn't comfortable for him, and he wasn't planning to collaborate with her in the near future. But that doesn't really say anything as he spoke similarly of each coaching change in his senior career so it's not like Higuchi stood out.
Now I'll stop here as it's not really Japanese women related. Sorry about the off-topic.
 
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Jumping_Bean

Final Flight
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
Higuchi didn't 'allow Mana to come with her'. Mana was Hamada's student, not Higuchi/Yamada's.
True, I just choose to disregard Mie Hamada :wink: (Yes, this is a joke, but also kind of not - She is kind of like a Japanese version of Eteri Tutberidze.)

But in the end, it doesn't really matter. If Higuchi was willing to train Mana, who falls outside of the group of athletes she would ideally like to train, then I don't see why she wouldn't train any of her current athletes at the time if they wanted her to - Unless there was something more going on.
 

n1co

Rinkside
Joined
Oct 31, 2021
It's not like students couldn't switch and go with Higuchi if they wanted to. Rena Uezono did.
 
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cohkaix

FS data keeper
Medalist
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
The summer intensive training camp for Japanese Jr. FS skaters is underway at the moment. And today is the media day.

The participating Jr. women's skaters include:

Group 1
Ikura Kushida
Ami Nagai - seems to have stable 3A, is working on 4T and 4Lz
Mone Chiba
Azusa Tanaka
Yo Takaki
Kaoruko Wada
Rena Uezono
Saho Ootake

[Group 2 are for Jr. men skaters]

Group 3 [*for a mix of both Jr. men and Jr. women's skaters]
Mao Shimada - confirmed that she'll include both 4T and 3A in the FS. She said it's quite challenging to include both jumps at the same time.
Ayumi Shibayama
Hanna Yoshida
 
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figureskatingandrainbows

Mother of Team Japan
Record Breaker
Joined
Dec 8, 2020
Country
Olympic
Just watched Mai's new FS at The Ice and she looks really good! I was blown away by her improvements since the end of last season, and she was incredible then. I like the program a lot, it's different for her but still shows off her incredible movement quality (plus there's a spiral that lasts from one end of the ice to the other! take that Dani G!). She looks way more confident than she did compared to last season, and was flying around the rink! The jumps looked really solid for the most part as well aside from the 2As, which were a bit sketchy. I hope she can have a breakout season this year, but why is there so much depth in women right now? There are like 10 women in Japan who could get assigned to Worlds 😭
 

tsuyoboogie

⭑・゚゚・*:༅。.。༅:*゚:*:✼✿
Medalist
Joined
May 4, 2014
The West Japan Middle and Elementary School Student Competition was held this past weekend at Kinoshita Academy Kyoto Ice Arena

Though this competition included tons of Juniors, of all levels (even 1 "Senior") the Novice events had the most notable entries
(Ayumi Shibayama withdrew from this event likely to attend Junior Summer Training Camp)

Only linking video of the top placing Novice Girls since most of them won't be competing in any of the THREE :drama:prominent local competitions scheduled for this coming week

Novice A Girls (originally 41 entries, 2 WDs)
Detailed Results (Japanese)
Protocols (Japanese)

1st 川 勝 玲 奈
Reina Kawakatsu (Kinoshita Academy) 85.88 (Kill Bill)

2nd 河 野 莉々愛
Riria Kono (Kinoshita Academy) 82.92 (La Strada)
Former Okayama SC student

3rd 岡 田 芽 依
Mei Okada (Polaris Chubu FSC) 78.95 (Confident by Demi Levato)

4th 吉 田 菫
Sumire Yoshida (Kurashiki FSC) 73.71 (Paquita)
Yes, this is "Sumi" of Ice Dance team "Sumi Ibu" coached by Cathy Reed since they were like...toddlers :laugh:
Her ID partner Ibuki Ogahara competed in the Junior Men's (level 7, 8) event
Hope to see them sent to an international Novice ID event this season :pray:

5th 鈴 木 華 乃
Hanano Suzuki (Kinoshita Academy) 72.54 (Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto)
In addition to upgrading 3Lo, 3F and 3Lz from doubles it appears she's grown and stretched out A LOT over the last season
She has time to adjust and stabilize her jumps but I feel like she's better known for performance ability anyway
Another strong candidate for Pairs or ID, methinks

Novice B Girls (originally 26 entries, 4 WDs)
Detailed Results (Japanese)
Protocols (Japanese)

1st 金 沢 純 禾
Sumika Kanazawa (Kinoshita Academy) 67.83 (The Yellow River Piano Concerto)
Like Hanano, Sumika is adding 3Lo, 3F and 3Lz to her layout this season
Though new jumps didn't go well at this event I'm quite confident we'll see her hitting clean(ish) programs by Novice Nationals
Note: While Sara Hanai was making her way to the KnC after her skate, the camera was on Sumika warming up
She was drilling and landing jumps no problem (2A, 2nd jump too far to see, 3S)

2nd 花 井 咲 良
Sara Hanai (Howa Minato Skate Club) 66.78 (The Parisians~Gigi the Musical)

3rd 星 碧 波
Aoha Hoshi (Grand Prix Tokai Club) 63.20 (Someone In the Crowd~La La Land)

4th 森 岡 凛
Rin Morioka (LYS) 63.08 (Milord)
Former Grand Prix Tokai student
Typical Mihoko song choice and choreo...mi god

I was having difficulties uploading some of these videos to Drive so decided to compress the files
Please let me know if there are any issues with quality or playback or if there are any other programs you'd like see

Will link some the Novice Boys videos in the Japanese Men's thread
 
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tsuyoboogie

⭑・゚゚・*:༅。.。༅:*゚:*:✼✿
Medalist
Joined
May 4, 2014
I thought Japan only had one entry per event due to the girls' placements at Jr Worlds? Has Switzerland given up some of its entries?
Not sure if this has already been answered in another thread but for this season's first JGP being held in France, Japan received the extra Women's spot courtesy of Belgium
Like Japan, Belgium also earned 1 Women's entry in each JGP event but has no one scheduled to compete in Courchevel


Off topic but would anyone be interested in threads for Kinoshita Trophy, Kanto Summer Trophy and Kitakyushu Open (still called Iizuka Cup?)
And if so, where would these threads be most appropriate?
I'm guessing in the Summer Competitions section?
 

cohkaix

FS data keeper
Medalist
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Off topic but would anyone be interested in threads for Kinoshita Trophy, Kanto Summer Trophy and Kitakyushu Open (still called Iizuka Cup?)
And if so, where would these threads be most appropriate?
I'm guessing in the Summer Competitions section?
Suggestion: Perhaps to set a summer competition section under Japan National Competitons?
Yes, videos please!!! (esp. for the Kinoshita Trophy~)
 
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