Kana Muramoto & Daisuke Takahashi

synesthesia

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Country
Germany
Yes, the LBO twizzle looks much improved (I wouldn't be surprised, if it never was a lack of skill but just a case of competition nerves) and it seems they're keeping the transitions. I also see subtle added details in their RD. Way to go! :rock:

So the mishap on the lift didn't happen at the open practice, but earlier that same day? :eek2: Hopefully Kana didn't sustain any injuries. :pray:

Good to hear Kenji is helping them. It should give them some confidence to receive in-person feedback. I can imagine it's just not the same to be coached remotely.

Thanks for these updates, mikeko!


Edit: changed LFI to LBO
 
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gsk8

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Country
United-States
Hi all!

I sent a PM out a few days ago regarding the Video Project. If you are interested in doing this team (or anyone else), shoot me a PM! :)
 

synesthesia

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Country
Germany
DTRtS inquired schaatsen.nl about the feasibilty of holding the Challenge Cup. They responded that preparations are still underway at the moment:


With how the situation is currently developing here in Europe (or worldwide really) I think the possibilty it gets cancelled in the end is very high though unfortunately.


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FujiTV dedicated a web profile to each competitor at Nationals. Here is Kana's and Dai's:


Looking at the broadcast schedule, it's little consolation though, since disappointingly FujiTV continues to first and foremost promote the singles disciplines and treat ice dance as an afterthought. If that attitude doesn't change it's going to be really tough to raise the profile of ice dance in Japan. It's very, very frustrating. :bang:


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To close this post on a more positive note, here is Kana's and Dai's segment from yesterday's NHK Trophy Special (incl. their RD and FD with Kenji's commentary, short interview/press conference segments and several backstage clips):


I'm pleasantly surprised to spot Kobayashi-san at 14:12. Didn't she retire from her position as JSF's media spokesperson? :unsure:



A few translated snippets from the Special and other recent interviews (tysm to the kanadainewsbot team! :pray:). It's interesting how Kana and Dai describe their dynamics:









ETA:

🤩

 
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mikeko666

Final Flight
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Quadruple Axel, the Japanese figure skating magazine which usually focuses on male single skaters, features ice dance in this month's issue with Kana and Dai on the cover.

It will have interviews with Marina, Massimo, Utako-sensei, Satsuki (Kana's sister, a former single skater and now works as a coach) and Cathy.
It will also have articles of basics of ice dance and other Japanese ice dance teams.
 
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Winnie_20

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
DTRtS inquired schaatsen.nl about the feasibilty of holding the Challenge Cup. They responded that preparations are still underway at the moment:


With how the situation is currently developing here in Europe (or worldwide really) I think the possibilty it gets cancelled in the end is very high though unfortunately.
That post is from December 12th?
Since then, things have changed dramatically in the Netherlands.
Yesterday we entered the strictest lockdown we’ve had so far, which will last for five weeks. Pretty much everything non-essential is closed, including most stores, restaurants and indoor sport schools.

De Uithof is actually partially open (partial open-air speed skating rink plus the fun rink, where during CC the skaters practice), but it cannot currently host events or allow any audience.
These measures are in place until at least mid January.

Sports competitions are not allowed. There are some exceptions for top sportsmen and women (but I think for them also not allowed until mid January), but those do not include figure skaters.


It’s all a bit confusing, sorry, but suffice it to say, it’s not looking too good.
 

synesthesia

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Country
Germany
Thanks for the update, Winnie.

That post is from December 12th?
Since then, things have changed dramatically in the Netherlands.
Yesterday we entered the strictest lockdown we’ve had so far, which will last for five weeks. Pretty much everything non-essential is closed, including most stores, restaurants and indoor sport schools.

It is mostly the same here in Germany. Plus schools are already closed in most federal states before the start of the official Christmas holidays and working from home is strongly advised, if possible. (The division of the company I work for has made it mandatory since early November.) Concerning gatherings the number of persons has been limited to 5 (excluding kids up to 14) and they can't be from more than two households. During Christmas exceptions are made for relatives in direct line. I think this is too lax and expect cases to go up significantly in January. The only silver lining is that the distribution of the vaccine might get approved sooner than expected, very likely as soon as December 21st.

The German figure skating nationals will go ahead this upcoming Friday and Saturday without audience. According to your report the restrictions regarding sports competitions in the Netherlands are stricter. So it is indeed a little curious that schaatsen.nl responded on the 12th that they're still intending to hold the Challenge Cup. Since it's scheduled for the end of February, maybe they are holding out hope that the situation will be better by then? (At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I really don't see it happening. :frown: )

Imo Worlds should be cancelled too and additionally to Nebelhorn other competitions next autumn should be considered as qualifying events for the Olympics.
 
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Winnie_20

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Thanks for the update, Winnie.



It is mostly the same here in Germany.
Actually... it’s mostly the same in the Netherlands. ;-) The Dutch government looked at Germany on Sunday morning and decided they just couldn’t stay behind.
I’m only half-joking. Many of our restrictions are heavily influenced by Germany’s nation-wide restrictions announced this weekend. We had no choice, as our numbers are probably worse than over there. One of the ministers actually mentioned Germany being part of the reason. (He didn’t have to, the timing was obvious.)
And rightfully so (I live near Germany, there were great worries Germans from NRW would come here for shopping if the stores remained open here but not there. The opposite happened when Germany’s restaurants were still open but closed here already a while back. There were queues at the restaurants in the small town that is the closest from here. You don’t want that. Because we have no borders, they need to treat the areas the same as much as possible, even if the governments want to pretend it was still their decision, lolol)
According to your report the restrictions regarding sports competitions in the Netherlands are stricter. So it is indeed a little curious that schaatsen.nl responded on the 12th that they're still intending to hold the Challenge Cup. Since it's scheduled for the end of February, maybe they are holding out hope that the situation will be better by then?
Ah, see, that’s why I pointed out the date, that was December 12. A tighter lockdown was discussed on Sunday 13 and Monday 14 and announced Monday evening.
We already had restrictions before then, but nothing like this. It was completely logical for the organization to think CC was still an option.
It still *is*. Things may well change back for the better five weeks from now. But for instance the code orange travel advisory will still be in place, (it seems strange they would allow an audience, especially a foreign audience, when the Dutch government tells its own people to NOT
travel for fun, do not book holidays, only receive 2-3 guests in your house, etc.).

(btw yes, there is an exception for sportsmen and women for traveling to and from the Netherlands, although they have to show a negative test etc, but that’s only of interest again after the five weeks)

And it just cannot be easy hosting an event with so many uncertainties right now, but who knows.... Technically at this point, sure, it’s possible in February.
 
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sailormoon

On the Ice
Joined
Aug 9, 2016
Looking at the broadcast schedule, it's little consolation though, since disappointingly FujiTV continues to first and foremost promote the singles disciplines and treat ice dance as an afterthought. If that attitude doesn't change it's going to be really tough to raise the profile of ice dance in Japan.

Since there are only five pairs competing in ice dance, it is usually skipped over by TV broadcasters. Ice dance got some airtime at the NHK Cup because Daisuke was competing in the discipline. Ice dance will be aired on CS Fuji One, which is only accessible to subscribers. We are really enthusiastic about singles figure skating because there are many world-class talents like Hanyu and Rika. Pairs and ice dance are sidelined due mainly to the lack of great skaters in these disciplines. I guess Japanese skaters tend to rely too much on technical elements and ice dance requires a superb level of artistry, which is harder to achieve.
 
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mikeko666

Final Flight
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
From physical trainer Koji Kurita's Facebook

Looks like Kana and Dai have been training in Tokyo. (I thought they were training in Kanku Arena in Osaka like they did last summer.)
 

synesthesia

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Country
Germany
And rightfully so (I live near Germany, there were great worries Germans from NRW would come here for shopping if the stores remained open here but not there. The opposite happened when Germany’s restaurants were still open but closed here already a while back. There were queues at the restaurants in the small town that is the closest from here. You don’t want that. Because we have no borders, they need to treat the areas the same as much as possible, even if the governments want to pretend it was still their decision, lolol)

Yeah, I know. I live in NRW. :wink: In normal times we have many welcome Dutch visitors in popular spots like CentrO, Winterberg (where we have a second residence and are surrounded by Dutch neighbours – half of Winterberg is in Dutch hands to be precise) etc. In return many Germans from NRW like to go shopping in Venlo or Roermond for example. If there were vastly different regulations in place in the Netherlands and Germany or even between Germany's federal states, quite a few people would take advantage of it.

Since the beginning of the pandemic I haven't ventured outside of Germany (though I travelled between federal states in June), but I'm acquainted to several people, who continued to not only go on daytrips to neighbouring countries, but travel all over Europe and even to places for which travel warnings had been issued.


Ah, see, that’s why I pointed out the date, that was December 12. A tighter lockdown was discussed on Sunday 13 and Monday 14 and announced Monday evening.
We already had restrictions before then, but nothing like this. It was completely logical for the organization to think CC was still an option.
It still *is*. Things may well change back for the better five weeks from now. But for instance the code orange travel advisory will still be in place, (it seems strange they would allow an audience, especially a foreign audience, when the Dutch government tells its own people to NOT
travel for fun, do not book holidays, only receive 2-3 guests in your house, etc.).

(btw yes, there is an exception for sportsmen and women for traveling to and from the Netherlands, although they have to show a negative test etc, but that’s only of interest again after the five weeks)

And it just cannot be easy hosting an event with so many uncertainties right now, but who knows.... Technically at this point, sure, it’s possible in February.

Thanks for the clarification. :) I had your post on December 1st in mind by which point sports competitions were already no longer happening. Therefore I would have expected the organisers of the CC to be less optimistic:

Aside from the “if they win Nationals” (which I find very doubtful!) and Worlds going ahead, the Netherlands are currently not organizing any sports competitions (soccer excepted).
I am very uncertain the CC will be organized this season.
 
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synesthesia

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Country
Germany
FujiTV is going to dedicate a 1 hour Special to Kana's and Dai's road to JNats plus an introduction to the ladies' field, narrated by Okayama born actress Hinako Sakurai, on December 25th. This one will be broadcasted on terrestrial! :hap10:




Google translation of the program preview (needless to say the translation is a little jumbled in places ):

Broadcast on Friday, December 25
Exclusive contact with ice dancer Daisuke Takahashi!
"All Japan Figure Skating Special"
Daisuke Takahashi & Kana Muramoto

Finally starts "All Japan Figure Skating Championship 2020"

From this season, he formed a couple with Kana Muramoto: Daisuke Takahashi, a legend in the men's figure skating world who turned to the ice dance competition. Moved to the United States to exclusively adhere to the big project aiming to participate in the 2022 Beijing Olympics under a new coach! Takahashi continues to challenge while struggling with ice dancing, which is the same figure skating but completely different from singles. He followed the path to the All Japan Championship, which was his first ice dancer. Daisuke Takahashi & Kana Muramoto Born in Okayama prefecture, the same as Takahashi. Please enjoy with the narration of actress Hinako Sakurai. And the highlights of the women's singles are also introduced! What are the thoughts of the players who challenge the battle to decide the queen of a special year? December 25 (Friday) 2:45 pm to 3:45 pm Broadcast on terrestrial Fuji TV. (Kanto area, etc.)


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The kanadainewsbot team translated a few interesting bits from this Number Bunshun article.


Dai's analysis of what went wrong with the twizzles at the NHK Trophy:


Kana on how they try to improve the combination lift:


An aspect Dai needs to work on re. lifts:


On how they are remote coached by Marina:


Kana on Dai's and her dynamics (this one is quite similar to a translated snippet from the Funabashi ice rink opening):


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From the latest edition of Utako's Room we learned that Dai visited her (and Moko-chan) before NHK Trophy 🥰, about her mother instincts towards Dai :biggrin:, her thoughts about Oleg Epstein and the parallels she sees between junior skater Nozomu Yoshioka's and Dai's personalities:

 
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synesthesia

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Country
Germany
Since there are only five pairs competing in ice dance, it is usually skipped over by TV broadcasters. Ice dance got some airtime at the NHK Cup because Daisuke was competing in the discipline. Ice dance will be aired on CS Fuji One, which is only accessible to subscribers. We are really enthusiastic about singles figure skating because there are many world-class talents like Hanyu and Rika. Pairs and ice dance are sidelined due mainly to the lack of great skaters in these disciplines. I guess Japanese skaters tend to rely too much on technical elements and ice dance requires a superb level of artistry, which is harder to achieve.

I know that from any broadcaster's angle commercial considerations come before everything else, but from the pov of somebody, who would love to see ice dance flourish in Japan it unfortunately doesn't help to shove the competition onto a pay channel, that a lot of potentially interested viewers can't watch. :confused: If they show the competition on terrestrial it has a far bigger reach and because the field is so small it doesn't even take up much broadcasting time. Some casual viewers might happen onto ice dance and find it unexpectedly compelling and maybe become new fans of the discipline. Who knows, there may even be a kid among them that feels inspired to take up the sport! Dai himself loved to watch ice dance as a child. It wasn't what got him to start skating, but it could be for another future talent.

I disagree that Japanese skaters (and/or their coaches) per se tend to focus on technical aspects too much. Imo many skaters of the current and previous generation are/were well rounded and there's plenty of good interpretation as well as very decent skating skills to be found among them. As far as I know most Japanese coaches are very particular about teaching good basic ss, which is essential for ice dance (even if the technique of executing some steps and turns differs from singles). The kind of interpretation skill required for ice dance can also be honed, if it's focused on from a young age. But first of all you need enough kids to be interested in taking up the discipline to one day have great skaters in it.

Imo the real problem is a structural one and the question is what can be done to develop ice dance (and pairs) beyond its current state. Looking at the grassroots level Cathy Reed (and Narumi Takahashi for pairs) develop young teams at Kinoshita Academy at a rink specifically designated to accomodate these two disciplines. But besides Cathy, Narumi and Rie Arikawa (who coaches in Kurashiki at Dai's former hometown-rink) Japan doesn't boast a plethora of pairs and ice dance coaches with enough expertise and international influence (it shouldn't be, but unfortunately it is an important factor) to bring up top tier teams on their own – yet. (Cathy and Narumi more or less just started out and I hope that their work will bear discernible fruits in the long run.)

To make matters worse it's difficult to find the required amount of ice time for teams not based in or near Osaka or Okayama. It's no coincidence that all of the promising teams have their main base abroad with renowned, influential coaching teams where there is also more ice available. And there has already been some progress. Maybe Japan's top teams have not yet been able to fully catch up skillwise with the international top elite, but they have been inching towards it. Look at Kana's and Chris' or in juniors at Utana's and Shingo's results and compare them to how Japanese ice dance teams placed in international competitions 10 to 20 years ago.

For the discipline to make even bigger strides, a bigger talent pool to choose from (especially boys) is required. Having a well respected skater like Dai as a role model is a start (he doesn't even need to be particularly successful, just his presence promotes the discipline), but that alone won't be enough. Ice dance (and pairs) needs more exposure on the whole to encourage more young skaters to try out for it and it needs to be presented as an attractive alternative to singles skating. An ice dance boom won't happen overnight, but every little contribution ranging from the fed offering young skaters more incentives to switch to more media coverage will help imo.

Again, sorry for the long reply. :oops: This is of course just my opinion as a mere passionate skating fan without any inside knowledge, who isn't even from Japan. I may be misinformed in or not aware of some important aspects that would be obvious to Japanese fans, so any corrections and counter-arguments are of course welcome. :) (Maybe in the "2020-21 Japanese Men, Pairs And Ice Dance"-thread in The Edge to not derail the FF.)
 
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synesthesia

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Country
Germany
Kana and Dai are going to skate last in the RD. Good luck! :hap10:

__________________________________________________

Kana's latest ig updates:



Clips from this morning's official practice:



After practice Kana and Dai relayed their thoughts on the competition ahead, talked about choreo changes and Dai explained why he changed his costume:



Partial translation courtsey of the kanadainewsbot team below (thank you! :pray:):


________________________________________________

ETA:

Practice photos:




Scroll down for two more photos:

 
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deedee1

Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Belated Happy Holidays, everyone! :hb::hb:

To love yellow pants, or yellow shirt... that is the question. ;)
Anyway, I wish they esp. Dai can relax, skate with more speed and perform more freely.
Good luck to Kana and Daisuke tomorrow! :hap10::hap10:
 
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Znowflake

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Congrats to KanaDai on winning the Silver Medal!

Olympic Channel article

I still loved their FD - I know there were a few bobbles in the FD but imagine when they are clean 😍😍😍. Can’t wait to see this team win medals next year ❤️❤️❤️
 
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