Keiji Tanaka | Page 12 | Golden Skate

Keiji Tanaka

surimi

Good luck in the new season, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Thank you! Looking forward to reading more. I was surprised to hear of Keiji being shy as he seems to be such a sociable and extroverted guy on the ice :) But Satoko being serious even when playing a game, doesn't surprise me a bit :biggrin:
I'd have a hard time picking a favorite Keiji program, but the samba would be quite high on the list. He was quite good at it. But my favorite Satoko program definitely wouldn't be the disco. More like Fire Dance, the geisha, or the Liszt etudes...
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Part 3

--Did Miyahara senshu see Tanaka senshu skate live?
S: I went to see the men’s free programs. I was to do my free the next day, and I went to see men’s skate to be energized by their performances. I was there for a long time to watch them skate. I saw it on the news that Keiji-kun was injured, and I felt strongly that each one of them was having various elements of concern and still doing his best, and that inspired me.
--Miyahara senshu and Hanyu senshu were in the same situation in that both debuted the short and free programs in the first outing of the season. Do you think somehow he felt the same way as you?
S: Let me see. First off, he performed his new programs at his first competition of the season. Also, during the season, he had been training on his own and competed at the Nationals by himself. And yet his performances were by far the most amazing. I saw his true strength.
K: He trained on his own to get ready for the Nationals, and even though it was his first competition of the season, he delivered such high quality performances. He even stepped up his game rather than maintaining it, and it’s truly great.
S: That's something only he could do.
--Also, at the Nationals, retiring skaters competed on the big stage for the last time. How did you learn Ryuju Hino senshu’s retirement?
K: While I was interviewed by the press after my skate, someone said to me, “Ryuju Hino senshu has just announced his retirement.” As I had just finished competing and was giving a media interview talking about myself, I thought, “Why now [laughter]?” Afterwards, I met him in the changing room and we were like, “Are you retiring?” and “Yep, I am.” Until the competition was over I didn’t know about his retirement at all, so I was not able to see him skate with a sense of finality in that it was his last Nationals. But later we got to skate in the same group at Kokutai and we spent some time skating alongside. Even after he retires, our camaraderie will not change, so honestly, I won’t miss him that much. I hope we will personally keep in touch for many years, and we will stay friends for a long time.
--Miyahara senshu, what are your thoughts?
S: In men’s free, I believe Taichi (Honda) kun skated right before Fey (Ryuju Hino) kun. I used to skate with Taichi at Kyoto rink when we were little, and I went with Fey-kun to JGPS events for years, and I was watching them feeling, “All these skaters are retiring, after many years of skating with me since junior or earlier days.” At the same time, I was reminded again that I am around their age.
--I see you somewhat identified with the skaters in your generation. The last Nationals was also the event where the disciplines competing in pairs attracted people’s attention. Both of you are expressive with attractive aura, and may I suggest that you form an ice dance team in the future?
K: Oh my!
S: Whoa [laughter]!
K: I’m tied up with single skating [laughter].
S: I do things my own way so often that I would cause a lot of trouble to Keiji-kun [laughter].
K: (Looking at the photo of them skating together at 2017 Medalist on Ice) I knew it! It was either the finale or opening act of an ice show, wasn’t it? Body size-wise, we look nice together [laughter].
S: We performed together only for a moment, right?
K: Yeah, Only for a moment, a second, a split second!
--Even in an ice show, I would really love to see Sato-Kei again.
K: Ahaha [laughter]!
S: I want to try pairs or ice dancing, but I’m not good at adjusting to others.
K: Both Satton and I tend to push forward and pursue what we want to do, so we would probably go in different directions. Besides, I may look powerful, but my muscle strength is so pathetic that I cannot even lift Satton who is so lightweight [laughter].
S: Ahaha [laugher]

- to be cont'd to the last part -
 

surimi

Good luck in the new season, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Thank you for sharing! ^ ^ I hope Ryuju has lots of pictures with Keiji in his retirement photo book, and maybe some with Satoko too. It has to be sad for them both to see Ryuju and others of their age retire.
Randomly pairing up single skaters seems like a popular idea in Japanese shows, doesn't it? But I believe Keiji when he says his back would protest if he did this more often. A singles skater with chronic back problems isn't an ideal dance partner...
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Last Part

--Do you have any questions to ask each other?
K: Let me see. Now that Satton is one of the oldest among Japanese ladies, what made your body feel tired and heavy the most lately?
S: When I was a junior, no matter how many times I did run through, it was not tiring. But recently it's a little different [laughter]. Only at heart I remain around 16-year old, but these days my body feels exhausted more often, even when I want to practice more.
K: Your stamina in junior years was ridiculous [laughter]. With a drop in stamina, actually your strength is finally at a normal level now, right?
S: You may be right, but it’s a little frustrating that I cannot do run-throughs as much as in the past [laughter].
--I cannot really imagine Miyahara senshu gasping for air. Are you sure?
S: Yes, that’s how it is now. I get dead tired in practice [bitter smile]. In competition though, I have an adrenaline rush and I don’t feel so exhausted as in practice. But compared to when I was a junior skater, my endurance is lower.
--Next, Miyahara senshu, do you have any questions you want to ask Tanaka senshu?
S: What was the most fun thing you did which made you laugh your head off lately?
K: It’s like one of those things you do when you live along. When I watch variety shows on TV, I laugh out loud alone.
S: I can totally relate to that!
K: I don’t feel awkward laughing my head off when I’m alone any more [laughter]. Rather, laughing aloud alone feels so natural these days.
--What kind of TV show do you watch?
K: I simply watch variety shows and manzai (t/n: Japanese traditional stand-up comedy performed by duos).
S: Me, too. I watch Japanese variety shows on YouTube. There are so many TV channels available here that I don’t know what’s going on. So I watch CNN for now.
K: Cool!
--Another thing you two have in common is cooking. What is the best dish you’ve cooked recently?
K: I know Satton cooks high quality dishes.
S: Hehehe [laughter]. Recently, meat stew came out good. I stewed bone-in beef for about 3 - 4 hours adding soy sauce, mirin (sweet rice wine) and honey.
K: Super [laughter]!
S: It was delicious [laughter].
K: Her cooking, too, has a high level of quality.
S: Ahaha [laughter].
K: For me, I guess it is miso soup. It’s the easiest one to cook [laughter]. I only have to cut up and cook vegetables, and add miso when the veggies are done. These days, I add and cook one piece of mochi (rice cake) and enjoy the soup. It’s the easiest dish for me to cook and it’s also filling, so it’s my favorite regular dish these days.
S: Yes, mochi is good!
K: I used to use powdered dashi (bouillon) for broth, but I ran out of it, so I’m only using miso for flavoring. Well, I hope veggies enhance the taste of the soup anyway [laughter].
S: I’m thinking about asking Keiji-kun for his miso soup.
K: In that case, I’ll buy powdered broth ahead of time [laughter].
S: Ahaha [laughter].

- End -
 

surimi

Good luck in the new season, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Cool! Like an excursion into the depths of casual Japanese cooking ^ ^ I like that, and they could do more interviews like that. I feel like skaters are a bit too restrained when asked about competitions and trainings, but they come alive when asked about things like TV shows and other hobbies :)
Thanks for the translation! 🌸
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Keiji was in Prince Ice World show (May 1-5). For this show, Machida asked Keiji to recreate "Je te veux" that Machida self choreographed. Machida's "Je te veux" performed in 2014 PIW. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5AS_Ixzmbw

Videos of Keiji choreographed by Machida:

#1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSoRa7_kuA8
#2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZLkkL0myL0&t=302s
#3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdWSIQ2FC8k
#4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OI4QbQYWTw
#5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryaolzHkvbc
 

surimi

Good luck in the new season, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
I have stumbled upon this recent collaboration between Keiji and Tatsuki Machida- https://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/sports/articles/2021/05/018566.html . It appears to be some new project in which retired skaters impart their knowledge upon active skaters? I don't understand the translation too well.
There's even a brief video online to go with it: https://twitter.com/TVTOKYO_sports/status/1395893167807991812 I like Keiji's soft movememnts in the video! I hope more young skaters get to be taught by their retired senpai :pray:
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
I have stumbled upon this recent collaboration between Keiji and Tatsuki Machida- https://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/sports/articles/2021/05/018566.html . It appears to be some new project in which retired skaters impart their knowledge upon active skaters?
In short, this article says Machida and his support team called “Atelier t.e.r.m” launched a project to get his choreographic work recreated by next generation’s skaters. Machida’s first work under this project is “Je te veux.” After having been coached and choreographed by Machida, Keiji skated to “Je te veux” in Prince Ice World show in May, 2021.

Keiji’s comment:
“When Machida-san chose me, I felt it would be a rewarding challenge and at the same time I felt a lot of pressure on myself. But my desire to do it was stronger. This project was something no one had done before, and I didn’t want to pass up a chance. It’s been a long time since the last ice show, so I have been performing savoring the joy of the moment every day.”
 

surimi

Good luck in the new season, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Thanks a lot for the translation! 💐 Keiji is a skater born to be a showman, so I'm happy he got an extra chance to perform.
I am now hoping that other skaters will get picked too! Sota for East of Eden and Kazuki for Firebird ^ ^
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
I am now hoping that other skaters will get picked too! Sota for East of Eden and Kazuki for Firebird ^ ^
I hate to disappoint you, but Machida's project only involves Machida's choreographic works, as he considers choreographic work intellectual property and therefore protected by copyright law. Machida's East of Eden and Firebird were both choreographed by Phillip Mills, so these programs are outside the scope of Machida's project. Over the years, Prince Ice World gave opportunity to Machida to produce and perform his self-choreographed programs for the show. "Je te veux" was one of them. In the video Machida said that his image of the character in "Je te veux" was a Parisian in his 30s to 40s, and because Keiji was one of the oldest skaters and very expressive he was picked.

If Machida chooses Sota or Kazuki for Bolero Machida choreographed, which runs for 8 minutes, I hope neither one will accept the challenge. Especially Sota. He would be absolutely drained of energy.
 

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
Thanks Surimi and rRainbow for the info! This project is very interesting.
I haven't watched 'Je te veux' yet, but I completely understand why Keiji was chosen.
I also agree neither Sota nor Kazuki are ready for Machida's bolero yet! Maybe in a few years 😉
 

surimi

Good luck in the new season, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
I read elsewhere that Keiji is getting a photobook, so I went to check out his Twitter after a longish absence, and noticed this-
And this, guys, is exactly why I think The Godfather would be a great choice for Keiji. I doubt I'll ever see him skate to it because my gut tells me he will likely retire after the Olympic season :[ - but if he did, it would be a splendid sight. He'd be the best and most believable gangster on ice among all the men on Team Japan. with the exception of Sota, who'd be more about a desparate avenger I guess, while Keiji has the bad boy charm alright. ^ ^
Ah, anyway, since the photo of Keiji and Kohei Yoshino was a poster for an online talkshow that happened yesterday, I wonder if I'll be able to find anything online. *sniff sniff*
Kohei Yoshino is the guy who does choreo, right? I think he did some for Ryuju...
 

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
I was looking forward to reading about Keiji's performance at today's regionals, but it seems he got an exemption because he's competing at JO next week. Hope he's well, does anyone know if he's fully recovered from last season's injury?
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Keiji's JO (FS): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEACJnXWmeI
He took 3rd among men with 163.93 following Shoma, 181.21 and Shun, 179.32.

Keiji's CaOI (SP + encore) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhWfwz5UzrU

According to the Chugoku/Shikoku/Kyushu regionals entry list, Keiji's main coach is now Sayaka Yodo, with Utako Nagamitsu (Sena's main coach) as other coach. His former coach, Hayashi, is no longer on the list. His special skill is "knee taping" and his hobby is "Yugioh game."
As Keiji got a bye he skipped the regionals and competed at JO.
 

surimi

Good luck in the new season, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Thanks for finding the programs!
He has a very good set of SP and FS this year. This music suits him and his skating style. The other boys better watch out - he may not make it to the OG this time against the mighty three, but Keiji is on a mission to get his 4CC spot! 💪

"His special skill is "knee taping"
- aww 😢 It sounds like his knee issues are ongoing, then.

Just my opinion, but I am so sad to see Hayashi removed from Keiji's coaching list. He struck me as a really competent coach. 😢 It's unfortunate if his driving escapade in early 2020 cost him his career. It's not like Japan has crowds of experienced male coaches who know how to work with top boys.
 
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rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Interview with Keiji in Quadruple Axel (9/26/21) sold by:
Amazon USA (Kindle edition)
Amazon Japan (Paper magazine shipped internationally + Kindle edition)

Translated Excerpts:

--Please tell us your upcoming schedule.
Keiji: I'm going to perform in Friends on Ice. I have a training camp before that, so I'm going to concentrate on practicing for the season. I'm going to show my free program at Friends on Ice, so I hope I can show off the feelings I've built up and the power I've strengthened at the training camp.
--The training camp is the annual training camp of Utako Nagamitsu sensei's team, isn't it?
Keiji: The camp will be held at Yumi Kono sensei's home rink (Iizuka Ice Palace), although it will be smaller in scale than before, since the camp location has changed from Hokkaido to Iizuka (Fukuoka Prefecture). During the summer, the rink (Hyogo-Nishinomiya Ice Arena) is very crowded and we can't practice enough, so we will try to train hard during the camp. Well, I do find time to practice in Nishinomiya, but it's not easy to run through the whole program. I have the stamina to skate through the ice show, but competition is a different story. I'd like to make the most of my ice show experience and to combine program and jump practice, to build stamina.
--How are your quadruple jumps?
Keiji: I have a good feeling about my Salchow, so I hope to enter the season with its completed form, but my toe loop is not so good at the moment. I need to improve my accuracy, so for now I'm including one Salchow in the short, and two in free.
--So, you are going to focus on the Salchow and work on the toe loop?
Keiji: Yes, I'd like to do toe loops, too, if possible, but this season, I've made new programs for both short and free, so first of all, I have to get used to it. The free program is especially exhausting, so I have to make sure I can do two (quad) Salchows in the free. If I can't do that, I don't think I can add the third one (quad), and I need to build up my strength to skate the free skate.
--Next, let's talk about your program for this season. First of all, about the short program, "Paris" (Shin Evangelion: The Movie), has it been in the works for about three years?
Keiji: Yes. "It's been about three years since I first thought, "I want to skate to it!."
--Do you feel that you can finally do it as a competition program?
Keiji: I've had many opportunities to perform it in gala exhibitions and ice shows, so now I don't feel like I can "finally skate to it," but I have to keep reminding myself that I'm going to compete with this program for the whole season. Unlike ice shows, I can't be helped by stage lighting, so I'll have to make sure my jumps are solid, and I hope I can show it as a perfect program on a competition-sized rink.

- to be cont'd -
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Part 2

--When you asked Kenji Miyamoto sensei to choreograph this music, what did he say?
Keiji: Kenji sensei didn't know "Evangelion," but I didn't choose this song to express the world of the anime, and I wanted Kenji sensei to choreograph it with his feelings evoked by the music. I asked him to do it because he knows my skating well.
--Did Miyamoto sensei choreograph it in the style of flamenco?
Keiji: Yes, he did. As a fan, I know that it's impossible to represent the entire world of "Eva" with just this song (laughs). (laughs) I just think it's important to find a simple way to give expression to this song.
--How is it coming along?
Keiji: It fits me well, and I feel that I have expressed the music well. Now it's up to me how fully I can express it from now on. I would like to skate in my own way so as not to be outdone by the music.
--This song is in 7 beats, isn't it? Wasn't it difficult for you to dance?
Keiji: It's hard to get the rhythm, and it's also a monotonous song, so many people tell me that it's a difficult song, but I'm actually happy when they say it's difficult.
--It's rewarding, you mean?
Keiji: The song itself is monotonous, but it has strong sounds from beginning to end, so I think I can build a strong showpiece with the choreography and jumps, and if I hit good jumps, I can bring the atmosphere more exciting, so I think that's a plus.
--Please tell us about the free music "Whiplash." How did you choose the music for this one?
Keiji: I asked Massimo (Scali) to do the choreography, and he first asked me "What kind of song do you want? I told him that I wanted a bright, danceable song like "Hip Hip Chin Chin" (19-20, 20-21 SP).
--What was your impression of this song when you first heard it?
Keiji: I thought, "This is a genre of music that I haven't used yet," and "It seems simple enough to move to.” I also felt that if Massimo had chosen the song, it would definitely work. When he first suggested "Hip Hip Chin Chin," I thought, "No way ....... "(laughs), but having done that short, I was confident and felt "Bring it on!" I had a feeling that I could do any kind of music.
--Do you feel any difficulty in this new genre of jazz?
Keiji: The program has just been completed, so I'm still working on the choreography. I haven't even incorporated the jumps yet, so I'm sure I'll encounter many obstacles along the way. But even these barriers are rewarding, and because it's an assignment from Massimo, I really feel like, "Okay, let's do it!"
If I can skate it solidly and make all the jumps, it will be a very exciting program, I have a lot of expectations. I don't have any anxiety about a new genre.
--When did you start getting the choreography of the free program?
Keiji: It started in late June. We started working on it remotely in late June when Massimo and I were available. It came out just before The Ice.

- to be cont'd -
 

surimi

Good luck in the new season, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Thank you for translating Keiji's words!
This year he has two really good vehicles. It seems to me that Scali has been picking suitable programs for Keiji recently. The theatrical classics were a bit of misses for me, but not the ones from 2019 on.
Also, Keiji has been able to prepare for this season really well, considering his words about packed Nishinomiya rink in the summer.
It is still a mystery to me if Evangelion is his last competitive program. But Keiji still sounds driven, and has good results, so why not stay around longer if healthy :)
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Last Part:

--How has it been for you to be choreographed remotely?
Keiji: Massimo was at home and I was on the ice most of the time. First of all, it was difficult to coordinate our scheduling. There were times when I couldn't see the movement of Massimo's feet clearly on the screen, and it was difficult in many ways. I realized that remote choreography is very difficult. I think it takes a lot of work for a choreographer to follow through it. I felt that it would be much easier to do it together on the ice.
--What exactly was the procedure?
Keiji: First, Massimo sent me a video of the general dance on the ice, I learned it, skated as choreographed, sent the video to Massimo, and then he instructed me in detail remotely. I asked Utako Nagamitsu sensei to interpret for me and take videos for me, but in that sense, it was also a lot of work.
--How would you like to present this program in the future?
Keiji: Well, since this is a jazz program, I would like to show that I can fit in with the session, in other words, that I can be a part of the band, a part of the music. I would like to think of myself as a part of the larger framework of the music. Also, there is a dance instructor at the National Training Center (NTC) who has been giving me advice on how to move my body and how to showcase my moves, so I hope I can reflect that in my performance.
--Isn't it difficult to balance the sense of relaxation that jazz music has with jumping?
Keiji: Yes, it is. If I concentrate on jumping, it may be difficult to express a sense of looseness in a good way, but I think it would be interesting if I could show that kind of looseness, and express jazziness, so I think I have to skate to reach that level.
--I understand that last season's regional competition was tough for you due to injury, but do you think you will be ready for this season?
Keiji: I can't say that I'm fully healed, but I hope I can prepare as much as possible and give it my all. It may not be perfect, but my goal for the first competition is to show everything I've practiced.
--As for the Grand Prix series, you have the Russian Cup and Skate Canada. How do you feel about your first overseas competition in a while?
Keiji: This will be my first overseas competition since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, so I will have to compete under a different stress than usual. I think it is important for me to be careful about infection prevention and to keep myself in good condition. All I have to do now is to show what I have done in preparation.
--So, what are your goals for this season?
Keiji: First of all, I want to make sure that my short and free programs are exactly how I envisioned them to be in every competition. It doesn't matter if it's the Olympic season or not, I'm going to compete to see how far I can improve my own performance.
--Not just because it's the Olympic season?
Keiji: That's right. It's not special because it's the Olympic season, but every season is special for me, and that feeling won't change.

- the end -
 
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yuumagical

Rinkside
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Are any Keiji fans here going to Skate Canada this year? I would really like to have someone display or wave a banner there that I made for Keiji for the canceled 2020 World Championships. It's made out of blue fabric and has the words "探偵王子 田中刑事" (Detective Prince Keiji Tanaka) written on it in bright yellow kanji. I will edit this post with the dimensions of the banner and a picture of it once I get home. I am already going to Skate America and don't think I could handle going to another event at this time. Thanks!

Edit: Problem solved by reaching out to skating Twitter, one of those rare times I can thank it for something! :)
 
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