Keiji Tanaka

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Part 2 of 2
https://sports.yahoo.co.jp/column/detail/201705150006-spnavi?p=2

-- You entered graduate school this April. In terms of your career after retirement it should be a good move for you.
At this moment my future plan is to be a coach and after I graduated from college nothing has changed particularly. But I will be studying subjects in various fields and I would like to retain the knowledge which will be helpful when I become a coach.
-- How many years from now do you plan to become a coach?
No idea at all. I’m not even thinking about when to retire. I want to keep skating until I feel I have done everything I could or burned out. So I haven’t decided yet.
-- Do you talk about retirement with the skaters your age?
We often do. Yuzuru (Hanyu) and Hino (Ryuju) are the same age as I am, and when we talk about retirement it leads to a question of when. We haven’t decided yet exactly when but we say things like “Let’s go on a trip somewhere or hang out together.” [laughs]

“Yuzuru is the same as before.”
-- What are they to you, Tanaka senshu?
The first time we met we were at Nobeyama camp, and since that time we have been competing alongside. As we have competed together since we were Novice we knew each other’s progress. For example, when I heard that Yuzuru landed a triple Axel I felt challenged and motivated. Thanks to them I was able to spend my Novice and Junior years with a positive sense of urgency. They helped me keep motivated.
-- What are your first impressions of them?
Hino-kun was very quiet and gentle. Yuzuru hasn’t changed over time [laughs]. (At Nobeyama camp) the first time someone ever talked to me, it was Yuzuru. We were standing in line and he was in front of me and he introduced himself to me saying, “I’m Yuzuru Hanyu.” He is still the same as before. He hasn’t changed at all [laughs].
-- These two skaters must have played an essential part in the progress of Tanaka senshu. Can you tell us any specific incident where you felt you needed to work harder?
It was when Yuzuru won Japan Junior Nationals. I became aware of the difference between him and me. He moved up to the senior level right after that and stayed competitive in the senior field as well and kept rising up. I closely watched him growing into a great skater.
-- Did you feel a little frustrated lagging behind him?
Of course I was very frustrated in myself. But it doesn’t do me any good if I keep frustrated. I had known him since we were little and I had no problem accepting the fact that he was great. I knew I could not progress at such a fast pace, and Hino-kun and I agreed that we would move forward little by little at a steady pace. I was glad we could finally compete together on the same stage at NHK Trophy last year.

He still has a long skating career ahead of him.
-- Next year the Olympics will be held.
At the Worlds I realized that I was not yet at the level to go for the Olympics. Now I only have less than a year left, and depending on how I train this year it can go either way. First of all I have to complete the tasks before me and make a solid plan that goes beyond that to aim for the Olympics. Every year is important but this year is going to be even more important; how much I can push myself is the key. I think it is essential that I make progress by clearing every issue I face so that I can make the Olympics team.
-- What is the Olympics to you, Tanaka senshu?
It is all athletes’ dream stage, and if you skate your best there, your performance is watched by figure skating fans and many other people as well. Your life may change after participating in the Olympics. In the last Sochi Olympics Yuzuru, Machida (Tatsuki) kun, and Takahashi (Daisuke) senshu looked radiating and it made me think that you will feel a huge sense of accomplishment after delivering the best performances.
-- In terms of your career what does the Olympics mean to you.
If I can deliver my ideal performance 100% on that stage, I will feel a different sense of accomplishment which I never felt before. In my skating career Olympics would be my biggest goal, but it should not be enough. I would like to compete at every competition with the same level of motivation as I would have at the Olympics so that I will be able to deliver satisfying performances as much as possible, and the Olympics would give me a sense of accomplishment at the highest level. In my skating career ahead of me the Olympics will be a guidepost for me, and I want to see beyond that. I still have a long skating life.
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Tatsuki Machida's brief comments on guest skaters at Prince Ice World 2019:
https://www.tvguide.or.jp/feature/kissandcry/20190517/01.html

Translation of Keiji Part:
---Keiji Tanaka senshu’s program is very ambitious.

Tatsuki: "He's been on the big international stage many times in the last couple of years, and he's also been in many ice shows including “Prince Ice World,” therefore I think he has an increasing desire to reach his audience to convey his message. I also get the impression that the quality and success rate of his jumps have remarkably gone up. I would like him to draw on the experience and inspiration he has gained from ice shows to be ready for the coming season."
 

mikeko666

Final Flight
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Tatsuki Machida's brief comments on guest skaters at Prince Ice World 2019:
https://www.tvguide.or.jp/feature/kissandcry/20190517/01.html

Translation of Keiji Part:
---Keiji Tanaka senshu’s program is very ambitious.

Tatsuki: "He's been on the big international stage many times in the last couple of years, and he's also been in many ice shows including “Prince Ice World,” therefore I think he has an increasing desire to reach his audience to convey his message. I also get the impression that the quality and success rate of his jumps have remarkably gone up. I would like him to draw on the experience and inspiration he has gained from ice shows to be ready for the coming season."

This is Keiji's new EX at Prince Ice World 2019, "Pump It" choreographed by Kohei Yoshino.

EDIT: People who have seen the program live tweeted that the video is out of sync with the music.
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Keiji's brief reveal of next season's programs
https://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2019/06/15/kiji/20190615s00079000367000c.html

Summary:
LP is choreographed by Kenji Miyamoto. Keiji plans to add 3 quads, and he has already started practicing the layout.
SP is choreographed by Massimo Scali, ithe same as before, and Keiji will go to USA to get choreographed. About the music, he said that in contrast to the dark song last season he wanted an upbeat song.
 

surimi

Shan Ben Cao Tai, don't give up!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Skate Canada and China for Keiji! Not bad assignments at all, he usually does well in China, and in Canada he can meet his friend Yuzuru :) He's going to be the only Japanese man in China. Good luck!
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Thanks, Tsurara. I just found the article today, which happened to be the one you linked above. Many thanks anyway.
He talks a lot about JoJo and a little about Evangelion. I was totally lost reading about Jojo and Evangelion since I am not a manga/anime fan. I translated only the part where he talks about skating.

- We are really looking forward to watch you skate to it (theme of Evangerion) in future. Now that next season is coming up after ice shows, please tell us about your issues to address and about your goals as well.

Keiji: They decided to use new programs for next season’s short and free, and I want to show different types of expressions. Every year I skate to the music of different tune and vibe. They haven’t decided on the music so what kind of changes I can bring about in my skate is a challenge and also an opportunity I look forward to.
The underlying concept (next season) will be “to compete fiercely.” I want to build ambitious programs so that I can challenge myself, and it’s going to be important for me to fine-tune the elements as I fight during the season. It’s going to be the season I put up a serious fight, and also the year I will test my limit to see how much I can grow further.
 

Tsurara

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 3, 2018
He talks a lot about JoJo and a little about Evangelion. I was totally lost reading about Jojo and Evangelion since I am not a manga/anime fan.

Thanks for translating the rest! His anime talks are quite interesting if you know a bit about anime in general, but this isn't a thread for that and there aren't many anime fans here who would be interested in such a talk anyways :p
I'm not really sure about him doing Eva though...lol The protagonist is more like Hanyu-kun type of character, and Eva is supposedly a female creature. I'd rather want to see him do more numbers from Jojo - there are a lot of characters in it to feature and it's filled with great rock masterpieces (mainly British and American in 70s to 00s, as far as I know).

His new ex program, "Pump It" is also great and I sure think it fits him, but I'm not sure if I like the choreo, compared to the past ones by Misao-sensei - or she's just too great. That said, I understand that it means a lot for him to work with him, and hopefully it'll get more polished as the new season goes and I may grow to like it!
 

surimi

Shan Ben Cao Tai, don't give up!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Edited... not too excited about the LP choices for the 3rd place on Team Japan contenders this season. So far Kazuki's or Koshiro's sounds best, and Keiji's unfortunately the most boring. Yes, I judge before having seen, but I can well imagine. Will be happy to eat my words if proven false.
But thank you mikeko for sharing!
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
KISS&CRY interview with Keiji: https://www.tvguide.or.jp/feature/kissandcry/20190719/01.html

--How are your new programs coming along?
K: It has been only one month since we started working on the programs, and we have just completed them. Now I am working on some parts in practice.
--Why did you complete your programs later than last year?
K: It took both my choreographer and me some time to find time to work together. We completed them later than usual but I don’t think it would affect me this season.
--Tell us about your jump layout.
K: It is not so different from last season, but I want to add 4T in the second half so I am thinking more carefully than last season about the timing of the 4T and how to maintain my stamina going into the second half.
--To implement the layout what do you keep in mind going about training and what kind of training do you plan to do?
K: New rules were applied last season. During the 4-minute program I experienced tiring combinations of elements, and we could not come up with an easier move leading to the next jump. My program was not well adapted. Having learned from experience, we put together my free program paying attention to where to be strong, sharp and soft.
--What are the titles of music pieces for your free and short?
K: Short is “Hip Hip Chin Chin,” and free is movie version of “Sherlock Holmes.”
-- “What does “Hip Hip Chin Chin” mean?
K: Butt Butt, Jaw Jaw [laughs].
--What is the theme of each program?
K: Until last season my short programs were made to evoke relatively negative emotions, and I feel I was able to accomplish it. Now I want to do the opposite. I hope we have created a totally different program from last season. Regarding the free program, considering what I just told you about the layout, we chose the music to implement the plan. There are still things that I cannot do and I need to tackle these issues.
--In “Sherlock Holmes” what type of character do you portray?
K: I would like to portray a character in the movie and the process until the case is solved as well. Since he was someone who puts his brain into full gear, he might have suffered emotional pain because of his sharpness. I have to express such emotions, but I have not been able to do that yet.
--Tell us about your resolution at the start of the new season.
K: My programs are more aggressive than last season so that I can put up a fight against the skaters above me. We prepared strong (high technical content) programs, but they won’t help me if I don’t skate clean. The rest is up to me. Whether I can do it or not, I will fight and see this coming season.
ETA
--You are going into the new season with stronger determination than before?
K: I have to. I will be performing with higher technical content than last season, so if I mess up, I will mess up more and more. The content will test my strength although it can be a double-edged sword. I created it because I wanted to do it. Now that I made my decision I want to stick to it and keep competing with it till the end of the season.
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Oops, I just realized that I forgot to translate the last Q&A. I edited to add the last part of an interview with Keiji. See above post.
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Keiji's interview at JSF camp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYOGsAULtnQ
Translation:

- How are you doing now?
K: I’m still at 50 to 60 out of 100 percent. I am doing the run-throughs of the programs, and so far the programs fall apart when I add jumps I need more practice to make improvements.
- Are you making progress as planned?
K: This season, I mean after last season ended it took me more time to start putting together my programs. The programs came to me about one month later than usual, but I hope that I will be able to get them ready for the season. I need a little more time to complete them.
- How do you train during off-season?
K: Since the last season ended it took us a little while to start building the programs because my choreographers and I had scheduling problems. I realized that I had some time till choreography will start, so I was planning jump layouts trying to figure out which jump goes where. I was training various combinations of jumps.
- Are you trying a new jump?
K: I’m not training a new jump, but I want to add the quad toe-loop which I did not do last season. I want to add a toe-loop one more time in the second half of the free, and I have been training to be able to do it. Also I have been practicing new layouts.
- What are your new jump layouts?
K: I plan to have one (quad) in the short, and three (quads) in the free.
- Tell us about your new programs.
K: The short is choreographed by Massimo Scali sensei and the free is by Kenji Miyamoto. I use the music in the movie “Sherlock Holmes.” As I said just a moment ago I wanted to challenge myself by the aggressive layout, and I was given a program that allows me to follow through it. Having said that, during this camp I realized I still could not accentuate the ups and downs in many parts of my program. I found many issues which I need to deal with and adjustments to be made. My short is done by Massimo Scali sensei and the music is “Hip Hip Chin Chin.”
- Ashley Wagner senshu made a strong impression with that music.
K: Yes, the first thing that came to my mind when I heard the title of the music was her performance. In my opinion it is probably her greatest. If my performance cannot make a stronger impact than hers, it won’t do justice to the music. Also, last season the music I used for my short was very dark and has a somewhat melancholic mood, and this music is completely opposite, and I need to thoroughly highlight the gaps between sharpness and softness. Since I only have three jumps in the short, I would like to perform solid dancing.
- Based on the results of the last season what is your goal this season?
K: The first half of the last season I wanted to make various changes. Of course I expected that the beginning of the season would be tough and it was indeed tough. Although I struggled earlier in the season I did not want to undo changes because that would make the changes I had made meaningless. I coped with changes by making adjustments little by little to work out the kinks. I also gradually changed training and practice method. As a result, around Japanese Nationals in the latter half of the season my sense became much sharper and I was trying to keep it that way till the end, which I was able to achieve. From the beginning of this season I want to continue what I gained last season. As I said earlier, before this season started we built the free program with the carefully thought out layout which is most challenging and physically demanding for me as ever. I would like to go into competitions keeping my all-out attack mode.
 

surimi

Shan Ben Cao Tai, don't give up!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013

surimi

Shan Ben Cao Tai, don't give up!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Congrats to Keiji on his second place after the short! Seeing him so close to Vincent is amazing! :clap: I was happy to read some people's posts saying they would have him first, too. And he got his new personal best here - 88.76. Woot. At his age (24, almost 25), it's very inspiring how well he can do.
I'll be the first one to admit I had my doubts about his SP, but it appears he enjoys performing it, and is in a calmer state of mind than in the previous seasons. It was a big success. I'm happy for him, good job! ^ ^

SP video (lower quality): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5j67dxy1jY

He skates his FP today as 7th out of 9. Good luck!
 
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