Ryuju Hino

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
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Japan
It's Lucas who is in the photo. In the conversation that follows his tweet "明けましておめでとうございます!(Happy New Year)" a Lucas fan thanked Ryuju for posting a photo of Lucas. https://twitter.com/Lunas915

Some followers asked him why he chose that photo. He replied "No particular reason" and "It was the only one I had (of him)." Lucas was grateful to Ryuju for posting his photo on Ryuju's twitter.
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
I found out what Ryuju's last competition in March is. It's Aichi Governor's Award Figure Skating Championship to be held from March 24 to 28, 2021 in Nagoya at Nippon Gaishi Arena. It is the last entry on this schedule of figure skating events organized by Aichi Skating Federation: http://infoasu.jp/2020/plan.pdf
 

surimi

Happy 21st, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Thanks for the updates! IIRC Haruya is Sota's and Ryuju's buddy... isn't he the one who worked at a restaurant or something? I don't remember now. Hard for us foreigners to keep up with the world of Japanese FS, eh ;)
I also thought I saw a tweet from Ryuju suggesting he might move back to Tokyo? I think it was in the replies to comments below his 'my last Nats' tweet, but I don't recall now, I just glanced at the convos briefly without understanding much.
Anyhow, I hope Ryuju wins the Aichi comp and can retire with a smile and his head held high.
@ Kirara, that fanart is really pretty, so lifelike! This guts pose and the end of 2017 Nats FS are my favorite program endings by him ^ ^
 

rRainbow

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Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
Thanks for the updates! IIRC Haruya is Sota's and Ryuju's buddy... isn't he the one who worked at a restaurant or something?
No, it is Kotaro Takeuchi who works at a restaurant after retirement. Kotaro is one of Ryuju's good buddies, who sometimes posts photos with Ryuju on twitter. Haruya Sasaki used to be Ryuju's rinkmate at Howa in Nagoya until he changed his coach and currently he represents Kansai University KFSC/Tokai High School. Haruya posted a photo with Ryuju and Sota on the podium at Aichi Competition.
 

surimi

Happy 21st, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
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rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
ETA, what does this document say about Ryuju? https://www.pref.aichi.jp/soshiki/kyougi-shisetsu/76touki-kokutai.html
He'll be a flag bearer and utter some formal words at Kokutai? Is that an honor or something?
Ryuju was chosen to deliver the athlete's oath of fair play at the formation ceremony of Aichi prefecture athletes who were selected to participate in Kokutai.

The ceremony took place on Jan. 15 and 61 athletes from Aichi will compete at Kokutai which will start on Jan. 27. Kokutai will have no spectators and will be live streamed. https://japangamestv.japan-sports.or.jp/winter2021/Channel?ch=120192
 

surimi

Happy 21st, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
^ The stream will probably be paid and not be accessible to foreigners? Or...?

Anyhow, I found this when watching skating videos on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoCENt2uaT0 It's Ryuju's Carnival On Ice performance from autumn. It looks like he was enjoying himself!
 

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
FS Magazine will hold an online talk with Ryuju and Taichi Honda, on Sunday, 7 Feb!

I hope we get at least some screenshots from it. Both skaters will be retiring soon :cry:
 

surimi

Happy 21st, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
61-something for Ryuju, he didn't land the first two jumps well, but did well on the rest. I'm happy for him. He didn't look too nervous after the initial mistakes, and really sold the steps. I think he returned to his old Russian-themed program. That striped shirt threw me off for a while, I thought he'd do a new prison-themed program or something :D Then the music started and I remembered the old SP.
@ Rainbow, do you think he's still in Howa? I saw coach Naruse by the boards, which suggests he's still their student, but then Sota was sitting in the KnC with Ryuju... I mean, I was super excited to see two of my favorite boys having such a good time (I actually laughed aloud when I saw them, lol), but I wonder what Naruse coach's role is now.
Good luck in the free to Ryuju! Good to see him so relaxed and happy. :coffee:
Ryuju's thoughts:
(全日本で引退を決めてから)どんどんフィギュアスケートを外側から見ている気分になってきました。僕が始めた頃と採点方法も違いますし、やらなきゃいけないことも大変になってきている。後輩達と練習していると『この子達はそれに耐えていけるのかな』とか考えるようになりました」
Google translate: "(Since I decided to retire in Japan) I feel like I'm looking at figure skating from the outside. The scoring method is different from when I started, and the things I have to do are getting harder. When I was practicing with my juniors, I began to wonder, "Can these kids endure it?"
Eh, is that right?
 
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KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
Congrats Ryuju on finishing 3rd in the Senior Men's event, and winning the bronze medal overall for Aichi with Sota! :clap:
He really did well and also demonstrated great team spirit IMO.
 

surimi

Happy 21st, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
@ Rainbow, I think this tweet answers our concerns about this being Ryuju's last comp: 団体3位〜草太ありがとう!! 最後の国体、最高に楽しかったし、いちいちジーンときました笑 県大会も頑張ります!ありがとうございました
So... Howa should still be a safe address for now? ^ ^
What's 'every single gene' though?

Anyhow, I am so deeply grateful to Ryuju for his conduct at this competition. Frankly, I suspect Sota wouldn't have managed to skate the way he did without him. There were other caring skaters too, I am sure, and an outpouring of fans' support online, but Ryuju did by far the most. The embrace melted the heart of every fan of either of the two boys, I think. And since I am a fan of both, I am still a puddle on the floor :biggrin: (aww, he thanks Sota in his tweet, too - and sure enough, his kouhai was there by the boards as Ryuju skated his FS, watching attentively, clapping and cheering)

And let's not forget Ryuju is making his fans happy by having a dream career ending. I'm not saying the Nats and Kokutai programs were perfect, but they were very enjoyable, and they make you want to re-watch just for the peaceful air they exude, and for the expression of contentment on Ryuju's face when he finishes. And, I wasn't sure I saw it correctly so now I checked the protocols - and my eyes didn't deceive me, he really went for the 4T again! wow. Brave guy. Not nailing it, yet not giving up. He could easily let go of it, since these are his last competitions and he doesn't need to go for such a difficult element to get into the JSF's good books or anything... and yet he goes for it. Admirable. ✌️ His coaches must have been proud and happy.

FS protocol: https://www.jsfresults.com/National/2020-2021/fs_j/nationalfestival/data0105.pdf
FS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR4XvFyqhxE
SP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuM86VbV_yU (that wild hair, tho... lol ^ ^ )
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
(全日本で引退を決めてから)どんどんフィギュアスケートを外側から見ている気分になってきました。僕が始めた頃と採点方法も違いますし、やらなきゃいけないことも大変になってきている。後輩達と練習していると『この子達はそれに耐えていけるのかな』とか考えるようになりました」
Google translate: "(Since I decided to retire in Japan) I feel like I'm looking at figure skating from the outside. The scoring method is different from when I started, and the things I have to do are getting harder. When I was practicing with my juniors, I began to wonder, "Can these kids endure it?"
Eh, is that right?
Yes, above translation is correct.
Interview with Ryuju after FS: https://www.nikkansports.com/sports/news/202101290000925.html

--Your thoughts after FS?
I tried to deliver a good program by paying a lot of attention to each move, so when I finished, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I’m familiar with this rink where I've skated many times, so I didn't feel like competing at a special Kokutai event, and that might have helped me feel at ease.

Year after year, I'm getting more afraid of embarrassing myself, and that’s one of the reasons why I decided to retire. I always go to the competition with the feeling that I can't really do anything. At the beginning of the 6-minute warmup, I cannot rotate well at all, and I'm sorry to give this example, but when I saw the performance like Sota’s yesterday, I feel like it could be me. I'm even worse in practice. I was talking with (Honda) Lucas and inspired each other to land the loop, so I felt good when I managed to land it.

--It is your last performance at national level.
Someday, the end will come, but you wouldn’t know what it feels like at that moment until then. When I bowed to this (main) side, the skaters stood up and applauded, and I realized it was like this. I could savor the moment only for seconds. As the next skater was standing by, a part of me wanted to let him come out quickly, and another part of me was like, “I'm sorry, but let me bask in the warmth of their cheering a little bit more.”

--What are your memorable competitions?
Probably for everyone else, the most recognizable one is the NHK Trophy in which skaters my age were on the team (t/n: Ryuju, Yuzuru and Keiji at 2016 NHK Trophy). For me, they are Incare (Inter-college competition) which I participated in my second year of college, and also the last Nationals. Our team for Incare had the 4th year graduating seniors, both boys and girls. During the season we were going for the team championship for both men and ladies to send them off in glory. As an individual, I was doing my best at international competitions, but I really focused and worked hard together with other team members throughout the year, so there are no other competitions that could top that.

--What does friendship mean to you?
My friends have helped me many times, so when my friend has a hard time, I reach out to help. I think that the person who was with me during the hard time is my friend, so in that sense I have made a lot of lifelong friends. In a way, I think that's the number one benefit of this sport.

--About Sota Yamamoto.
He's a little tired now, so I can only say “thank you for competing with me,” for now. This is the time he wants to calm down. He had been working so hard until the Nationals. He is not physically unwell, but he is mentally exhausted, so I want to spend a lot of time listening to what he says. He can skate like today, or rather he is capable of doing better with his ability, and yes, he is a skater who can definitely perform well again. He is well-mannered as a human being, and I would like to keep seeing him.

--What is figure skating to you?
After all, I think skaters should continue practicing as hard as they can until the middle of junior high school or high school. Although it is called a sport, there is an element of expression, so it is not only about skating techniques but also the vive that can only be put out by a well-rounded character. So I’m afraid some of them may struggle with transitions into maturity. And small children who can jump from the beginning will have a hard time jumping with the same technique when they grow up. I guess it's a sport that torments you a lot. It's not something I can easily recommend to people [laughter]. There were times when I had to take a break from school, and as a person, education is important, but considering my progress in skating, I had to take a time off from school. It was difficult to find balance. It is a sport not easy to understand for me.

--What did you gain from this event?
Although I could not land a quad in competition, I was able to land it and I felt happy. Yes, that sensation cannot be felt in any other sport. It felt so good that I want to jump it again before I retire. When I land the 3A, I feel like going above the clouds once. After experiencing it, when I jumped a quad, I was doing the jump I’d seen on TV, so it was like I was getting inside the skater I had watched on TV. It's like looking at myself from above. It was as easy as that one on TV when I was floating weightless.

--How is the new chapter in your life going to be?
I’m leaving the figure skating life because I want to know what kind of person I am. You (interviewer) said that I sacrificed many things to pursue skating, but from the skater’s perspective, it is not as rigid as you might think. I haven’t done much, so I'm afraid I will be definitely overwhelmed by the harshness of reality when I become a working member of society. Compared to those who studied their majors diligently at college, I will feel stressed at work, as I’ve been in this sports community where people are not strict with manners. If I get reprimanded by my boss, I’ll somehow make it through by having a good laugh about it later with my seniors and friends.

--About March competition.
Aside from the elements, I’m satisfied with my performance this time. I wish I had executed jumps a bit better, though. I'm still thinking about the programs. There is also a possibility of reusing past successful programs.
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
@ Rainbow, I think this tweet answers our concerns about this being Ryuju's last comp: 団体3位〜草太ありがとう!! 最後の国体、最高に楽しかったし、いちいちジーンときました笑 県大会も頑張ります!ありがとうございました
So... Howa should still be a safe address for now? ^ ^
What's 'every single gene' though?
Ryuju tweeted, "3rd place as a team. Thanks, Sota! Last Kokutai for me. I had a blast. I was moved at every moment (LOL). I'll do my best at the prefecture (Aichi) championships as well! Thank you very much. "

To surimi, ジーンときました means be moved/touched.
 

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
Awww Ryuju, I really wish I could give him a hug and thank him for everything. He seems to be such a nice guy. Also, 'coach Ryuju' is awesome! Low-key wishing he'd join Sota's coaching team permanently 😆

Some pics from Ryuju's performances at Kokutai:

Ryuju also appeared on Wakaba and Yuhana's IG:
Sorry I can't translate, but I bet they are both sad he's retiring :cry:
 

surimi

Happy 21st, Sota!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Thank you for the translation and the links!
It really sounds he wants to disengage from the skating world altogether, doesn't it? No wonder, as he seems to have multiple talents he probably wants to develop from now on. But for me there's still this pang of sadness that from March on, the journey will be over for him. When you see how expertly he deals with a struggling skater and brings them back to life in a way, all in just a few hours... and how naturally he acts in the KnC, putting a jacket over his 'charge', talking to him - while said charge, who actually does want to be a coach, looks like he needs to remind himself to pass over the jacket and the water (not complaining, it's cute actually)... you can't help but wonder what it would be like if Ryuju really did become an assistant coach, or an interviewer.
Maybe he'll come back to skating as a hobby in his spare time (ahh, I hope he has some... I have heard that kaishain have very little time in Japan!) - through a podcast maybe, as you say, Rainbow - when he's tapped into his other skills.

I am confused about this sentence from the interview - "Although I could not land a quad in competition, I was able to land it and I felt happy. " How could he land a quad and not land it at the same time? Does he refer to landing it in trainings? But how could he land it in trainings when he says they look as bad as Sota's SP? I think I am dense... :scratch2:
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
I am confused about this sentence from the interview - "Although I could not land a quad in competition, I was able to land it and I felt happy. " How could he land a quad and not land it at the same time? Does he refer to landing it in trainings? But how could he land it in trainings when he says they look as bad as Sota's SP? I think I am dense... :scratch2:
He didn't say when he was able to land a quad, but I'm assuming he did it during the practice time before the performance. Specifically, men's SP practice time was scheduled from 18:55 to 20:50 on Jan. 27 with 25 minutes allotted for each group. During the 25-min. practice, men trained and prepared for the SP next day. Similarly, FS practice time was in the morning of 29th. Ryuju must have landed a quad during one of these practice time.
 

rRainbow

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Country
Japan
In the above instagram, Ryuju appreciates Keiji for his friendship and express his apology for retiring before him.

I’m really sorry. Thanks to Keiji I have been able to work hard. That’s why I am truly sorry all the more.

Time didn’t fly at all. It has taken us quite a long time, hasn’t it (LoL).
That’s all the more reason why I remember every moment vividly! I cannot thank you enough. We had the best relationship in which we cared about each other’s injuries and health issues, while keeping the desire to “win.”

After the March competition I will leave before you, but I’ll continue to cheer on Keiji like hell!
Thank you very much indeed!!
Let’s always stay in touch!
 
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