Translation: @axelsandwich Proofreading: @yuzueco Raw Video: BBI by @aoyuzu205 Transcript: @moonright_yuzu Sub: @yuzuru_fairy
This is a 3 part video series we will release as it gets translated and subbed. The interview was conducted right after Japanese Nationals in December 2019 but the program was aired in February 2020.
*A note on names: The title of the show is 羽生とゆづる (‘Hanyu and Yuzuru’) and you will see the narrator say that we are getting to know はにゅうゆづる for the first time. This nuance is hard to convey because it doesn’t exist in English but the name is written not in formal kanji (羽生結弦) which is how Yuzuru is known but in hiragana, the ‘easiest’ form of the Japanese alphabet, how children and Yuzu would have first learned to write their name before learning kanji. The feeling is that we are seeing a more personal, ‘private-facing’ and vulnerable side to him. For the sake of translation, the hiragana version will be written ‘Hanyu Yuzuru’ (the Japanese name order) to distinguish the two.
A: Well, it was the first day of practice so well, I [did so] while properly confirming my senses/feeling [for the rink/competition]. Well, I don’t think the skating itself has exactly come but I am confirming these one at a time. I skated today’s practice while thinking anew about the best way to get a feel for the ice.
Q: Was it a good feeling to skate to Ballade No. 1?
A: Well, I can only say I will leave that to the impressions of people watching in the audience, but well, I was really nervous today. But I felt again…well, apart from Pyeongchang, it was my first time running through Ballade No. 1 in front of everyone so while being very nervous, I felt like I was once more preparing myself to skate to this program.
Q: What was your reason for changing the programs?
A: Um, I think just with this question, the interview will probably be over. Firstly, at the Grand Prix Final and Japanese Nationals, I think it’s very fun to raise the difficulty [of my layouts], and the happiness at the moment of accomplishing them is immeasurable, but, well… I think the skating I’m aspiring to is not just doing difficult things.
I did Origin, did Otonal, but perhaps it’s not something that fits my rhythm/pace. Firstly, when it comes to technical things, the more I put in difficult elements, the more I neglect the portions of my own skating, and something I hate is separating my mind from the music because I must do so to set up for jumps. A big [factor/reason for the change] was not being able to tolerate that. And also, in terms of music, I selected those pieces Origin and Otonal after the Olympics had finished, when I myself was in a very ambivalent/floating mood, feeling like I was constantly that young boy who was always chasing after Johnny Weir and Plushenko.
Therefore, I think it’s indeed true that the Otonal at Japanese Nationals was good and Skate Canada’s Origin was good but, after all, I was thinking that I could not perfect them as my own performance. Because the ideal was that hard to reach. That ‘ideal’ was probably not me, but I think that of Plushenko-san and Johnny-san’s shadows*. Therefore, when I thought of it, this was not my skating and thought this once more when performing Seimei during Medallist on Ice. When I skated Seimei…well, it’s not really about a cover and original song but I really felt a difference similar to that within myself. Truthfully, Seimei and Ballade No. 1 are kids who, as legend-like records** to be passed down, so if I had been able to, I wanted to let them sleep. But, even so, during Medallist on Ice, when I borrowed their power – and maybe it was because of my mentality at the time – I thought I was able to be myself to a staggering degree. So, yes, for a little while longer, I thought it was okay to borrow the power of these kids, yes.
*literally he says their ‘backs’ were the ideal, essentially the ‘backs’ who he was chasing after or their idealised image in his head, but I’ve taken the liberty to use a more common English expression.
**he uses しまっている which is a suffix usually used to denote something that’s not ideal/good – here it’s attached to 記録を持ってしまっている – holding the records. Our interpretation is that he’s saying it’s almost a bad thing that they have those records because it gives these programs a particular weight because of their ‘legendary’ reputation that he doesn’t want to risk/harm by performing them again.
Q: What’s the degree of completion for your 4A, will you fight with it at the World Championships?
A: U~m… well, if I can’t jump it then I cannot put it in, though I’ll do it if I can. I think I was indeed able to practice it during this month-long period. I haven’t landed it, but somehow or another, I think its condition/shape has gotten better.