[ENG TRANSLATION] Yuzuru Hanyu x FRAU Interview 211010

Photo by Norio Kidera

Original article was first published 10 October 2021

Translation: @axelsandwich
Proofreading: @shinjistarxx


Yuzuru Hanyu, the top athlete driving the figure skating world. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, he did not return to his training base in Canada but continued training all alone and marked his first victory in 5 years at the Japanese National Championships at the end of last year. In order to meet with Hanyu-senshu, who possesses extraordinary strength and artistry and is continuing to advance his craft, we travelled to Sendai, the city of forests overflowing with greenery.  


Figure skating is a sport that has an artistic facet that judges according to a standard of beauty. He spoke about how the most important things are high attention to detail and awareness. 


[Figure skating] is a competition [judged] by the perfection and beauty of its moves/skills but, as you are judged by human beings, you have to put out performances that appeal to people with differing values. It’s because I have high standards for the details that I fixate on and am aware of [in my performance] that I can continue to give my all. Though it’s important how objectively I can evaluate myself, if I just fixate on what I want to express, I feel I’d only be able to put out self-centered performances, so a program can firstly only be complete if it can convey something to the audience. If it’s a happy program, I’d wish that the people watching could do their best the next day, and that it could prompt them to move forward in their hearts. If it’s a sad program, I’d like it to be a way for the people watching to connect with their pain and experiences. I’ve only lived 26 years, but I’d like to express my own story and feelings. Not only in relation to the past, but my feelings towards the future, and the things I’m experiencing currently… though it’s very varied. 


Currently during your off-season, you are commuting every day to your practice rink. Can we ask you about your motivation?


The results of your hard work is everything. I think the number one happiness is the moment the results come. It’s not anything like ‘oh I’ll get to eat this or buy this if I work hard’ (laughs), it’s because I want to taste the happiness at that moment of accomplishment. Even if it’s a small goal, I try to follow through and accomplish something every day. 


We’ve heard that though you’ve secured countless titles, you’ve never once thought that you were mentally strong?


Of course this happens at competitions but even at ice shows, I get so nervous that I feel sick and there are many nights I can’t sleep. But that’s because I have high ideals. So I can only give my everything. If I can live by the choice that I’ve judged as the best one, not only in practice but during times of rest and including occasionally when I’m not even thinking about anything, I think you will definitely become stronger, even if you don’t get the results you wanted at the time. 


You’ll often bring pressure onto yourself by saying things like ‘I’ll win the next competition!’ 


It’s because I believe I can do it. I think putting my wishes into words has a good impact on my mind. When I feel like I’m going to be crushed down, I change that to motivation and keep working hard. Though I do get overwhelmed and there are times my stomach hurts, I hope I can turn that power in a good direction. It’s because I get nervous that I can, single-mindedly, concentrate and tackle problems head on. 


In competitions in recent years, we know you have chosen music with Japanese themes like ‘Ten to chi to’ and ‘SEIMEI’. What do you think of your identity as a Japanese person? 


To be honest, I wasn’t thinking about it like that; on the contrary, I feel that it’s not a good thing to be stereotyped as persevering and polite because we’re Japanese. And I think there are people who have a complex against that. It’s because everyone is different from each other that they are good. When I meet with foreign athletes, there are differences in our values and each person’s attitudes towards skating is varied. But ultimately, when it comes time to do something together, we can unite. That is the sort of diverse society that Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) stand for, and something I think is very important. 


Last September, you graduated from the Human Sciences e-School course at Waseda University after studying for 7 years. 


In skating and also in studying, knowledge is important. In regards to SDGs’ activities as well, I did research into items that attempt to keep the limited resources in our natural environment sustainable and I want to choose those kinds of products [to use]. I’m personally interested in the problem of rubbish, so I try to normally carry around reusable bottles in training. Even though it may be small, I think one way to keep moving forward is to ask myself what I can do. 

[ENG TRANSLATION] Yuzuru Hanyu x Rikako Ikee – Special Talk: ‘Simply, in order to win’ – 210715

Photo by Sports Graphic Numbers

We encourage purchase of the original magazine if you have the means, which also features some beautiful photos. Here is a guide to how to purchase the electronic edition for Kindle for international fans.

Translation: @axelsandwich
Proofreading: @shinjistarxx

Continue reading [ENG TRANSLATION] Yuzuru Hanyu x Rikako Ikee – Special Talk: ‘Simply, in order to win’ – 210715

[ENG SUB] Yuzuru Hanyu Special Program – Dreams on Ice – 210724

The special program is split into 5 subbed parts – full performances have been cut

Translation & proofreading: @axelsandwich & @shinjistarxx
Japanese Transcript: @aoyuzu205
Subbing: @aoyuzu205

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[ENG TRANSLATION] Waseda e-Style Book Interview – 2108

Original article published August 2021.

Translation + Japanese transcript: @shinjistarxx 
Proofreading: @axelsandwich

学びのキーワード「集中力」(人間科学情報科学科) 羽生結弦さん

Learning Keyword: “Concentration” (Department of Human Informatics Science), Yuzuru Hanyu

Interview with Professor Nishimura Shoji 西村昭治教授 


On learning more than his expectations in the interdisciplinary major, Human Informatics Science

Continue reading [ENG TRANSLATION] Waseda e-Style Book Interview – 2108

[ENG TRANSLATION] A Feasibility Study on Utilization in Figure Skating by A Wireless Inertia Sensor Motion Capture System, Yuzuru Hanyu – 20210318

Original journal article was first published 18 March 2021

Translation: @shinjistarxx
Proofreading: @yuzueco & @axelsandwich

Continue reading [ENG TRANSLATION] A Feasibility Study on Utilization in Figure Skating by A Wireless Inertia Sensor Motion Capture System, Yuzuru Hanyu – 20210318

[ENG TRANSLATION] The first great conversation: Yuzuru Hanyu x Rikako Ikee article preview – 210713

Preview article originally published 13 July 2021. Note that this is not the full article.

Source: https://number.bunshun.jp/articles/-/848840

Translation: @axelsandwich 
Proofreading: @shinjistarxx


As we draw closer to the Tokyo Olympics, a ‘great exchange’ that connects Tokyo and Sendai took place in this special Pre-Olympics Numbers edition. 


This is the first face-to-face meeting between the golden child of swimming, who has once more taken to the competitive stage, Rikako Ikee, and the champion of Winter, Yuzuru Hanyu.


Besides both being Olympians, the two share another significant commonality. The one who noticed this was Yuzuru Hanyu.


From the outset of the conversation, he showed his concern for Ikee, saying, ‘I’ve felt this whole time that though she’s young, she’s had to shoulder the weight of various things and has worked really hard. Of course, there was dealing with her own illness*, but also wanting to give courage to others who were also sick and wanting to get better, all of those things. While I feel that she doesn’t have to bear all of that weight, it’s perhaps because she’s carried these burdens that she is strong.’

*Ikee was diagnosed with leukemia at 19yrs old in February 2019. 


Ikee replied: ‘It’s true that I’m carrying the knowledge that I shouldn’t shoulder these burdens. After recovering, I’ve felt at all races that I’m almost like a representative for those who have been ill.’



Hanyu: “I think at the time, it weighed on me very heavily.”

The worry of the illness and the recovery last year. Ikee, who seemed to recover and return as a competitor in the blink of an eye, had been shouldering burdens unbeknownst to others. From afar, Hanyu could sympathise with this. It’s because even now, he has also been shouldering a heavy weight that fate had laid upon him. 


“For me too, since the 3/11 disaster happened when I was sixteen, I feel that from that time, I had started to really shoulder these various things.”


“Even now, I try wherever possible to accept requests to help out with [financial] support and recovery in the affected region, but at the time I thought of it as an incredibly heavy weight. The natural disaster suddenly happened and then when it was thought that I was chosen to be the representative of Japan [in figure skating] only because I was someone doing my best in the affected disaster area, I felt very frustrated.”


Though she was initially a little tense and nervous in front of the two-time Winter Olympic champion, through a combination of the kindness, warmth and especially strength conveyed through Hanyu’s words to her, Ikee also was able to open up. 


In addition, the conversation topics included how to prepare for the Olympics, recent and past frustrations and regrets, times when they cried alone, and how to overcome those difficulties now. It’s because they are both top athletes that they could trade notes on all these topics. 


It’s a gem of a conversation you’d want to listen to, anywhere and anytime. 

[ENG TRANSLATION] Yuzuru Hanyu, Dreams on Ice Day 1 Interview – 210709

Photo by Sponichi

All articles originally published 9 July 2021

Part 1 | Part 2 

Translation & proofreading: @shinjistarxx & @axelsandwich 



The ice show “Dreams on Ice” was held on the 9th at Kose Shin-Yokohama Skate Center in Yokohama. Sochi ‘14 and Pyeongchang ‘18 gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu (ANA) took part for the first time in six years, unveiling his program “Masquerade,” starting off a new season. The interview questions with him are as follows.



― (Your thoughts on) This being your first appearance at DOI in six years.

Yuzuru: Um, well, I strongly felt that I wanted to skate in front of everyone. Last year there weren’t ice shows, and so I wanted to skate more in front of an audience. Also, last season when I participated in competitions, I thought that perhaps my performances could be useful for someone; that perhaps they could feel something from it. So with that in mind, I wanted to try for everyone’s sake. I want to take the opportunity to skate in as many places as possible, so I decided to participate in Dreams on Ice this time.



― Did you actually receive power [through this?]

Y: Of course, I personally received a lot [of power]. I received it and then changed it into power for my performance, and maybe everyone watching will pass this on in turn in another form. I’m already exhausted after this one performance so I hope this may be the impetus for some sort of emotion in everyone. 



― What is the current state of the quad Axel, which you cited as your ultimate goal right now?

Y: Firstly, Dreams on Ice is the first ice show in awhile where I’ve had to do two performances in one day. I thought that I must prepare my body and focus on this ice show so I haven’t been able to practise my quad Axel until now. After Stars on Ice, there was the toll that it took on my body, the need to take care of my body that had worked hard last season, there was practice on the foundations of the axel, and the need to do the work to properly rebuild my body for the quad Axel from square one; I’d like to start concretely practising for the season ahead from here on out. 



― Regarding next season’s programs, have you decided on your SP?

Y: The music is decided. But, the editing is not done, so I cannot announce it yet.



― Will the free program [from last season] continue on?

Y: Yes, I am thinking I want to keep the free (program) “Ten to Chi to”.

Photo by Sponichi




― What is the reason you decided to compete in the GP Series again after two seasons?

Yuzuru: Without the chance to be in competition, I think even if I land the quad Axel, it’s pointless. I strongly feel I want to land it in competition. I thought that I should take as many opportunities as I can in that regard, and so I decided to participate in the Grand Prix series [this season]. 



― You decided on NHK Trophy and Rostelecom Cup [for your GP competitions]

Y: When they decided I would compete at the NHK Trophy, I felt it would definitely be either Rostelecom Cup, Skate Canada or the Cup of China. I was 3rd at the World Championships so I didn’t have any particular say in it.  



―Once again, what are your thoughts on the Beijing Olympics?

Y: I don’t particularly have the same feelings that I absolutely must get the gold medal like I did during the season of Pyeongchang (Olympics). However, I am very determined to definitely land the quad Axel this season. I will take up that challenge this season with that resolve and determination.



― Is [the Beijing Olympics] something beyond that goal?

Y: If it happens to be part of the journey [towards the 4A]. It’s just…hm. Like I said before, I feel I don’t have the same degree of passion or fervour that I did at the time of Sochi or Pyeongchang. 



― What is the reason you performed “Masquerade” today?

Y: Well, I haven’t had many chances to perform this program. But also, since that time [I first did the program], I’ve become more of an adult, and I think there is more I want to express, and given the current state of the world, there is more I think that can be objectively felt from the program, so with those thoughts in mind, I wanted to perform it again, so I chose this program.



― Will your training base this season be in Japan?

Y: First, in order to return to Canada now, there are many difficult procedures involved. I’m not certain whether it is even possible or not, but for the time being, based on my experiences from last season, I feel that I can grow even if training on my own, so I am not thinking of returning to Canada at the moment. However, I think with regards to the choreography, that it will be done with remote assistance [from Canada].



― The upcoming Tokyo Olympics has been decided to be held without spectators. How do you feel about this?

Y: I am coming from the standpoint of an athlete. To put it bluntly, the audience…in regards to whether the audience can convey their support or travel [to watch] in person, I can’t really speak to that. But if I can speak from an athlete’s standpoint, the Olympics are a dream stage for many athletes, I think the final dream stage they long for the most. I don’t think the fact they will give everything they have on that stage will change. It’s the fact that it’s during times like this – we [skaters] call it a ‘performance’ – but I think it’s precisely because it’s during these [difficult] times that [watching events like] races and whatnot can result in something touching and emotional.

[ENG SUB] Yuzuru Hanyu – FS TV Japanese Nationals Interview Clip – 210307

Translation: @axelsandwich
Proofreading: @yuzueco & @shinjistarxx
Raw Video + Japanese Transcript: BBI by @aoyuzu205
Sub: @yuzuru_fairy


From an interview given 28 December 2020, first broadcast 7 March 2021.


Yes… the World Championships don’t really feel real yet. Well there was the World Championships representatives press conference and the things I said there were not at all false, and I attended that press conference feeling as if I am really a Worlds (team) representative.


The fact I skated and fought through to the very end of the Japanese National Championships has become an important memory, something that won’t disappear.


However, assuming the World Championships will still be happening, what we have to face until then is, without doubt, the coronavirus with society as a whole.


The first thing is to stay healthy and there’s nothing I’d like more than to be able to quickly see and live in a world where we can go on with our (normal) athlete (activities), so I’d like to spend my time working towards that.


The kind of performance I want to show, and the things I want to express, ultimately, I cannot do any of that without being healthy. So firstly, I’d like to take good care of my body and also the people around me. I want to contribute what I can, as seriously as I can and with pride, in order to protect figure skating, which itself is something precious to me.

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