daisuke nakano

Nakano Takeko (1847-1868) was a Japanese Onna-bugeisha who fought in the Boshin War

Nakano was the daughter of an official from Aizu, but was raised in Edo (Tokyo) where she was trained in literary and martial arts, specialising in a form of Ittō-ryū one-sword fighting. She also became a skilled instructor in the use of the naginata, a bladed polearm. She spent five years as the adopted daughter of her martials arts teacher, Akaoka Daisuke, but left him after he attempted to arrange a marriage for her. She relocated with her native famiily to Aizu in 1868. 

During this time the Boshin War began between the ruling Tokugawa shogunate and supporters of the Imperial Court. Although the Shogun surrendered in May 1868, some of his forces continued to fight on, retreating to Aizu. Nakano joined the army in repelling the Imperial forces and fought at the Battle of Aizu, which was in effect a month-long siege.

While Aizu retainers did not allow women to fight, Nakano formed an unofficial unit of twenty women armed with naginata, including her mother and sister. The group took part in a counter-attack designed to break the siege, during which Nakano killed five enemy opponents before taking a fatal bullet to the chest. Afraid that the enemy would take her head as a trophy, she asked her sister to instead decapitate her and bury the head.

The shogunate forces eventually lost the siege to the better-armed Imperial forces. As requested, Nakano’s sister buried her head under a pine tree at the Hōkai-ji Temple and a monument was erected there in her honour. During the annual Aizu Autumn Festival, a group of young girls take part in the procession to commemorate the actions of Nakano and her band of women warriors.

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At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Kohei Uchimura, Ryohei Kato, Kenzo Shirai, Yusuke Tanaka and Koji Yamamuro reclaimed Japan’s Olympic title 12 years after the historic victory at the 2004 Athens Olympics. In Athens, Japan ended a 28 year old drought through the golden generation Hiroyuki Tomita, Isao Yoneda, Naoya Tsukahara, Takehiro Kashima, Hisashi Mizutori and Daisuke Nakano. Today, Hiroyuki Tomita is the vicepresident of the international technical panel, Hisashi Mizutori is the current team manager, while Naoya Tsukahara has recently retired from the sport after competing for Australia. 

                           Phantom of the Opera Watchpost

                                                (selected)

Robin Cousins, 1990

Rudy Galindo, 1992

Brian Boitano, 1993

Maria Butyrskaya, 1994

Kovarikova and Novotny, 1995

Ina and Zmmerman, 1999

Alexei Urmanov, 1999 - by far the most (over)dramatic one, thanks to the costume and props:) oh, and there’s another version of this program, with a mask

Pang and Tong, 2004 and 2006

Drobiazko and Vanagas, 2006

Daisuke Takahashi, 2007

Yukari Nakano, 2009

Chock and Zuerlein, 2009

Davis and White, 2010

Weaver and Poje, 2010

Patrick Chan, 2011

Sinitsina and Zhiganshin, 2011

Denney and Coughlin, 2012

Elene Gedevanishvili, 2012

Akiko Suzuki, 2014

Riazanova and Tkachenko, 2013

Caroline Zhang, 2014

I don’t like musicals and I’m not a fan of POTO but, to be honest, if I had to pick my favorite program to this music, I couldn’t, there are a few I really enjoy watching - Takahashi, Chan, Suzuki, D/W, C/Z. What’s your favorite program to POTO?

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I’ve only gotten halfway through this book, but the conversational format and the skaters’ personalities make this a very enjoyable read. So far I found Akiko and Yukari’s conversation on their long history competing against each other and thoughts about life after retirement from competition most interesting.

In addition the photos are almost a celebration of how adorkable Team Japan is. These are just some of my favourites (^w^)

Feel free to ask if you are curious about the context of these poses XD

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Team Japan at Japan Open, 2006-2013