YUZURU ON KENJI’S ROOM EPISODE 2 TRANSLATION (2015)
The full episode 2 of Yuzu’s interview at Kenji’s room was also uploaded by the kind fan so my completionist instincts kicked in and I had to translate ( :
Disclaimer: my Japanese is far from perfect so corrections are welcome. This is more of the ‘gist’ of the conversation and not always word for word (Ep 1)
- Axel talk: Yuzu jumped the 2A at the end of Year 3 in Primary School when he was a Novice and doesn’t quite remember it (cutely, he was like ‘desu ka ne?? desu ka ne?’ and I assume he was searching for his mum off-camera to confirm haha)
When he was aiming for the Japanese Nationals as a Novice, his coach (Suzuki-sensei?) at the time told him the 2A was the ‘king of jumps’ and so if he didn’t master it, he couldn’t progress.
Yuzu loves Axel the most of all the jumps. It’s special because the other jumps are all backwards jumps and the method of takeoff is the same. Yuzu is the type who really places emphasis on having an image in his mind (visual learner). He jumped his first 2A just from watching his older sister jump it. He absolutely wanted to jump the jumps his sister could do. He jumped 3A after seeing Mao do it at the Japanese Nationals. Seeing how thin Mao was and how she didn’t really use a lot of muscles to jump it, he thought he should be able to do it too. He jumped the axel after 3 tries at that practice (after stepping out the first 2 times).
Kenji: That’s….weird (he’s deeply impressed and disbelieving haha).
Yuzu: But afterwards, I had a long period (1yr) where I couldn’t land the axel properly in competitions.
- Kenji was still in awe Yuzu got the axel after 3 tries and then the staff member asked him to talk about when he landed the 3A lol.
- Kenji’s axels: Kenji was bad at flips and struggled with 2F. He was nervous about the 3A and found it difficult so actually tried jumping the 4T first. However, Kenji rotated too much and so actually jumped about 3.5 revolutions and ended up hitting the wall and slid down like a manga character.
Yuzu: But you rotated 3.5 times. You could have tried the Axel.
Kenji: No, I was scared of the axel.
They talked about axels at an ice show when they met. Kenji was trying to jump a single axel and Yuzu said ‘Eh? Your hands are weird’. Yuzu said their frames (bodies) are different but at the time… Kenji’s way of jumping was indeed weird.
Kenji: But after you taught me, I jump the axel properly now each time so thank you very much.
- Yuzu’s jumps (again, struggled to hear words): I think he’s saying he only gets one shot to master the Lutz so it’s a close-call jump (he uses ギリギリ which suggests he’s barely mastered it) and so he didn’t really practice it. Over anything, the probability of landing (?) the 3Lz-3T is the lowest so he needs to place emphasis on it. Yuzu also changes his jump timing to match the music and it affects whether he jumps straight or at a curve. Kenji mentions how your sense for the jump changes and Yuzu agrees that he can’t jump a 2A right now and the 3T is also pretty bad due to him losing his ‘sense’ for the jump by doing too many 3A and 4Ts. He had to jump a 2A at a group number during an ice show and realised he didn’t have a sense for them anymore.
- Shizuka and Yamato: He didn’t have much of a chance to skate together with Arakawa Shizuka even though they were in the same rink; he mostly only watched her admiringly. He didn’t really have a chance to interact with world class skaters (eg. like skating at the same rink or being in the same club etc.) He doesn’t have many memories of talking much with Shizuka but remembers Yamato Tamura a little more. ((Yamato sought him out to talk to him a bit more than Shizuka or Honda? This was one of those situations where he mumbled a lot and I have no context sorry lol)).
- Yuzu’s middle school graduation: He won the Junior World Championships in Year 9 (end of middle school) and graduated middle school alone in the principle’s office. He loved his Year 9 classmates a lot - he had a lot of close friends in that class and they all gathered to say ‘welcome back’ for him afterwards. This left a deep impression on him.
- Dark stories of Junior days: Kenji was like ‘so do you have any dark stories from your Junior days?’ and Yuzu was like LET ME TELL YOU (he answered really fast and decisively like he didn’t have to think about it at all LOL).
He placed 12th in his first Junior Worlds 2009 and it was very kuyashii (he even corrected Kenji who initially said ‘a little kuyashii’). He didn’t have a lot of time to practice and he was also injured (can’t catch precise phrases even though he uses some more here, but the idea is that he wasn’t entirely prepared?).
At the time, he tended to make a lot of excuses for himself. He would tell himself he had a sprain etc. and people around him would say the same. After the experience at Worlds, he told himself he’d not give himself any excuses. He says strong athletes don’t give excuses for poor performance. It isn’t productive and won’t give you the ability to compete. He admires the people who can perform/jump under any condition, like Mao who performed with a broken bone. (THEN HE MUMBLED THE REST yuzu pls. I think he was essentially reiterating this ‘no excuses’ attitude was important to him)
Kenji: Wow…that’s cool.
Yuzu: Who? Did someone cool come in?? (he’s making a lame joke because he’s an awkward turtle)
Kenji (gravely): You’re cool
- Yuzu’s next World Junior comp (2010): He held on to the regretful feelings from last season and practised a lot. ((I’m really not sure about some of his phrases re: Olympics and also his last year of Juniors so I won’t bother trying to translate but I think he was saying that because the year he lost was the Olympic year, a lot of skaters debuted as seniors and so he wanted to challenge them at a senior level. Also he did very well in his last year of Juniors)). At the time, he was bad at the SP and tended to make up for it in the FS. He was 3rd in SP and won the FS. No matter how big the match was, he always approached it as though it was just another competition and that he would just have to win.
- Talk about Kanako getting food poisoning from eating raw food heheh
- Senior debut (tn: I think Yuzu was getting tired here because he essentially…stopped enunciating the ends of his words, rolls some words into each other and trails off. This makes translating by ear super hard, as a non-native speaker who can’t guess at the words. I could only get bits and pieces so I’m sorry the next section is a bit incomplete/inaccurate):
Yuzu really realised that senior skating life was very difficult. His first senior competition was NHK in Nagoya. To put it bluntly he got carried away after that because he landed his quads, even though they weren’t regular/stable. His attitude towards practice changed after that but then he didn’t do well at the next competition and felt the difficulty of the senior level. He was grateful to have been rewarded at the end of the season at the 4CCC and told himself he has to do better next season, especially given his silver at the 4CC, he had to aim higher.
- Most memorable competition he’s ever done: Of course the Olympics but also his first at the Japanese Nationals as a Novice (his time of having mushroom hair). He was so excited the point where he wasn’t even nervous and just felt like the competition was incredibly fun, and his practice at the time was great too. As a Year 4 primary student, he also had no concept of failing (missing his jumps) and was filled with the confidence that he’d definitely win. They were still using the 6.0 scoring system at the time. World level figure skaters at the GPF and Worlds were all scoring in the 5.0s and above. In one of Yuzu’s presentation scores (they laughed because it was still called presentation), he got a single 5.2 and was super happy and surprised to get it. He then had this feeling of, ‘oh, maybe I can compete on a world level!’ ( :
- Yuzu’s life goal: His life goal has also not changed since primary school, from when he first watched the Salt Lake Olympics at 7yrs old and thought ‘I’m definitely getting the gold medal.’ After he won in Sochi, he kept thinking that getting a second gold at the next Olympics would definitely be legendary and so made it a goal.
Kenji: As I thought….you’re weird
Yuzu: It’s weird. It was also not a ‘I can or cannot get a gold medal’ feeling (tn: because that suggests he was uncertain about it) – it was ‘I will get a gold medal.’
Kenji: Well. There’s still one more (gold).
Yuzu: Pyeongchang is a goal – it’s one of my biggest reasons for skating right now.