Figure Skaters

Yuzuru Hanyu: Tol Bean
Shoma Uno: Smol Bean
Nathan Chen: The Hot Young One
Misha Ge: Dank Meme
Stéphane Lambiel: The Hot Old One
Johnny Weir: gAY GAY SO GAY
Evgeni Plushenko: He-Man
Daisuke Takahashi: F A B U L O U S
Evgenia Medvedeva: Cinnamon Roll
Yuna Kim: Prettier than me
Dennis Vasiljevs: Pure child
Joe Johnson: Shitpost
Javier Fernandez: Tol Bean’s Husband
Patrick Chan: Cananda, Eh?
Kevin Reynolds: Elf
Adam Rippon: S E X Y
Mikhail Kolyada: Cray-Cray
Boyang Jin: Spooderman
Alexei Yagudin: Weird-Ass Footwork

The Birth of a Costume: "Hanyu is the designer, I am the assistant" (Nikkan Sports 2017.10.30)

(Above: 2017 Rostelecom Cup. アフロスポーツ via JOC.
Below: Hanyu and Satomi Ito. Capture from 2015.11.15 Asahi GP Special)

Translated by gladi. Feel free to repost text with credit. Images aren’t part of the article. Source: (Check the tweet for the design sketches of the costume!)

The Birth of a Costume: “Hanyu is the designer, I am the assistant”

Aiming to defend his title at next year’s Pyeongchang Olympics, Yuzuru Hanyu has imbued, even in his costumes, plenty of his own insistence and care over details. The costume for this season’s free program, SEIMEI, coming from onmyoji Abe no Seimei, imitates the clothing worn by Japanese officials during the Heian period. According to Satomi Ito, the designer responsible for the costume, “Hanyu-san is the designer, and I’m the assistant.” Now, for the first time, details about its production are revealed.

[He] even decides the materials

Hanyu, who had concluded his first competition––the Rostelecom Cup––in the Grand Prix Series, is currently training at his base in Canada. On the other hand, the costume of SEIMEI has made its way back to Ito-san’s atelier in Tokyo.  “Because Hanyu-san makes small alternations even after the season has started.” Foreseeing this, [the costume] is tailored in such a way that is easy to alter. “This is probably the last time it’ll be modified though…” Headed toward the NHK Trophy, which opens on November 10th, her work continues.

Ito-san took charge of Hanyu’s costumes beginning in the 2014-15 season. At the time, she was commissioned to do his backup costume, but then “the incident at Cup of China happened. That night, they got in touch and asked if I couldn’t start work on the costume at once.” The [original] costume was stained by blood, and a new one had to be made before the next event in two weeks. Ito-san designed at a rapid pace, and made it just in time.

From then on, they’ve been fighting together [as a team]. “Hanyu-san is the designer, and I’m the assistant,” said Ito-san. Every year in June, they’ll take measurements of different parts of his body, the readings a top secret. In August, they deliver. Everything down to color, material, and the “image” is decided by Hanyu.

Struggles with the kariginu

SEIMEI is chock full of Hanyu’s precise attention to details. In the early summer of 2015, [Ito received] requirements [for the costume] along with images of Mansai Nomura, the lead in the movie Onmyoji. The request was for a white patterned base, pea green and purple, and the inclusion of a pentagram, a symbol of the onmyoji. The greatest struggle was in imitating the shape and form of the kariginu during the Heian period. With the stretchy materials used for figure skating costumes, it’s difficult to bring out the feeling of smooth, rich silk. It took repeated fittings for over five times to get at a form similar to the relaxed cut of the kariginu.

Because the piece was also used two seasons ago, the basic shape remains the same but there was particularity in the colors. The collar, overlapped like in a kimono, is purple, gold, green, and white beginning from the exterior. This order too, was done to Hanyu’s specification. The purple at the chest is of a mesh material as light as 850g, whereas for rhinestones––up to 3000 were used. After ending up in second place at the Autumn Classic, the first competition of the season, [Hanyu] “wanted to change the mood” and switched from bright shades of green and purple in the collar and the sleeves to more austere shades. In terms of the pattern, the original stones looked silver, so they were switched to black. Although both silver and gold versions of the pentagram were prepared, “let’s do gold after all” (Ito). The battle for “gold” continues both at the rink and the atelier. 

(End of article)

Charting the evolution of the SEIMEI costume

2015-16 pre-season: ice show version. patterned white base, pea green, purple. (Above: Nikkan Sports; Below: Sunao Noto via SportsNavi)

2015-16 season: patterned white base, pea green, purple. Pentagram not pictured (Japan Times)

Autumn Classic 2017 (Screen capture from Asahi before the Free Skate at COR)

Free Skate, Rostelecom Cup (2017.10.21)


Okay theory,
the first gif is of Yuzuru when he broke a short program record. Yuzuru can’t contain himself in excitement and rubs/fixes the hair behind his ears in a self soothing gesture.

The second gif of them together is when Javier beats Yuzuru (at worlds I believe), and even though Yuzuru was happy for Javier, he was mostly upset with himself, and broke down crying.

I think that through training together and being such close friends, Javier Fernandez knows Yuzuru’s nervous habit of smoothing his hair when he is overwhelmed. Javier knows how to comfort Yuzuru, and rubs his hair accordingly.


Yuzuru Hanyu comments on his own iconic performance of “SEIMEI” at the 2015 GPF in Barcelona, and talks about the pressure, the injury, and his thoughts leading up to it. He scored 219.48, smashing the WR he himself had set just two weeks ago at the GP NHK Trophy. (He has since rewritten the record once again, at the World Championships 2017 in Helsinki).

TV Asahi documentary series, 「神に選ばれた試合」 (~“Games Chosen by the Gods”), focuses on iconic sports competitions. A segment on Yuzuru Hanyu was aired on 24 September, 2017.

Translations and subtitles by gladi, skipped 2017 ACI FP performance, rest is intact. Thanks to yuzu_pino for initial timing, final video source from own recording. Please do not reupload on other platforms without permission. 

スタジオ生出演、羽生に聞く by hana02015

Rudimentary Japanese translation of some interesting points from Yuzu’s recent interview because it’s quite comprehensive and I’m not sure if someone’s subbing it~~ (note: my Japanese is far from perfect so corrections are welcome- this is more of the ‘gist’ of the conversation and not word for word)

  • Said his season began with injury so he was essentially starting from behind the line, but also because of the hard times, he was able to grow
  • Re: Worlds - announcer praised his perfect FS and Yuzu said it was to the point where people were asking if he failed the short on purpose to trigger his fighting spirit lol but he admits that he probably wouldn’t have skated the FS with that sort of spirit if he had done well at the short so he needs to keep improving
  • Re: WTT Yuzu said doesn’t usually get the chance to watch other people’s performances from close by. Seeing the ladies skate so cleanly, he realised that the high level of this era of competition, where even the smallest mistake will cause you to drop in the rankings. In the Mens, it’s not simply that you have to jump quads, you also can’t miss. He said that was very instructive and he learned a lot
  • Re: New Quad Era’ and the 4A. Yuzu said he’s tried it during practice in the off-season but it’s difficult – says it’s a special jump (due to the entry method) with high risk and so he has to consider risk of injuries etc. when practising it
  • TV station made a hologram/projection of Yuzu landing a 4A. Yuzu: ‘whoaa this is cool, I want to jump with it’
  • They say he has to jump 17cm higher than for the 3A. Yuzu: ‘huh, it sounds quite high but it’s…kind of really just my hair isn’t it?’ He’d also need to land 1.1m further than 3A and rotate 10% faster. Yuzu fairly unfazed: ‘Looking at it now, I feel like I…can probably jump that?’ and thanks them because he feels like he can visualise it now, thanks to the hologram lol
  • Yuzu’s old (first?) skating teacher was all like: ‘I feel like conversation about quints is coming closer’ lololol
  • Yuzu doesn’t feel particularly unnerved/scared that the sQuad are younger than him. Said he knew Shoma since very young and though Shoma is a kouhai, after fighting through the competitions together, he also sees Shoma as a nakama ( ; u ; )
  • more discourse on quads: Yuzu says what helps you land the quads is not really young age/experience but ‘sense’ for the jumps
    • The next part was hard for me to understand since I didn’t pick up on all the words but I think the gist of it is that successful jumping comes down to each individual and if you have the instinct for it, a ‘challenger’ can come from anywhere
    • 最終的はそれぞれの個人の体((退学に合わせたもの)))??? idk guys soz lmao
  • They were like ‘can you…land the lutz in practice? should we put a circle or triangle?’ and yuzu laughed and was like ‘t-triangle….’, implying his Lutz isn’t perfect yet 
  • ‘It’s a hard jump but it’s fun! Since the season is finally over and we’re finally free from competitions, I wanted to try it.’
  • Says he’s not going to put the Lutz in the Olympic program - says having a lot of quad varieties does not mean you can win
  • they talked a bit about the 3/11 earthquake and Yuzu said bc he had the experience of losing his home-rink and still remembers the hard times that followed, he’s always quite happy and grateful to be able to practice in a rink
  • Has absolutely no plan for Pyeongchang at the moment LMAO
  • first plan for off season………wants to improve a lot of skating skills (#typical), esp 4Lz and the 3Lz because 3Lz went a bit weird (bc he’s practising 4Lz?) lmaooo
  • Goal for next season: ‘Towards perfection’ - 理想の先へ (literally: towards the ideal destination but he implies he means ‘beyond’ the ideal). He’d characterise this season (with the Loop) as a season of getting closer towards the ideal. Next season he wants to surpass the current ‘ideal’ he has. People say you shouldn’t have limits but Yuzu thinks it’s good to have limits, but if you set your own limits, you should set them higher than you’re able to achieve right now (I think? I’m not entirely confident I’m hearing it right)