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 "Mao Asada, heroine of the era"

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Batsuchan
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PostSubject: "Mao Asada, heroine of the era"   Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:08 pm

Ok, so Hirono Aoshima wrote two amazing articles about Mao's programs at the World Team Trophy. Maybe these should go under the WTT thread, but she also talks about "the era of figure skating" in Japan, and I think they are really special, so I thought they deserved their own thread.

Aoshima-san writes very well, and I unfortunately don't think my translations live up to the original! Sweatdrop

http://iceblue.cocolog-nifty.com/figure/cat7988201/index.html
SP report is the second article; FS report is the first article.

**********************
2009 World Team Trophy Ladies SP - Miki Ando, Mao Asada; Two miracles
[It's actually the second part of a two part article about Miki and Mao.]

Mao Asada’s short program “Claire de Lune.” Those 2 minutes and 40 seconds [sic] were tonight’s second miracle.

The triple axel in the short program – once Mao Asada thought, I declared that I will challenge myself, she immediately succeeded. About this wondrous feat, there’s no need to say more.

And then, the “Clair de Lune” that wouldn’t quite come together from the start of the season—at the very last moment, to skate it so naturally for us—I was somehow really happy to see that.

The essence of Mao Asada’s beauty is the beauty of rhythm that permeates her entire body. Without moving her arms in a bewitching manner, without making dramatic facial expressions, her skating, the movement of her body—just watching that feels good. It’s because the organic sense of rhythm that dwells in her limbs naturally moves the hearts of those watching her, isn’t it?

In that beauty, there is no workmanship/effort, and there is no arbitrariness [it's not on a whim]. It’s just that by watching her skate to her heart’s content, we feel pleasure. I already wrote this above, but it is something that makes you think of something extremely natural, like the workings of nature.

In contrast to Miki Ando, who bares her entire heart and soul out on the ice and excites the souls of the people watching, Mao Asada gently cleanses and comforts the souls of the viewers. That’s why this “Claire de Lune” program fits her so perfectly. For example, if the music is tempestuous and Mao Asada’s movements become powerful, what you see in there is not something a person intended to create. In that unexpected moment, moonlight suddenly floods the space with brightness—that’s what the sight looks like.

It’s not the beauty that a genius artist has created, it’s the natural beauty of the moonlight, the beauty that exists just by it being there. Isn’t that what Mao Asada’s limbs are expressing?

It’s probably this “Clair de Lune” that the exceptional choreographer Lori Nichol wanted to show—this program that brings out Mao Asada’s appeal to the maximum.
*
Miki Ando and Mao Asada—aren’t they showing two extremes of beauty? Somehow contrasting, yet both, in their own way, are beautiful miracles, aren’t they?

Japanese figure skating. It’s possible such a blessed period like now will never come again, I thought.

It’s not just Mao Asada and Miki Ando. There’s Yukari Nakano and Fumie Suguri right on their heels. And a number of powerful men. And the international competitions and ice shows that are now held frequently in Japan thanks to all of them.

It’s possible that this period may be a dream that will never come again.

Somehow, in these past several years, we’ve come to think of the current situation as a given.

However, it is something that was established by their great, unseen efforts, like a magnificent palace built on sand. It might be that only once we’ve lost it, will we finally understand the loveliness of this period.

*********************
My comments:
I think Aoshima-san completely hits the nail on the head, though I’m afraid my translation might not do justice to her beautiful words!

To me, when Mao is on, she doesn’t “act out” the music, she becomes it. There’s no artifice to her performance. She’s not trying to make anyone feel something or project a certain emotion; she’s just trying to make herself into the music. For example, for her “Nocturne” SP, she was not thinking about what her expression should be, what feelings she should portray; she was thinking of becoming the piano, of portraying the fingers flying across the keys.

And I completely agree that just watching Mao skate is fascinating. I think it is no exaggeration to say, “Mao skates, therefore she is beautiful.”

This is something that I think Mao doesn’t realize herself. She’s unconscious of her beauty; it’s unintentional—to her, it is simply how she skates.

Yes, it is true that Mao sometimes does not always achieve a “Mao-like” skate. And some people may simply prefer a more extroverted, intentionally acted out style like Yu-Na’s. But I will always prefer Mao’s artless, natural grace.

To me, the difference is like watching a talented performer who gives an exquisite imitation of a fairy for the crowd, versus a true fairy who is beautiful and graceful not because she intends to be, but because that is her nature. Wub


As for Aoshima’s final comments at the end - wow, they really hit me hard. It’s true, skating in Japan is amazing right now. And the thought that a period like this could never come again – that made me suddenly very sad....Depressed Crying but it is true, Mao Asada, the state of Japanese skating right now, it IS a treasure! Love Hearts


Last edited by Batsuchan on Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Batsuchan
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PostSubject: Re: "Mao Asada, heroine of the era"   Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:19 pm

Here's the second article:
***********************

World Team Trophy Ladies Free - Mao Asada, heroine of the era

More than in any other rink in the world, the rink where Masquerade Waltz’s” three-count beat reverberates the best—Yoyogi National Stadium.

Lone triple axel, triple axel-double toe loop, and triple flip-double loop-douple loop: after seeing these dream like jumps—no, it was more like I felt them— I thought with a strange sense of conviction, “Ah, this will be fine until the end!”

After all, Mao Asada has a mysterious strength. Normally, one should be sitting on the edge of one’s seat, watching intently for the remaining 4 jumps. But to the point that she makes the people watching feel confident that “It’s fine; today she definitely won’t mess up,” she has a sense of stability. If she concentrates perfectly, matches it with her condition, and if she just frees herself of insecurity, she can soar like this—like the jumps are nothing at all.

And then, the moment I thought, “the jumps will be fine,” I felt like the steadfast “Mao Asada World” unfolded on the ice. “Mao World”---come to think of it, it’s the first time I’ve used those words. I only like to use this phrase for skaters who have established their own personal view of the world, but tonight, for the first time, while I watched Mao Asada’s performance, that phrase came to mind.

In the middle of that emotional three-beat rhythm, which she had completely made her own. What we were witnessing was not only a real masquerade ball, but a special masquerade ball, where everyone is entranced by the young girl who has some kind of special, magical power.

Yes, I saw Mao Asada as dancing not on the Yoyogi National rink, but on top of the era.

Truly, she is now the heroine of the era. However, she did not become a heroine because she wanted to. The girl who simply loved to skate and jump did not know that fulfilling her dream of “I want to go to the Olympics” would be accompanied by such huge pressure. She is not the type of person who enjoys being admired, praised and flattered by everyone; no, if I had to say, she’s the type who feels a heavy burden of responsibility. She never shows us a gloating expression like, “I’m the heroine of the era!”

Even so, the era is telling her to dance. In this year, when she left behind huge regrets at the World Championships, in her own home country, the stage called the “World Team Trophy” was relentlessly supplied. For a heroine, rest is not allowed. She must constantly continue to dance in the
center of the era.

And on this day, on the cold ice, in front of countless, concentrating eyes, Mao Asada was magnificently taking charge of the era. The clean jumps, her sharpest steps of this season, her limbs that become one with the music. She brought all of the strength she had out on to the ice, and faced the era. To the large audience, to the millions watching on TV, she showed that she had the needed power to dance with the era. The noblewoman-like wine red dress she chose—today it somehow seemed appropriate.
*
After her performance, not only [moved by] the success of all her jumps, the dream-like Mao Asada World. But shaking with the joy of having shared the same space with Mao Asada on this day, everyone stood up. Someday, we will probably remember that applause/commendation we gave her performance today, as a defining moment of this era.

I thought, for the next year from now, I absolutely cannot look away from this person. I thought, I don’t want to take my eyes off the sparkle/shine of this person who is battling with the era with all her might.

The next year from now, the days until the Olympics. If we consider her journey up to now, it surely won’t be straightforward. She’ll probably repeat the ups and downs that she showed us so many times this season and keep us in suspense. However, if we watch make sure of each and every detail, then at the very last moment, surely Mao Asada, with this kind of wholehearted smile, will live up to her era.

************************
My comments:

Yes, I certainly think that’s true. Mao Asada is drama in its finest form. She shows us deep, heartwrenching lows, and even more thrilling highs. And I truly believe that at the Olympics next year, she will show us that unrestrained genuine smile of joy as she stands on the center of the Olympic podium! Cheering

And I agree with Aoshima-san, I absolutely don't want to take my eyes off of Mao!


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juliet
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PostSubject: Re: "Mao Asada, heroine of the era"   Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:33 pm

WOW, BATSUCHAN, you get us really informed. Thank you!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: "Mao Asada, heroine of the era"   Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:03 pm

Ohhhhhhhh, BATSUCHAN, you really got my admiration for the effort and time you devote to get us all informed about our MAO. May I suggest to the admin if you can have your own special thread under your name BATSUCHAN with all the articles and informations you're contributing/have contributed and have sub-threads with the date and/or title of the topics. Everytime I get to this forum, I always check you out first because you always have something for us. Really, Batsuchan, I wish you have your own thread so I can just click on your thread for all the infos /news/articles. You really hold the torch for MAO, I'm really amazed and lost for words to describe what you're doing..... Now about this article, I actually read this and I was so moved and touched to what AoShima San has written about Mao. It made me so soft inside that finally, somebody really wrote something about MAO. With the other news media, no one has ever really appreciated the real Mao and I'm very happy and grateful about her writing this article. You know how the YUNA BOTS lurk around the different forums to check jealously about what people are saying about MAO. For certain, they're grinding their teeth upon reading the article and especially YUNA and her management. They are always on their heels whenever there is something about MAO. Thank you sooooooo muchhhhhhh BATSUCHAN.
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PostSubject: Re: "Mao Asada, heroine of the era"   Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:02 am

Thanks for the translations, Batsuchan! you sure translate fast! cheers

Quote :
Yes, I certainly think that’s true. Mao Asada is drama in its finest form. She shows us deep, heartwrenching lows, and even more thrilling highs. And I truly believe that at the Olympics next year, she will show us that unrestrained genuine smile of joy as she stands on the center of the Olympic podium! Cheering

And I agree with Aoshima-san, I absolutely don't want to take my eyes off of Mao!

I totally agree. Mao's skating career (past and ongoing) serves as an inspiration to so many people out there. Her determined spirit and the way she displays grace under pressure are the attributes that won me over in the first place. Amazing athlete - many teenagers should find encouragement in this young girl's ability to rise to occasion, regardless of the circumstances.

As a fan, I sometimes would wish she could share a little bit more about her struggles throughout her training and competitions and how she overcome them. Mao is never the one to gloat about anything, but the way she handled herself under pressure and adversities is something many people (including myself) should learn from.

I sure hope that I will still see her on ice for many years to come. I would love to see her blossom and shine as a mature young woman and a performer on ice. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: "Mao Asada, heroine of the era"   Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:49 pm

quote: To me, the difference is like watching a talented performer who gives an exquisite imitation of a fairy for the crowd, versus a true fairy who is beautiful and graceful not because she intends to be, but because that is her nature.

she, or he...? read my mind Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: "Mao Asada, heroine of the era"   Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:59 pm

chapis wrote:
quote: To me, the difference is like watching a talented performer who gives an exquisite imitation of a fairy for the crowd, versus a true fairy who is beautiful and graceful not because she intends to be, but because that is her nature.

she, or he...? read my mind Shocked

Hehe, that was me, and I'm a she! flower
I'm glad to hear you agree!
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Batsuchan
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PostSubject: Re: "Mao Asada, heroine of the era"   Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:03 pm

juliet wrote:
Thank you sooooooo muchhhhhhh BATSUCHAN.

Hehe, well you are very welcome juliet, but I think you flatter me too much! Sweatdrop I'm not artistically talented like everyone who's posted Mao fan art and icons and vids on the forum, so I figure if I can share a little bit about what's written about Mao in Japanese and keep up with the news, then that can be my contribution... Very Happy

I'm just glad I found this wonderful forum with all you lovely Mao fans! Many Hearts
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PostSubject: Re: "Mao Asada, heroine of the era"   Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:12 pm

Batsuchan wrote:
chapis wrote:
quote: To me, the difference is like watching a talented performer who gives an exquisite imitation of a fairy for the crowd, versus a true fairy who is beautiful and graceful not because she intends to be, but because that is her nature.

she, or he...? read my mind Shocked

Hehe, that was me, and I'm a she! flower
I'm glad to hear you agree!

oh!! yes, are you Batsuchan confused Laugh .

flower I hope that if someday Mao feels sad or unmotivated, she only come to read this forum, surely that will help her a lot.
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PostSubject: Re: "Mao Asada, heroine of the era"   Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:32 am

Quote :
The essence of Mao Asada’s beauty is the beauty of rhythm that permeates her entire body. Without moving her arms in a bewitching manner, without making dramatic facial expressions, her skating, the movement of her body—just watching that feels good. It’s because the organic sense of rhythm that dwells in her limbs naturally moves the hearts of those watching her, isn’t it?

OMG! this is exactly how I feel about Mao's Skating! Expressing the music is ot shown by her face and hands but her skating itself! Expressing music runs in Mao's body and soul!

_________________

Click Here For My YouTube (getmewildO2)
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PostSubject: Re: "Mao Asada, heroine of the era"   Thu May 07, 2009 10:26 am

wow! those are really wonderful articles. batsuchan, thanks for the wonderful trans also.

mao really has something special that other skaters don't have no matter how good they are also. even my 1 yr old niece agrees. hehe... she loves to watch and imitate mao skate when i'm watching videos on youtube -- but loses interest if the skater isn't mao.

i hope mao won't let the pressure of the olympics get to her and skate with all her heart because when she does she skates to perfection.
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