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    Nagano Cup 2010

    Posted by simon c on 2010 January 15日 Friday

    The international tournament that’s been abandoned since 2007 is back.

    Nagano Cup 2010!

    Feb 11(Thu/Hol) 13:00 Japan v Slovenia; 16:00 Denmark v Kazakhstan
    Feb 12 (Fri)16:00 Slovenia v Denmark;  19:00 Japan v Kazakhstan
    Feb 13 (Sat) 13:00 Kazakhstan v Slovenia; 16:00 Japan v Denmark

    All games at Nagano Big Hat, tickets are 2000 yen.

    http://www.cnplayguide.com/evt/evtdtl.aspx?kcd=39009

    Unfortunately, the exhibition game announced to be on Feb 9 in Higashifushimi, Tokyo has been cancelled.

    Posted in 02_English, hockey, information, International, Japan, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    McDonald’s sumo chair 山本山仕様

    Posted by simon c on 2009 September 8日 Tuesday

    mrt0909061757001-n1

    両国国技館に近く、力士も頻繁に訪れる東京都台東区のマクドナルド浅草橋店は6日、一般席の約2倍もの大きさとなる世界で唯一の「大相撲力士専用席」を設置した。モデルには日本人最重量、258キロの十両山本山を起用、実際に石膏で型どりするなど100万円以上の費用をかけた。

    この日、店を訪れた山本山は「自分はちゃんこよりマックです。朝げいこがない時は朝マックだから」と言うほどのマクドナルド好き。以前はその体重でマクドナルドの木製のいすを「木っ端みじんに壊してしまった」というだけに「これがあると助かる」と笑顔で完成したばかりの専用席でハンバーガーを平らげた。

    http://sankei.jp.msn.com/sports/martialarts/090906/mrt0909061757001-n1.htm

    Special $10,000 chair created for sumo wrestlers at the McDonald’s in front of the Ryogoku Kokugikan Arena where 3 grand sumo tournaments take place a year.

    In the past, the currently heaviest wrestler Yamamotoyama managed to destroy a McD’s chair when he sat on it, he weighs a hefty 258kg. He says he likes Maccers more than the traditional chanko nabe soup for sumo wrestlers.

    Posted in 01_日本語, 02_English, information, sumo, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    久慈選手の第一印象

    Posted by simon c on 2009 July 14日 Tuesday

    Shuhei Kuji is really impressing with his speed. Kuji, who plays for Wasata University in Japan and for the Japanese National Team, was invited to Mini-Camp by Islanders GM Garth Snow.

    NYアイランダーズのプロスペクト・キャンプ2日目のレポートで、GMのガース・スノーに招待された久慈選手のスピードがアイランダーズに強い印象を与えているようです。

    Posted in 01_日本語, hockey, information, International, Japan, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    NYアイランダーズのキャンプでの久慈選手

    Posted by simon c on 2009 July 13日 Monday

    早稲田大学のキャプテンで、数少ない日本代表の大学生の久慈修平選手が、現在NHLのニューヨーク・アイランダーズのプロスペクト・キャンプ(NHL経験者のプロスペクト、ドラフト指名選手と、招待選手←久慈選手はここ)に参加しています。現地からの情報は入ってきていませんが、写真は一枚出てきました。キャンプでは#54を付けています(招待選手は大きい番号なんでしょう)、そしてこの場面ではアイランダーズが今年のドラフトで全体12位指名したディフェンスのCalvin de Haan選手と1対1ドリル(?)をやっています。結果はどうであれ、有意義なキャンプになるでしょう。誰かインタビューしてくれないかな?

    さすがです、Breakawayが現地からの報告をしています。早速今年のドラフト1位ジョン・タバレスを相手にした紅白戦のコメント付レポートも。

    久慈コメント
    「最初のチャンスに決められなかったのが悔しいです。そんなにコンタクトの強さは感じませんでしたが、ベイリー(昨季のドラフト1位)と組んだ時、判断の速さが違うと痛感しました。練習ではリンクサイズ(※NHLは国際規格より小さい)は気にならなかったのですが、試合だと相手のプレッシャーの速さもあり、狭く感じました。」

    kuji_islanders

    Posted in 01_日本語, hockey, information, International, Japan, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    It’s about time

    Posted by simon c on 2009 July 13日 Monday

    Japan’s PM ‘to call August vote’

    Japan’s embattled Prime Minister, Taro Aso, is to call an election for 30 August, officials from his party said.

    His office said he had agreed the date with his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and coalition partner, if bills already before parliament were passed first.

    The Kyodo news agency reported that Mr Aso had told party lawmakers parliament would be dissolved on 21 July.

    The move comes after Mr Aso’s ruling coalition suffered a crucial defeat in local elections in the capital, Tokyo.

    The opposition Democratic Party (DPJ) won 54 seats to 38 for LDP, ending four decades of dominance in the assembly.

    Finally, Japanese people stood up for change, the LDP’s been in power for so long that just cleansing the eternal corruption will be a welcome change, and this result should be an indicator for a DPJ takeover of the Diet (though, DPJ is a mess of its own and they may not gain majority and force the government to form an unwieldy coalition.)

    Posted in 02_English, culture, information, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Shuhei Kuji at Islanders Prospects Camp

    Posted by simon c on 2009 July 9日 Thursday

    Waseda University captain and Japanese national team player Shuhei Kuji has been invited to the New York Islanders Prospects Camp. This is a big deal, as players with NHL experience such as Josh Bailey and top draft picks like John Tavares (can’t get any more top prospect than this) will also be participating. No doubt this will provide valuable experience for Kuji to play against superior competition and hopefully make some strides in his game, and maybe even get drafted in the future (though the chances of this is very slim).

    kuji

    Incidentally, Kuji was the only non-Toyo University player selected on to the 2009 Kanto University Championship All Star Team earlier in the year.

    h21s_best6

    Posted in 02_English, hockey, information, International, Japan, NHL, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Asia League Update

    Posted by simon c on 2009 July 4日 Saturday

    Asia League Ice Hockey office has announced the tentative 2009-10 season schedule (pending Tohoku Free Blades approval into the league in the September general counsel, which seems backwards). The Blades basically take the place of the now defunct Seibu Prince Rabbits, and the league will operate just like last year with 4 Japanese teams, 2 Korean teams, and 1 Chinese team as a 7 team league. The teams will play 6 games against each other for a 36 game regular season that opens on 19 September in Korea and Hokkaido.

    Due to (cost cutting? and) to avoid clashing with the Vancouver Olympics, the playoffs have been shortened from 2008-09 and will only feature 4 teams playing two rounds of best of 5 series to determine the champion (last season included a best of 3 play-in round between 4th and 5th place teams, then best of 7 series).

    The expansion Tohoku Free Blades will open the season against the defending champion Nippon Paper Cranes in Kushiro. And the Greater Tokyo area will host a few games as the four Japanese teams will play doubleheaders in Shin-Yokohama on 14-15 November, in Sapporo on 19-20 December, and in Nishi-Tokyo (Higashifushimi) on 6-7 February.

    The Tohoku Free Blades will play half its home games at the Tohoku hockey hotbed of Hachinohe, Aomori, and will play the rest of the games in various cities around Tohoku including Koriyama, Fukushima.

    In addition to the officially announced player transfers, China Sharks have acquired tall scoring pest Joel Prpic (Seibu 35GP 43P 174PIM, he managed to score and draw a penalty simultaneously twice in one game I went to see) and Bin Ishioka (Seibu 36GP 8G+10A=18P). Though this alone won’t keep the Sharks up with the newly powerful Bucks, it is a step in the right direction (Prpic is a Japan/Asia vet that knows the league well with a long and successful career, and Ishioka won’t count as an import because Japan/Korea/China nationals do not count against imports in this league). (Thanks Martin!)

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

    Bucks acquire 6 Seibu veterans

    Posted by simon c on 2009 June 28日 Sunday

    The Nikko Ice Bucks of Asia League Ice Hockey has acquired six veterans from the now defunct Seibu Prince Rabbits. The new players include Japanese national team captain Takahito Suzuki, national team goalie Naoya Kikuchi, defencemen Kazuyoshi Yamaguchi, Tomohito Okubo, and Masahiro Kawamura, as well as forward Tomohiko Uchiyama.

    This basically gives the Bucks an entirely new and capable first set with a national team goalie and makes them instant playoff contenders instead of fighting to escape the cellar with the China Sharks. No word on what the new players will get paid but they are likely taking a significant pay cut as the Bucks operate at about 2-oku yen ($2m) budget while Seibu ran with about 5-oku ($5m).

    All the newcomers are 29 or older, so the Bucks will be looking for immediate results. Suzuki had received offers from other teams, but settled with the Bucks who are coached by his childhood friend and former Toyo University teammate Tadahiro Murai. Okubo and Yamaguchi had previous stints with the Bucks, four and six years ago, respectively. All but Okubo have national team experience, this instantly increases the number of national team players on the Bucks from zero to five.

    2008-09 regular season stats

    Suzuki 36GP, 16G+29A=45P (6th, 4th, and 4th in the league)

    Uchiyama 36, 7+8=15

    Okubo 36, 4+18=22 (expect this offensive defenceman to quarterback the powerplay)

    Yamaguchi 35, 1+2=3

    Kawamura 22, 4+9=13

    Kikuchi 32GP, 90.5 SV%, 2.85GAA

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, International, Japan, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

    Go Tanaka to Germany

    Posted by simon c on 2009 June 27日 Saturday

    Japanese national team and former Seibu Prince Rabbit forward Go Tanaka has signed a one year contract with ESV Kaufbeuren (his picture’s already on the team roster page), a team that apparently just got promoted to Bundesliga 2nd division. Since this is only one level removed from the DEL, an elite European league, Tanaka figures to be closer to elite level play than Yutaka Fukufuji who has just signed to play in the Netherlands. Look for both players to represent Japan in the IIHF World Championships next year though.

    tanaka

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, International, Japan, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    JPN-KOR Championship to replace the Asia Series

    Posted by simon c on 2009 June 26日 Friday

    An idea to replace the money losing Asia Series (since it lost its title sponsor Konami, the Series lost 2-oku yen (approx. $2m) last year, yeah small change for a Hanshin Tigers import suketto) has been floated.

    It will pit the Japan Series champions against the Korea Series champions in an one game showdown at a regional stadium in November (no dome? must be in southern Japan then).

    Japan used to host Korea in an all-star series (similar to the now defunct NPB-MLB all-star series) format back in the 90’s but it got cancelled due to lack of fan interest. But the champion clubs meeting each other in this manner will be a first.

    The problem with this newly and severely reduced format is the exclusion of Taiwan. The Uni-President 7Eleven Lions made it to the Asia Series final last year and only lost to the depleted Saitama Seibu Lions in a sayonara walkoff fashion. The Taiwanese clubs have been putting up solid efforts, so it’s a shame to lose them. Maybe once Taiwanese baseball is back in order from its current post-scandals shambles, they can host an NPB-KBO-CPBL championship, as their climate suits November ball the most.

    The one game showdown idea will be put forth in July for approval.

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, NPB, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »