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    Shuhei Kuji stats

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 July 11日 Saturday

    Born 27 April 1987, he’s 172cm and 67kg.

    http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/187/IHM1870JPN_33_1_0.pdf

    28GP 31G+9A=40P and 10PIM in the latest 2008-09 college hockey season in the Kanto League division 1 (highest level of college hockey in Japan).
    http://www.geocities.jp/waseda_skate/stats0809.html

    Stats from 2007-08 are missing, but in 2006-07 he put up a very impressive 13GP 12+17=29 as a rookie freshman.
    http://www.geocities.jp/waseda_skate/stats0607.html

    He’s currently in his final year of university as a 4th year student and the 2009-10 season will be his last one with Waseda University.

    He also played in the latest world championships on the senior men’s team with a respectable 2+1=3P in 5GP despite not being used prominently (probably).
    http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/187/IHM1870JPN_83_5_0.pdf

    Posted in 02_English, hockey, information, International, Japan, opinion, statistics | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Shuhei Kuji at Islanders Prospects Camp

    Posted by japanstats 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 »

    Utada’s US foray, part 2

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 May 26日 Tuesday

    Hikaru Utada (Wiki, the number of languages is impressive) is the most popular singer in Japan, and has sold over 50 million records worldwide (though most of that is in Japan and some in East Asia).

    After a long and successful career in the Japanese and East Asian markets, she has tried to penetrate the biggest pop music market in the world, the US (she’s born and partially raised in NYC so she is a native English speaker).

    Utada_Hikaru_s

    Her US debut album EXODUS in 2004 was a dud, topping the Billboard charts at 160. She has just released her second all English album aimed at the US market, This Is The One. And she has earned a network TV appearance on CBS’s 2nd Cup.

    I gave the album a listen at my local HMV, and unfortunately her second all English offering is very similar in flavour to her debut effort. Her voice is extremely well suited for J-Pop but not the US Top 40. And her naturally bilingual wordplay makes her (especially early) Japanese albums great, but she can’t unleash this aspect in a monolingual album.

    This Is The One has entered the Billboard Album charts at #69, which is an improvement from her debut album, we’ll see if this is the peak or she can gain word of mouth cred and air play to move up the charts. She also violates my sampling rules by heavily sampling Ryuichi Sakamoto’s classic tune Merry Christmas Mr.Lawrence. I’m all for sampling, but not when the new song basically freerides on the coattails of the original (even though this is sort of like a tribute/remix). Unfortunately, for me, her recent Japanese album was rather soppy and lame as well, so she hasn’t produced anything that I really like in a while. Maybe she needs to marry another guy who could be her father?  😛

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

    NHL対欧州クラブチーム2008試合結果

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 October 3日 Friday

    NHL 2008-09 シーズンのチェコ(プラハ:レンジャーズ対ライトニング)とスウェーデン(ストックホルム:セネターズ対ペンギンズ)の同時海外開幕に先駆けて、NHL チーム対欧州クラブチームの対決が6試合実現されました。

    9月後半の時点ではNHL チームはまだトレーニングキャンプ中なので、まだプレシーズン8試合目とかそういう状況でした。欧州リーグは開幕が9月初旬だったりするので、もうこの時点でプレシーズンとレギュラーシーズン合わせて20試合戦ってきていたりしますので、チームの仕上がり状態は海の両側で結構違います。

    とりあえず結果を:

    9/28 Eisbaren Berlin (GER) 1 (1-0, 0-2, 0-2) 4 タンパベイ・ライトニング

    9/30 SC Bern (SUI) 1 (0-2, 0-0, 1-6) 8 NY レンジャーズ

    9/30 Slovan Bratislava (SVK) 2 (0-1, 1-0, 1-1, 0-0, SO 0-1) 3 タンパベイ・ライトニング

    10/1 Mettallurg Magnitogorsk (RUS) 3 (2-0, 1-1, 0-3) 4 NY レンジャーズ (ビクトリア杯)

    10/2 Jokerit Helsinki (FIN) 1 – 4 ピッツバーグ・ペンギンズ

    10/2 HC Frolunda (SWE) 1 – 4 オタワ・セネターズ

    このうちビクトリア・カップとセネターズの試合をそれぞれ半分くらい見る事ができました。

    感想としては、普段見れない組み合わせのカードばかりなので、面白い。そしてNHL チームが6戦全勝したものの、スロバキアのSlovan 相手にライトニングはSO (GWG) による辛勝(ちなみにNHL対スロバキアのチームはこれが初)、肝心なビクトリア杯では2ピリ終了間際まではMetallurg が3-0 で勝っていたものの、キャプテンのChris Drury が一人奮闘しレンジャーズが試合残り20秒のCallahan のゴールでこちらも辛勝。Metallurg のゴーリーのMezin がヤバかったです。Metallurg は昨季の欧州王者だが、今季開始したロシア・スーパー・リーグ(RSL) の後継であるKHL (コンチネンタル・ホッケー・リーグ)での成績は平凡。NHL とKHL のレベルに明らかな差があるものの、KHL はAHL やスウェーデンのエリートリーグ(Elitserien) を凌ぐ世界No.2 のアイスホッケーリーグでしょう。両チームともそれぞれのリーグの王者とは程遠い者同士の対決になったビクトリア・カップだったのですが、WBC の一回目みたいにとりあえず開催は成功したんじゃないでしょうか、レンジャーズはかなりガチで試合してたし。セネターズのスウェーデン人キャプテンDaniel Alfredsson は、古巣相手に1ゴール1アシストの活躍。

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

    Ichiro in the homerun derby?

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 July 10日 Thursday

    EDIT2: Now Sports Navi is reporting an Ichiro quote that his participation in the homerun derby is unlikely. This is a more credible source (Kyodo News) than the Sports Hochi original report who often jump the gun, and it contains an up to date Ichiro quote. He is quoted as saying his participation in the derby is “tabun nai” (多分ない) meaning “unlikely”. 2 out of the 4 HR derby spots are still unfilled for the AL, which spawned this rumour. The man makes news without doing anything.

    EDIT: Looks like this might’ve been the creative works of Sports Hochi paper’s writer. We’ll see, but no other source is reporting this story, so it seems unlikely, I’ll reprint the original Japanese article below, just for record keeping.

    The greatest batting practice slugger in the majors (by many eye witness accounts both on and off the field) has reportedly entered this year’s homerun derby which will take place on the 14th, the day before the All Star Game (which counts for World Series home field advantage! But is still lame nonetheless). Anyways, the slugger is of course Ichiro Suzuki. Yes, the slap happy 200+ hits per year hitter who has all of 70 HRs in 1208 career games, and only 3 so far in 90 games this season. Then again, Ichiro himself claims that he can hit 40 homers per season, if him and the team don’t mind that he hits for .220 average. He has steadfastly refused to enter the homerun derby (for fear of messing up his swing mechanics, etc.) but has made an exception this year, probably due to the combination of this being the Yankee Stadium’s final year, his appreciation of NYC fans, and the Mariners absolutely sucking so this is the least he can do to please baseball fans.

    Despite his batting practice heroics, he hasn’t fared well in his past 3 appearances in NPB homerun derbies. In 1995 he did alright, hitting 4 homeruns in 10 swings as a PL representative. In 1997 he only hit 1 homerun in 5 swings, and 1999 was the same result as he lost to Roberto Petagine in a mono a mono homerun derby with Petagine hitting 3 in 5 swings. (Japanese homerun derbies have predetermined number of swings, where as in MLB homerun derbies players keep on hitting until they hit into predetermined number of “outs”).

    This will be the most interesting part of the All Star festivities (including the game) for me to see whether Ichiro can live up to his often cocksure approach and hopefully we’ll finally get to see his batting practice slugging glory on a big stage with the world watching, well I guess there might be something about it being Yankee Stadium’s last year or something…

    Read the rest of this entry »

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

    Pink baseball merchandise

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 June 19日 Thursday

    From the AOL FanHouse post, MetsGrrl.com writes

    “No real female baseball fan I know wears a pink hat,” wrote Caryn Rose, a writer living in Greenpoint, on her blog about the Mets, called MetsGrrl.com. “The pink hat exists so that boyfriends or husbands (or heck, lesbian partners of girly girls), who feel guilty that they have dragged their girlfriend to the game, can go to the team store and buy something to placate them: ‘Oh, it’s pink, it must be for a girl.’ Give me a break.”

    Of course things are very different here in Japan. Not only are there pink hats, there is pink everything for the female fans, and they’re not designed just for the casual/bandwagon/unwillingly-accompanying-the-bf-to-the-park female fans either, but then again pink is the national colour for Japanese women, and being cute is everything. So, there are hardcore female fans in Japan in the bleachers with the oendan cheer squad who stand on their feet and constantly cheer for their hitters while their team is up at bat.

    Here, a couple of Hanshin Tigers fans in their pink jerseys. I bet they’re not fairweathr fans, but I could be wrong.

    Do Japanese female fans like pink merchandise because they’re cute? Sure. Are Japanese women oppressed in society? Well, there is definitely still a glass ceiling, but Japanese wives and moms completely rule the household, controlling everything in the household from finance (holding the hammer on what to buy for the house, or receiving the husband’s entire pay cheques only to give him small montly “allowances”) to other matters like deciding on which school to send their kids to. This behind the scenes power sort of balances thing out in Japanese society where women don’t try to compete with men by becoming more like men, but are very good at controlling men anyways.

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

    Diving stars

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 28日 Monday

    Sidney Crosby, NHL’s newest superstar, is a well known diver which his opposing fans often points out, and it’s currently causing some commotions among New York Ranger fans as Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins are up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals thanks to some controversial penalty calls involving Sid the Kid.

    I used to abhor the dive, or simulation as it’s known in football, but this great article on Slate changed my mind on the matter. It’s a rather valid form of self-protection for the smaller, more skilled players in these sports. And who would you rather see on the ice or the pitch, the hulking untalented brutes, or the uberskilled superstars?

    Consider the classic matchup between a skilled dribbler and a big, tough defender. The attacker must use his quickness and wit to get by. The bigger man, though, can always resort to a “professional foul”—an intentional foul in which there is no attempt to play the ball. The defender will give away a free kick, but that will hurt only in certain parts of the field. So, what is the attacker to do? If he finds a flailing leg in his way, he can do nothing except barge right into it. And maybe writhe around on the ground for a bit, encouraging the referee to hand out a card, thus discouraging the brutish defender from trying such rough tactics in the future.

    Far from being a sign of corruption, diving is, in certain ways, a civilizing influence. Divers are usually quicker, smaller players. As athletes get bigger and stronger, the little guy gets nudged aside. If professional fouls and brute force reign supreme, creative play and joyful improvisation will suffer.

    There is nothing more depressing than a player who goes to the ground when he might have scored. Ronaldinho and Thierry Henry, arguably the world’s best players, will stay on their feet at all cost for the sake of a beautiful pass or a brilliant run at the goal. But the next time you see an artful dribbler derailed by a clumsy oaf, take a minute to think about whose side you’re on. Doesn’t the dribbler deserve a somersault or two to remind the world that the only way to stop him is through violent and graceless means?

     

     

    Posted in 02_English, culture, football, hockey, information, International, NHL, opinion, soccer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »