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Yuzuru Hanyu: Seimei, A Defining Program?

Every skater has that one program that defines their career, a program that skating fans will talk about long after that skater has left the arena.  Some examples are:

  • Kurt Browning – for Kurt, that program was Casablana
  • Katarina Witt – for Katarina, that program was Carmen
  • Torvill and Dean – for T&D, that program was Bolero

When it was announced that “Seimei” (pronounced “say may”) would be Yuzu’s new long program for Yuzu this season, Yuzu had these words to describe it:

Dreams On Ice (DOI) 2015 Opening and Interview:

“I have a typical Japanese face.  I’d like to cherish my identity as a Japanese.  I’m training abroad but I’m very proud to be a Japanese.  I’m always conscious of our politeness when I compete in the world.  I wanted to bring traditions of authentic Japan to my new program.  I’ve finally found it.  

This “SEIMEI” is a shortened version for ice shows (one and a half minutes shorter than the final version). There will be some “wow” moments with an upbeat tempo added in the completed version. I’d like to leave it for pleasures afterwards.  If Yuzuru Hanyu as a Japanese and Yuzuru Hanyu as a figure skater fuse together well in the program, I can maximize the originality of the “SEIMEI”.  As well as jumps, I’d like to express the world of this music, my thoughts and feelings and Japanese identity.” 

*Special “Thank You” to poissonbleu for the translation of Yuzu’s interview.  Here is a link to poissonbleu’s main blog!!

DOI 2015 Show Version “SEIMEI” and Interview links:

Will Seimei be “that” program that Yuzu is forever known by?  Will Seimei be the program that skating fans talk about for years to come?  From the early fan reviews and comments by those who have been fortunate enough to see the “show” version of Seimei so far, the answer is YES!!  I have only seen the show version of Seimei via the link above.  I think it’s too early to really say how I feel about it, because I can see gaps where additional choreography is required, and also it’s a shortened version without the “wow” factor yet.  What I can say is that it definitely shows a lot of potential and has the promise to be one of Yuzu’s best programs ever.  His heart and soul will be reflected in this program.  The excitement is building and I can’t wait to see the full competitive version of Seimei at Skate Canada!

For my readers who are non-Japanese speakers and want to learn more about the character of Abe no Seimei, I was sent this movie link by a wonderful new friend (poissonbleu).

Here is the link to the movie “Onmyoji” (2nd one) with English subtitles and a picture of the Abe no Seimei character.

Abe no Seimei

I watched the movie and it certainly has given me an appreciation of what the Seimei program may become over time as Yuzu develops it in his own masterpiece, and adds his personal touches to what Shaelynne choreographed with him.  It has great potential!  While I watched the movie, I was paying special attention to any music that would make up the soundtrack, and trying to pick up on what might be used for those “wow” moments that Yuzu alluded to, however I didn’t get the sense of “suspense”, so I will just have to wait and see.

EDIT: Here is a link to the soundtrack music from the first Onmyoji movie that Yuzu program music is based off of.

(*Thanks poissonbleu)


First Onmyoji movie without subtitles:

The character of Seimei is wise, and he helps and protects others.  He is willing to sacrifice himself to fight evil/enemy forces.  He seeks the truth and tries to understand all sides.  Does this sound like someone we know??

As for Yuzu’s Seimei costume, in another interview, he mentioned the costume used at DOI is not the final costume that will be used during the competitive season.  I hope he is only referring to some minor changes, as I do actually really like this costume, and it is a really nice compliment to the program.  It is elegant, and has cultural significance and after watching the Onmyoji movie, I understand the cut of the costume.  As always, the attention to detail in Yuzu’s costumes is present.  The small star on the back of the costume is explained very well in the movie.  The colour similarity to Buzz Lightyear (purple and green highlights) is funny though, but once you get past that, it’s pretty cool!!

Seimei 4   Seimei back

I love how proud Yuzu is of his heritage.  I can only imagine how strong Japanese mens’s figure skating is going to be over the next decade given how many young kids Yuzu is going to inspire to skate.  Imagine, a whole new generation of little Yuzu’s.  Here, an ocean away…we have the tagline “I want to be like Mike (Michael Jordan), and I’m sure in Japan the saying is “I want to be like Yuzu!”.

Go Yuzu Go!!  Doki doki!!!



4 comments on “Yuzuru Hanyu: Seimei, A Defining Program?

  1. Pingback: Yuzuru Hanyu: My Experience at the Autumn Classic | SportyMags

  2. Pingback: Yuzuru Hanyu: Is the Last of Seimei? | SportyMags

  3. Les
    August 12, 2016

    Your prediction came true! I think SEIMEI is really Yuzuru’s defining programme, not only because it broke world record twice but also its perfect combination of artistry and technicality! Look forward to his new season and hope he’s healthy in the next season 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. milla
    February 19, 2018

    The year is 2018 and Yuzuru has just won his back to back Gold Olympic Medal with… Seimei. Yes, Seimei is THAT program. And YES, Yuzuru is THE best that has ever graced the ice. A Master. I’ve witnessed history.

    p.s.: let it be registered that the Olympics were his first competition in four months, after a serious ankle injury.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on June 27, 2015 by in Figure Skating and tagged .
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