COPYRIGHTS: Please note all blog posts should be properly accredited with a link © to the post on this site where it came from. Please be courteous and not steal the work of others.
Comment Moderation has been added to this blog due to a high volume of Spam.
Thank you for your cooperation.
A note from me concerning change to upcoming blogs.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Makoto Nagano's new ship - 50th Konpiramaru launched!

Official announcement poster of the Launch Ceremony for  the 50th Konpiramaru ©Takasui Corp.

As I mentioned before a few times the official launching ceremony for the brand new ship of All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 - the 50th Konpiramaru took place on Monday, May 7, 2012 in the harbor  Kitaura (a town that was absorbed by the city of Nobeoka) in Miyazaki Prefecture. For those who remember, this is actually Nagano's hometown where he was born and raised.

All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 getting final preparations done on the 50th Konpiramaru just before he headed out to the Maguro Festival - April 28, 2012 ©Takasui Corp.

(btw.. take a drink.. he's got Descente gear on...) Also as I mentioned before, this is his brand new replacement for the 28th Konpiramaru.  Unlike the 28th which was given to him from a previous captain, the 50th Konpiramaru is a state of the art and completely brand new ship.  Nagano has spent the past few months getting special certifications just to be able to run this ship.  Also just like the 28th, the 50th will be a part of the Takasui Fleet.

Local television footage of event ©Kotetu

The name of the Ship is the 50th Konpiramaru 第50金比羅丸 and in the past I have said that the 28th is the age of the Captain of the ship. I was correct in one way. The previous Ship Nagano was a captain of (the 28th) had a previous captain.  That part I wasn't aware of until recently. That previous captain was 28 years old when he got that ship so in honor of him Nagano kept the number on the ship when he took over as Captain. This new one "50" was chosen by Nagano for his new ship.

Local television footage of event ©Kotetu

The #50 is the age of his boss Mr. Takasu who is pictured above (on the right). He did it as a tribute to him. He's very close to him. So close that G4 confused him for his father in  the Ninja Warrior edited version of Sasuke 17.  It pains me that to this day a great number of people think that Mr. Takasu is his father thanks to the stupidity of G4 and their horrible  and often incorrect subtitles to Ninja Warrior.  It's an amazing screw up considering that they are only 10 years apart.. but.. I'm digressing aren't I?  Either way for those who are curious, his father passed away this time last year at the age of 79.

Local television footage of event ©Kotetu

Thanks to Kotetu (who was also the same person who took photos of the last 2 Maguro Festivals) I had some inkling as to what happened.  The pics above were from the local television station broadcasting the celebration at the docks.
Ribbon cutting ceremony during the Launching Ceremony ©

The event itself went on all day.  The first pic of this entire post had the schedule for the ceremonies.  The pic above was the ribbon cutting ceremony. Seems there were a lot of dignitaries and corporate people on hand.  No idea outside of Takasui Corp and crew were on hand.

Local newspaper coverage of the launch ceremony ©Kotetu

The ship itself is a LOT bigger than the original 28th.  It displaces almost 3 times the amount as the previous and can carry a lot more not just in physical size.  It's 31 meters long (102 feet long) and displaces 57 tons.  Given that the 28th was the smallest ship in the fleet, it's moved up in sizing compared to the existing ships in the Takasui Fleet.  That said, I'm unsure if anything (other than being able to carry more) is changing with his duties/role within the Takasui fishing fleet/operations.

All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠  pic from local newspaper ©Kotetu

Not sure if his role will change honestly but given the past history as to what ships did what it makes me think he's up the chain a bit. Or.. same position hauling more fish? The displacement on the ship is literally THREE times the other 2 ships he was ranked with. The fact that he can carry more than the 2 ships combined makes me think that he's higher up the chain and expected to do something else. I went over the video of what his fleet does and either they are leaving him out there longer or having him do less trips back to port to offload ship. Dunno yet.

End of Ceremony and celebration with the crowd begins ©
Overall everyone is working the same amount of time regardless that the size of ship Nagano is Captain of has changed. They still fish 25 days (rough average) straight a month and 5 days off year round (this is by the way how they calculate his working 300 days out of the year). The only difference is where they sleep. Sometimes the big blue ship stays out all day and night once they found where they are going to fish. The others come back to port, sleep, then go back out the following evening... basically leaving the blue ship to stake their territory to keep other rival companies from taking their fish. That's my understanding of it anyway. I just knew that Nagano's ship would go back and forth jostling for position to take back fish back to port. Each ship would be paid according to what they hauled back so competition for the chase boats have gotten intense. Only time will tell if his role in the fleet changed.

View from the other side of celebration ©Takasui Corp

Nice to see a nice crowd on hand for the celebrations. The weather actually cooperated!  I'm unsure what all of the banners mean other than good luck in fishing, good catch, etc. well wishes. Some say his name, some say the company name, etc. etc.  I'm told this is pretty standard fare for those banners on the ships.

All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠  posing with a fan ©Takasui Corp

Hopefully when Sasuke 28 rolls around there is a nice segment of Nagano becoming Captain of a new ship! I'd love to see more videos of it.

Launching Ceremony ©Takasui Corp
Thanks to those who helped me out in getting pictures and directing me to videos!  It's a shame they didn't last long on the websites or I would have linked them in this article.  Either way, next up on the agenda is Sasuke Malaysia 2 in about 2 weeks and then Sasuke Singapore a couple weeks after that!  Hope some Japanese Sasuke Stars are invited to that!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

2012 Maguro Festival Photos

 The 21st Annual Maguro Festival 第21回串木野まぐろフェスティバル ©Kazuto Hashiguchi

As is tradition here on Rambling Rican, I'm writing about the Maguro Festival again!  I've mentioned I'd be doing this in a few blog posts already and this year didn't disappoint with the amount of photos I was able to get within just a day or two! For those who aren't familiar with this at all, the 21st Annual Maguro Festival 第21回串木野まぐろフェスティバル took place in Kagoshima Prefecture on Sunday, April 29 and Monday April 30, 2012 in the city of Ichiki-Kushikino. This of course happens during Golden Week in Japan. This is a local Tuna event for the port city of Kushikino. It's pretty much a county fair including games for kids, music, food and other activities for the whole family. The past few years the company Nagano works for, Takasui Corp. has participated in the event (since they also use this fishing port) and they have Nagano design and build a Sasuke set where he could demonstrate his skills along with a few of his friends to the local crowd. More information can be found at the city website.

The daily schedules (Sunday, April 29 on the left and Monday, April 30 on the right) ©syuichdc2

The first year I knew of it's existence was during the Sasuke Mania days.  My first blog on the event was part of the now defunct Sasuke Maniac episodes that ran during May, 2008.  They ran 2 episodes on the festival alone. (Part 1 and Part 2)  The following year 2009 was a lot quieter as Sasuke Maniac had gone off the air.  Thanks to Ube I was able to get photos of the event.  We did however get video for the first time on Youtube of their individual runs.  In 2010 we had less pictures but another set of Youtube videos.  In 2011 we had more photos than usual but less video.

Sasuke demonstrations participants and schedule poster ©minerallabo

This year we were expecting some Sasuke All-stars.  This photo above mentioned the 4 expected. All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 (who is the host of this Sasuke event as it's course is sponsored by the company he works for, All-Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦, All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟, and All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩.  A couple of days before the event though we came to find out that Shingo was unable to attend at the last minute.  Obviously since the posters were printed well in advance of the event it could not be altered.  Never in the history of the Maguro Festival have all 6 Sasuke All-Stars been in this event in Kagoshima at the same time.

 All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠, All-Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦 and All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 ©Sasukemako

So that left us with 3 All-stars for this event.  Glad to see Akiyama flying clear across the country (he lives way up north in Hokkaidō 北海道.. and the northern end to boot) and Takeda who lives in Gifu 岐阜県who's been notably absent from Sasuke of late. I hope with the news of Sasuke 28 taping this summer that we see the return of the All-stars that have been missing of late. Btw.. remember that photo of Nagano with a Firefighter Mike from DC?  Hey Mike.. he held his end of the bargain and gave Takeda the shirt you asked to be given to him! Cool of him to be supporting the Washington D.C. Firefighters!

Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒, Tomohiro Kawaguchi 川口朋広 and Sasuke Champion Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 (Cliffer #3) ©Tomohiro Kawaguchi

There are days I love twitter.. LOL.. anyway I got word a while back that these guys were also flying out (from the Kantō 関東地方 region) and so I was stalking Twitter for reports.  Kawaguchi (who's is an STQ'er (Sasuke Trial Qualifier).. in fact.. all 3 of them are STQ'ers when you get down to it) posted this photo when they arrived in Kagoshima. It's just amazing seeing these guys as I've been posting about them for over 4 years now.. If you don't know who Ryo is then you don't read my blog or watch Sasuke.. and even more so with Yuuji dammit.. If you can't recognize who he is then you are not a fan! (and living under a rock..)  Anyway STQ/UNCLI love all around!  P.S.  I love how Yuuji doesn't give a damn to pose for a pic.. ahahahahhaha He never disappoints in the wtf pic of the day category of the blog.

All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠, All-Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦 and Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 (Cliffer #3) ©Jyo27

I love this photo.  It was nice to see Yuuji recognized along with the 2 other champions in the same stage starring in this event.  After the disappointment of not being invited to fly out to ANW4 as a guest  despite publicly asking to go (only Nagano was asked) it's nice to see him front and center in the event where he originally came as a spectator.  We know this has always been an All-Star heavy event but we've also known that Nagano has always recognized and brought forth the Sasuke competitors in the past to share the limelight. I'm happy to see the tradition still continues.

Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒 ©Sasukemako

A huge thanks to Sasukemako for again taking the best photos in the event! (last year we had pics from him under the name konpiramal) He didn't disappoint as the pictures were awesome!  They seem to have had a great crowd this year!  I can tell by the weather that this picture was taken during day 1 (Sunday, April 29)

All-Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦  ©Sasukemako

This was actually the first photo I received.  I'm so happy to see Akiyama!  As you know he's my favorite Sasuke competitor.  I'm  happy that when he's able he attends the Maguro Festival.  Even if he can't make it to Sasuke.  So count me as a happy fan to see this picture (before I found out he would even be there!)

All-Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦 ©Sasukemako

So back to the awesome pics of the All-Stars that would be there.  This of course is Akiyama.  Hmm.. seems that Nagano redesigned the course again.  I haven't seen the Lamp Grasper ランプグラスパー in a little bit. And yes before you ask, Nagano designs this course every single year.

All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 ©Sasukemako

This is a sight for sore eyes.  We've missed Takeda in the last 2 Sasuke tournaments.  And.. we don't know if we will ever see him again as a competitor.. so I was elated to see he flew down here again wearing his All-Star T'shirt along with the other All-Stars.  I'm thrilled he's been promoted to a coveted job as a helicopter rescue squad (a very small team where you are handpicked after years of testing, certifications and commendations) but that also the risk he takes when getting on a gameshow hampers it.  The price may be too high to see him again competing. I'm happy at least he still goes as a spectator, although he may not risk getting hurt ever again as a competitor.  We know he's been hurt badly before (breaking his shoulder in Sasuke) so I can understand his trepidation in competing and respect he has for his team in not taking unnecessary risks. I know speaking selfishly as a fan I'm still hoping he does come back to Sasuke. That said, I know why and respect why he probably never will.

All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 ©Sasukemako

This has been a long year personally for Nagano and it's nice to see him smiling in this event.  From all reports he did take the following day off to observe one year anniversary of the death of his father.

Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒, a female fan,  Sasuke Champion Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 (Cliffer #3) and Tomohiro Kawaguchi 川口朋広 ©Nayu

This was posted on twitter. I also got a peak at Keita Tomino 富野恵太 (far left) who's (Cliffer #4). I don't believe all 5 of UNCLI were there.

 All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and Tomohiro Kawaguchi 川口朋広 ©Tomohiro Kawaguchi

Just a I posted this blog Kawaguchi sent a couple more photos! I edited them in as soon as I could.  Thanks Tomohiro!

Sasuke course during 2012 Maguro Festival  ©minerallabo

This picture actually was taken during Day 2 (as you can tell from the weather). Seems the gorgeous weather from the day before was offset by the downpours that occurred during day 2. Even so,  you can see part of the course along with the huge Nagano sign that is brought to Sasuke every year.

All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 with his son Kaiou 塊王 ©Sasukemako

Okay.. for the uber KAWAII pic of all time.. this is who we think it is.. this is his baby boy Kaiou 塊王 (who will be 3 years old in June!) If this picture of Kaiou hanging on to the Cliffhanger ledge without any assistance isn't proof of Sasuke genes being hereditary.. LOL Nothing will! I'm not sure if I should be disturbed by the fact that I can identify his son .. even without looking at his face.. Btw.. for my husband.. this is "Chibi Nagano".. ahahahhahaha I love this picture not just because of to the feat that his son can do.. but  mostly because of Nagano's face of disbelief that is son is strong enough to hang on unassisted!  Nagano's reaction is just priceless!  He's already better than a lot of past Sasuke competitors! and the baby is only 2 years old!!!

All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 ©Sasukemako

All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 ©syuichdc2

This is a great pic.. just look at Takeda's reaction.. and of course take a look at his hands cranking up his pants above his knees to get them safe from the pool of water his dipping his feet in.

Front row: All-Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦, All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩
Back row: Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒, Sasuke Champion Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 (Cliffer #3) and Tomohiro Kawaguchi 川口朋広 ©Sasukemako

LOL the 4 guys are trying to make this a serious picture and Nagano and Akiyama are cheesing!  LOL Although Shingo wasn't there it seems his pension for messing up a photo has rubbed off on them!

Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒, Tomohiro Kawaguchi 川口朋広 and Sasuke Champion Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 (Cliffer #3) ©Tomohiro Kawaguchi

Front row: All-Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦, All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩
Back row: Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒, Sasuke Champion Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 (Cliffer #3) and Tomohiro Kawaguchi 川口朋広 ©syuichdc2

Seems another person was there to try to take pics.   LOL Looks like each of them are posing for a different camera!

 Front row: All-Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦, All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩
Back row: Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒, Sasuke Champion Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 (Cliffer #3) and Tomohiro Kawaguchi 川口朋広 ©Tomohiro Kawaguchi

Here's the 2nd of the new pics I added after I posted blog. By far the best of the pictures with all 6 Sasuke competitors!  Thanks Tomohiro for a wonderful photo!

All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 ©minerallabo

This was taken by another blog person who does an entry for the Maguro Festival each year.  Ube found this one for me.  This is minerallabo's blog.  Seems Nagano did take the day off and only Takeda and Akiyama were there for the demonstrations.  Same thing happened last year when Nagano had to leave after his father died during the first day of the Maguro Festival and he had to go home.

All-Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦  ©minerallabo

Thanks to everyone involved for providing photos. They seem to get better every year! If I get more I'll add another blog entry. No word yet on videos though I'm told there will be some soon!  In the meantime the next thing on the event is Nagano's ship dedication and official launch (that's on May 7).  Followed by Sasuke Malaysia (end of May), Sasuke Singapore (End of June) and Sasuke 28 in Japan (sometime summer).  2012 is already better than 2011!