All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 , All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and All Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦 (left) (with Nagano's son Kaiou 塊王 hidden on the right) ©Shingo Yamamoto
As is tradition here on Rambling Rican, I'm writing about the Maguro Festival again! I've mentioned I'd be doing this before 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 22nd Annual Maguro Festival 第22回串木野まぐろフェスティバル took place in Kagoshima Prefecture on Sunday, April 28 and Monday April 29 2013 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 (as he's famously done in the past.. fresh from a hospital stay) 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.
Front entrance of the Festival ©minerallabo
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. TBS 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. In 2012 we had more photos than usual but no video.
Sasuke Corner ©minerallabo
As you remember my rant from the past blog post, this year's event was marred by the unnecessary complication of Sasuke Trials being the same weekend. We were expecting most of the Sasuke All-stars, however thanks to TBS' screw-up the Maguro Festival roster was cut in half. This photo above mentioned the 3 expected after the dust settled. 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 and All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟. Luckily unlike last year where Shingo had to cancel last minute but after the posters were printed, they had enough time to have the correct roster for this event. Takeda and Yamada both backed out since the Trials for Sasuke were the same weekend. I've already ranted enough about TBS ignoring this event for the first time in 6 years.. but... I'll be good. For the record, never in the history of the Maguro Festival have all 6 Sasuke All-Stars been in this event in Kagoshima at the same time.
Sasuke corner ©creaddition
With the posters printed and everyone arriving just in time, that left us with 3 All-stars for this event. True to his word, Shingo took a flight immediately after Trials and arrived in Kagoshima the same night where Nagano and Akiyama were waiting for him. The following 2 days waited 4 Sasuke demonstrations. Sunday and Monday at 11 am and again at 2:30 pm at that location.
This year we were blessed with exorbitant amount of photos! I was so happy! Looking exhausted (at least to me) was Nagano already sporting the tan since he does live in the South (technically West Japan but it looks south to me on the map.. LOL).
Akiyama and his ever-changing hair showed up smiling! Glad to see Akiyama flying clear across the country (he lives way up north (or far East Japan if you want to get technical) in Hokkaidō 北海道.. and the northern end to boot)
Shingo (he lives in the middle in Tokyo 東京) was all smiles doing yeoman's work of doing BOTH Sasuke Trials and Maguro Festival. He gets mad respect from me! He does take great photos though.. LOL he's such a goof!
Sasuke Corner ©minerallabo
Ya'll who are totally into this sorta thing can psychoanalyze the upgraded course for this year. I'm just happy they were blessed with GORGEOUS weather this year. Last year was rainy, cold and dreary and this year was all sun and actually a touch hot.
Just a reminder.. the pond that sits under the obstacles actually has live fish.. yes.. real. There is a heavily coveted lottery to get a chance to get their kid to catch one of them to take it home. I find it all cool and amusing but I'm sure PETA would have a fit if we tried something like this in our country.. ahahahhahahaha
I'm not even going to try to figure out when some of these photos were taken. I am told though that the event was very well attended (again, a relief from last year) and Sasuke Corner is more popular than ever.
Just as Nagano is famous with his black pants and black tank-top, Akiyama is just as famous for his red pants. As you can tell from the photo.. it's actually pretty hot that day with everyone trying to keep cool with sun hats and umbrellas.
Sasuke Corner ©creaddition
They love their flags don't they? LOL Anyway I see a ring.. so they have the Circle Slider (サークルスライダー) which actually is one of my favorite obstacles.
The Lamp Grasper (ランプグラスパー), known as the Globe Grasp in English broadcasts is still in Maguro Festival. Notice.. there fish under him..
Akiyama standing on a log/pole that will be used later for kids to play with to try to balance across the pond.
All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 with his son Kaiou 塊王 ©kotetu
As a reminder, current chibi-Nagano is 3 years old! His 4th birthday is coming up quickly in June. Father and son will welcome a new sibling in July.
Hmm so it seems Akiyama wore the red Sasuke Rising shirt on day .. 2? while he wore the black All-stars shirt for day 1.. or do I have that reversed? LOL
I see Salmon Ladder (サーモンラダー) rungs while Shingo is being interviewed at the feet of the Warped Wall (actual name in Japanese Soritatsu Kabe (そり立つ壁)).
Aww Shingo's body language is screaming sleep right now. He's had one loooooooong weekend. Hang in there Shingo.. almost done!
Nagano also hoping for some sleep as well.. LOL He's been stressed out over the whole ordeal of losing half his roster at the last moment just before sending stuff to the printers.. which is an organizer's nightmare..
Poor guy.. he really does look tired but he's still smiling through it all! Btw this looks like an awesome kids course to play around! I would have loved to have access to that growing up..
Akiyama spending time with the kids during the end of the demonstration. Gotta train that ninja army somehow! LOL
This part always cracks me up. As was the case in all the years Nagano is up at the top waiting to catch people and haul them up the wall. In 2011 we got a video of him just about falling down from there trying to get a kid up there.
Dear Shingo.. I want your SASUKE Towel.. signed Rambling Rican. /sigh I wonder why TBS refuses to sell this overseas? Seriously.. we'd totally buy this.. in a heartbeat!
A great photo of the Warped Wall clears that the All-stars make happen by sheer brute force! LOL
Remember that log? Nagano is helping out a kid balance on it to get her across the pond. Sure.. hold her hand.. yeah..
Nagano just about taking a header.. again.. ahahahahha Man that has to be tiring to do that twice a day for 2 days. Still cool they do this though. For people like me, there's no way in hell we'd get up there on our own!
Aaah they have monkeybars up across the top as well. I didn't notice that until now.
Because I can. What I find amusing is that I wasn't the one that took this picture.. but it sure would be one I would if given the chance! LOL
Ooooooooooh Hello MASSIVE Farmer's tan.. Shingo is burnt! No wonder he looks tired.. he's burn to a crisp! And he's been doing timed obstacles for 3 days straight out in the sun!
Take a drink.. Descente gear!
Hah! They got Akiyama up there too. Good.. Nagano needed help doing that. It's not like they can enlist Shingo to do that.. he has a history of dislocations!
Nagano muscling another kid up to the top of the Warped Wall! With a smile! That.. has to be tiring..
Nagano taking a breather from a perched position high above the obstacle course he designed and built.
Of note in the sea of photos.. seems Nagano upgraded (again) the course.. check which obstacle he upgraded.... Yes.. that's what you think it is.. Crazy Cliffhanger (クレイジークリフハンガー) from Sasuke Rising (or Sasuke 28).
All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 with his son Kaiou 塊王 (hidden), All Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦 and All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 ©kotetu
LOL I love this picture of Shingo being goofy leaning over like that. Anyway, Shingo had posted on his Facebook that during Day 1 he got within 1 second of beating Nagano for fastest time on the course (they usually have time attacks). So we have confirmation of both defeating it.
Unsure if we know about Akiyama though. He did run the course but we don't have any results during this weekend.
I see Shingo behind the kid is in the water again (with the fish) while Nagano balances on the side of the tank. Looks like Akiyama is at the entrance of the pond to the right of Nagano (look for the red pants).
All Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦 ©Makoto Nagano
Akiyama about to do the Warped Wall as a sea of people cram in tight to get a look during one of the demonstrations.
Shingo taking a moment to rest while there's much talking going on by a local personality I don't know.
LOL Looks like whoever is talking it taking forever because both Shingo and Nagano (and yeah I see Akiyama's head behind Nagano) look bored (or annoyed) out of their minds. I'm happy to get at least ONE Nagano annoyed™ look.. ahahhahaha
Despite Nagano and Akiyama not being at trials we're told Nagano, Shingo and Takeda will be heading to Sasuke. Notably absent from that list are Yamada and Akiyama.. No idea why they will not be there. I gave up on Bunpei ever coming back to Sasuke sadly.... I hope as the taping date gets closer that TBS decides to invite them ALL back. Lord knows for many fans (not just international fans) Sasuke is not Sasuke without ALL of the All-stars.
All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 with his son Kaiou 塊王, All Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦 and All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 ©Makoto Nagano
LOL I LOVE this picture!!!!!! Check out the posing from both Kaiou and Shingo.. ahahahah Man that boy is picking up bad habits from his adopted uncles. ( ^ . ^ )
Thanks to everyone involved for providing photos. Seems with the gorgeous weather people were able to freely take great photos and post them online for everyone to see. They seem to get better every year! If I get more I'll add another blog entry. No word yet on videos. In the meantime the next thing on the event is Sasuke 29 (sometime this summer). Followed by Sasuke ASEAN Open Cup later in the year in November!