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material from 09.06.2022
included in the book ‘The Children of the Day: born to make history’
Prepared by: Ralie Blag – Alita
Translation by: Neil Scarth
‘One tiny fragile flower – left behind injured, and almost dying. I can hear the pain, the crying. Because I was there before, like you – injured, left unhealed, being lost in the devastated ground. But I’m alive – survived because I discovered a light and a hope, and now is my turn to show you the light and the hope. You are loved and you have me helping and encouraging you. So you are going to blossom and find hope and joy in life.’
— Yuzuru about his program Hana wa Saku: ‘Flowers will Bloom’ —
It is no accident that I start with this beautiful text, which I saw in comments below Yuzuru’s videos from the performances in his programme Hana wa Saku (‘Flowers will Bloom’), dedicated to the victims of the largest earthquake in written history in Japan on the 11th of March 2011, which severely affected his hometown.
In this fragile flower I see an image of our soul: abandoned, neglected, wounded and unhealed, cast out and finding no place in the world of pragmatic, earthly life with its cold and aggressive interests and its striving for external power. In such a world our soul-princess, instead of being raised on a pedestal is cast out, downtrodden and deserted. There are, though, personalities in the world, who with the power of the spirit can return her in all her splendour and radiance, magnificent dignity and majesty, to reign in utter reality in the hearts of people and to inspire them to personal feats, as is her mission.
Moving us to tears, both joyful and sorrowful, such is what we see on Yuzuru’s path, while the critical moment of his encounter with the terrible destructiveness of the earthquake in 2011 is seemingly a special symbol with him. This experience colours his thinking and places in his heart the cross with which he sets off not merely to conquer his personal summits in sport but towards self-actualisation in service of the world. It’s precisely this spiritual attitude in some personalities which distinguishes them as something special in my eyes. Not only do their achievements speak for them, it is their character which is all-conquering. Of course, their concrete presence on the Earth, in which we see them as inspirers and leaders, is only the tip of the iceberg of their millenniums of work on themselves before that.
‘We shed tears at the painful reality once again.
Please say that we could change things if we would like!’
— lyrics from the song MAMA by EXO —
I think that in Yuzuru‘s personality, as in Baekhyun’s from EXO, I recognise the archetype of the coming Children of the Day: these ‘visible theogonic beings’ of the future, born into the present. As the Teacher of Wisdom Vaklush says:
‘Heaven is in need of the Children of the Day, because they reinvent the world. They are simply born into providence: they are the awaited awakening, which gives birth to the awoken god.’
Isn’t it precisely the divine spark within us which people like Yuzuru touch? Don’t they summon to life our awe and respect for something measureless, special, amazing, even with those moments when they are at their weakest? Don’t they win over the hearts of people all over the world with the rhythm of their spirit, outside the contours of cultural differences and national borders?
It is a real pleasure to see and hear with what respect and enthusiasm this elegant and apparently fragile creature is talked about not only by fans of this sport from all over the world, not only by his fellow figure skaters, not only by commentators on sports events even, but also by renowned trainers like Alexei Mishin or like Arutyunyan, who literally overwhelms Yuzuru with his recognition that he is a fan and wants his autograph.
In this material though we’ll pay attention to the sad side of Yuzuru’s path to greatness too. Until 2015, despite setting several world records already, he had still not established himself as a great and true exception in his sport. Even his title of Olympic champion at Sochi in 2014 did not perhaps contribute as much to his global popularity as his story of how one should never give up which was dramatically conveyed by him at the Chinese Cup several months after the Olympic gold. During his warm-up for the free skating programme Yuzuru and the Chinese figure skater Yan Han unintentionally collided so badly on the ice that Yuzu in particular was left lying on the rink for what seemed an eternity until the medical team came to take him away. All the while his main thought was that his performances on the ice-rink were over for him.
Once first aid had been administered, with a bandaged head and chin bleeding despite the elastoplast, Yuzuru came out for his performance on the ice and with an extreme effort of will he managed to finish, falling 5 times in all and injuring himself still further. It is impossible to describe in words the energy of determination and dignity exuded from his slim, tender figure while he picked himself up again and again after the latest fall in this ordeal of the spirit. I personally am ready to shed tears every time I watch the scenes from the performance, and I’m far from the only one. That dramatic day turned many spectators into his ardent fans and left the commentator Chen Yin of Chinese National Television CCTV so shocked that from that moment on she reports on all of his appearances with real passion. This experience was probably key for Hanyu himself too because in this situation he palpably experienced the love of the public and of the jury: and we see him burst into tears of gratitude at the end.
When, following a break of two weeks, Yuzuru stepped onto the ice again, the pain was so intense that he seriously thought about withdrawing from the NHK trophy competition which was due to take place a week later and for which he was registered as the representative of Japan. Nonetheless the desire not to miss out on the chance given to him to be ranked for the Grand Prix final prevailed and he decided to try. ‘For him to skate here again is a psychological ordeal. Come on, Yuzuru, you can do it!’ we’ll hear the commentators remark with empathy. In both programmes Hanyu failed to execute some of the planned quadruple jumps, and was ranked 4th overall. Although he didn’t reach the podium, he slipped in last on the list for the final with the significant score of 22 points!
It’s interesting that in the interviews following the championship Yuzuru points not to the injury as a cause of his lack of success, because in training sessions he’d done all the quadruple jumps, but to his psychological weakness, which he wants to find a way of overcoming. At the Grand Prix 2014 final he showed that he had succeeded, focusing on his performances the admiration of the public and the exultant reactions of the commentators, although physically he had still not recovered completely. He won the title with a lead of almost 35 points from the runner-up and a lead of 45 from the third place. Here were born the noteworthy words of Carol Lane of CBC TV:
‘Тhere are good skaters and there are great skaters and then there is Yuzuru Hanyu who is on a whole other level.’
At this sports event we also hear another English language comment, which is akin to that one about the Inhabitant of Heaven by Alexei Mishin:
‘And I can’t get over how calm his upper body is when he jumps and lands. Jumps like that possibly are dropped from Heaven.’
This period marks the great inner battle of Yuzuru with the past, is how I’d sum it up. His battle to win not only medals, but also hearts, because at his first victory at the Senior National Championship in Japan in 2013 he was still not recognised and loved. In 2012 we saw him jump up and down like a little child so joyously and enthusiastically because of the bronze medal in the Japanese championship, so that he even made his rivals on the stand smile with his behaviour. In 2013 though he looked down sadly and almost guiltily from the victor’s podium because he was booed by the public, who had other favourites. The scorn of some people was so great that they threw a white towel at his head while he was talking with his trainer beside the rink. Seen from the sidelines, the situation looked downright funny, but in Japanese culture to throw a white towel is a sign of a deadly curse. That’s how we can explain the words I heard Yuzuru say once: that he doesn’t want people to hate him for the fact that he wins.
We can safely conclude that overcoming all of the difficulties up to now have turned him imperceptibly from an excellent figure skater into an artist and a creator on the ice. His programme Seimei, to the music from the movie about the Japanese magus from the 10th century, is a watershed. His wish is to popularise with it the delicacy and power of Japan. And he succeeded! He spectacularly passed the barrier of 200 points for the free skate programme and 300 points overall for both programmes more than once, but what’s more important is that he matured conceptually while he was developing that composition. He consulted the actor, Namura Mansai, playing the role of Seimei in the movie and learnt a great many things from him. He paid attention to every detail in order to instill a special meaning in each movement and in the final analysis:
‘How shall I put it? I started to perceive my existence from a wider perspective. Thanks to Mansai-San, who taught me to pay attention to everything and to think about the meaning of things, I felt the depth in skating. I began to feel joy in the search for artistic development.’
Yuzuru also adopted from Namura Mansai the emblematic expression:
‘I will lead harmony between Heaven, Earth, and Man with righteousness.’
Well now, the Children of the Day today would say that they’ll lead with wisdom, because this is the new paradigm and the new challenge, but more important than looking for the particular word is to actually work with the energies of the inner person, as Yuzuru Hanyu does.
selected quotes by YUZURU HANYU
- ‘There was a period when a lot of things happened, including groundless rumours accompanied by criticism. Sometimes I wondered what point there was for me to live.The thought of death crossed my mind more than once.’
- ‘I’m definitely not the only one who suffers from endless criticism. It might seem a bit much coming from me as a public figure, but a lot of people suffer from this. Whatever I say, I’ll be criticised.’
- ‘I’ve always thought of myself as just a figure skater, just a skater called Yuzuru Hanyu. Why do I have to bear such a heavy burden?!’
- ‘When I won the Junior Championship in Japan for the first time, I was in 4th grade at primary school. That was the first time I felt a reward for my hard work. Soon after that the rink in my hometown was closed. [For 2 years.] I’ve always had a lot of difficulties. Despite that I was able to continue skating thanks to the support of people. So I really appreciate that. Now I myself can become a light for someone.’
A question to Yuzuru after his victory in the Olympics in 2014: What in your view does this victory mean for people from your hometown, who have suffered so badly?
Answer: Although I won at the Olympic games, which seems like a great achievement, my hard work did not provide real help to the people there. So I feel a strong sense of helplessness. My feeling is that I’ve done absolutely nothing.
Explanation: In order to contribute something real for the rink in his hometown and to the reconstruction of the region afflicted by the earthquake, Hanyu donated his prize money from both Olympics in Sochi and PyeongChang to the sum of $60000 and $100000, as well as all of the earnings from the sale of his autobiography ‘Blue Flames’ to the value of approx. $250000. So the gold medal which seems to him useless as real aid, in practice gave real financial support, but what we cannot measure visibly is his contribution as an inspirational figure, which is surely infinitely more.
His autobiography ‘Blue Flames’ is in the form of a series of interviews with a wealth of illustrative material. Its title emerged when a photo for the cover was chosen. ‘The blue elements appearing in the costume are reminiscent of a blue flame. They also symbolise the calmness in the character of Yuzuru and his fiery, warrior-like spirit,’ explains the editor of the volume Kaori Okubo.
a dream of mine from 13.10.2020
Since this seems like the most appropriate place here, I’m sharing another interesting dream.
I’d fallen asleep in the early dawn hours that day and I woke up with the experience of an unusual, almost enthusiasm-inducing earthquake. It was a long dream, in two parts. I linked the first part to the yellow/tabloid journalism and the tussles for power in society. I saw myself in a hall for holding some kind of general assembly where there were only a few of us scattered here and there amongst the rows, waiting for everyone to gather and to begin. The tribune for the chairpersons up front made an impression on me with its incredibly high lectern behind which, even if you wanted to, you couldn’t see the people leading the meeting when they stood there. It was like a high protective wall rising up: an image of the distance between the governing and the governed, I assume?
While I was ambling around on the righthand side of the hall and looking for somebody for a chat, at one point I saw in front of the first row of seats a pile of clothes on the ground, tossed there like laundry, and when I gave them a light kick to find out what it was, yellow water flowed out from them. The kicking seemed to release this water, which trickled away like a rivulet towards the podium and, once it got to the lectern, spurted up as if alive in a thin stream upwards, reaching up into something like a conduit leading inwards along by the leaders’ seats and then draining away somehow through the appropriate channels. Really interesting, almost peculiar was the image of the water jumping up into the little gutter. A symbol of gossiping and social squabbles, I presume, which magically drained away to where they should go.
After that, when I turned to sit back down in the place I’d set off for, I suddenly saw that everything in this part of the hall was immersed in clear water. I couldn’t sit there any more. The feeling was of something left in the past, covered with the rising waters of a new stage in existence. Only on a small raised platform which formed the end of the last row of seats were two people left, whom I’d already noticed sort of standing there watching from afar and from up above. The water covered everything as far as them, but they were a little higher up and they just sat on the ‘stand’ without showing in any way that they wanted to budge from there at all. The rest of us though had nothing left to do in this place. We set off to leave with my sister and others in a hurry and I saw that we were walking along a narrow pathway made of stone, a couple of metres in length, which linked the exit of our hall with the raised back part of a massive Chinese temple. It appeared that to get to this high part of the temple, you had to climb the ladder next to its wall, and right at the top there was a perpendicular stone path which linked the hall with the temple.
Then came the coolest part: with the earthquake! It was a really nice earthquake, it felt just like freeing oneself from earthly gravity. It happened when I was already quite close to the threshold of something like a little tunnel leading to the temple and I literally tооk off from the unexpected shockwave of air. It was a little terrifying, as is normal for an earthquake, but the prevailing feeling was that you are taking off from the energy lifting you upwards. I took a couple of flying steps in the air, just as if there was no gravity, swaying about a bit and thinking in my shock about how I could slip inside the shelter of the temple as quickly as possible and then once I’d set foot in there, everything quietened down.
It turned out that we were on something like a balcony. The whole pathway/tunnel, from one end ot the other of this raised part of the temple was like a balcony with a beautifully constructed stone parapet on one side and a rear supporting wall of the temple on the other.
We hung over the parapet to see what was down below. The place was huge, on a Chinese scale, and was full of a numerous and mixed, colorful, crowd. Many people had gathered as if for a celebration, as if for a liturgy. The next moment, right behind my back, I spotted Lucas from WayV, who also wanted to take a peek to see the people below. He had come up to us like a close friend and I think I was dreaming of him precisely because he has an evangelical name and the group’s name translates from Chinese as All-mighty Deity, while in English it could be interpreted as the Way of Victory. A wonderful play on words with real meanings in both languages, how cool is that?! So the temple of the All-mighty was full!!
When I woke up, I recalled the expression of the Teacher Vaklush about the earthquake in the thinking of mankind, which the Spiritual Waves cause, just as when the veil in the temple in front of the Holy of Holies is torn by the earthquake, when Christ expires in order to show with his Teaching that in reality there is no death and that it is time for us to live in different world of ideals, and from there with a new actuality in our relationships. Incidentally, while I was describing the flight through the air I remembered Moonwalk by WayV, the lyrics of which are, as usual for SM, full of meanings metaphorically!
Matias de Stefano in an interview by Aubrey Marcus, 22.12.2021
Atlanteans were creating a civilization that said: ‘We are making people into gods and goddesses.’ So the main advertisement of that civilization was: ‘We are here to be divine.’ There were people that accomplished to recognise that they were divine. They manifested being light and became an example for everyone. That’s why ‘gods walked in between humans’.