What made you start figure skating?
I started figure skating when I was four years old. There is a skating rink about 10 minutes on foot from my parents' house, and I became interested in figure skating as I often went there to spend time. My mother used to do figure skating when she was young, and I enjoyed skating together, which was also a big reason.
At that time, I didn't really feel like giving my all to figure skating, and I just kept going because I was scared of the coach and couldn't quit. (Laughs) But before I knew it, I had improved enough to participate in the national competition for elementary school students.
Did you practice hard when you were a junior?
When I was in elementary school, I sometimes just wanted to play with my friends. I used to go to practice as soon as school was over and go home after practice. But I made a lot of skating friends and I was happy to meet them, so I never felt that the practice was tough.
When did you bloom as a figure skater?
There was a time when I thought I would quit skating by the time I went to college. It wasn’t that my skating results were bad, but they weren’t particularly good either, like 8th or 10th in the national competition. I didn't expect to represent Japan in the future. So I'm a pretty late bloomer. I’m still growing. (Laughs)