As discussed yesterday, Japan loves cute. When walking outside with my baby boy, the most oft thing I hear is “KAWAAIIII!!!” (‘kawaii’ = cute)… and that’s an exclamation that’s oh-so-often used in Japan…
A small furry animal – “KAWAAIIII!!!”
Anything small – “KAWAAIIII!!!”
Animated characters – “KAWAAIIII!!!”
Anything related to Disney – “KAWAAIIII!!!”
Riyo Mori – … … … “KAWAAIIII!!!”
If you’re a female, you have to say it with in a very, very high-pitched voice, attempting to sound like an anime character yourself (and thus, “KAWAAIIII!!!”). If you’re a male, you don’t say it…
And so, with a ball-peen-hammer-to-the-knees segue, let’s look at the second part of ‘Japan Loves Cute…’ and it’s subject matter, Ryo Ishikawa.
Last month, teen phenom Ryo Ishikawa won the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup, becoming the youngest ever player to win a Japanese Pro Tour event, and the first amateur to win in more than 25 years. His first tour appearance, Ishikawa, 15 years old, shot a 6 under 66 to win by one stroke. His baby-face & bashful demeanor earned him the sobriquet “The Shy Prince”.
He followed this up with an 8th place in the prestigious Kanto Amateur Championships, and that will grant him an invitation to the Japan National Amateur Championships to be held in early July at the Aichi Country Club.
Video of Ishikawa & Saito…
During the Kanto event, the Shy Prince gathered in excess of 3000 fans (many of whom were young girls!) who followed him dutifully around the links. Such is the first-year-high school student’s popularity, that the Japanese TV station TBS tried to get one of his playing partners to wear a hidden microphone… which was eventually foiled by the officials.
Yuki Saito and Ryo Ishikawa… two of the most popular sports icons in Japan today. Both with very unfortunate nicknames. But as I said, Japan loves ‘cute’…
I’ll keep you posted with updates on the Handkerchief Prince, and the Shy Prince!