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Some teed off by Japanese media swarming over Ishikawa

51 Comments

Seventeen-year-old professional golfer Ryo Ishikawa made his U.S. PGA Tour debut at the Northern Trust Open this month. Thirty Japanese media sent more than 100 representatives to the tour to report on Ishikawa. He failed to make the cut, though, and made an early exit from the tournament.

“I don't think we saw him at his best. Maybe he had jet lag," said a U.S.-based journalist. "He must have felt weird being followed by such a huge media contingent."

Japanese media often follow Japanese athletes abroad. A Japanese sports journalist for a newspaper says, “When Ichiro joined Major League Baseball in 2001, lots of Japanese media gathered to cover him, and ignored other players. This put Ichiro in an awkward position within the team.”

Ishikawa has accepted a special invitation to play at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia in April and is also scheduled to tee off at the Transitions Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational both in Florida next month.

There some concerns over Japanese media behavior. Insiders say that everybody thought Ishikawa's participation would be decided by the first week of January. But it wasn't decided until Jan 22. The reason for the delay was the committee's concerns that other foreign media would complain about the behavior of Japanese media, according to insiders.

A golf journalist says, “The majority of Japanese media go back to Japan without reporting the final result of the tournament because Japanese golfers often miss the cut. That doesn't create a good impression of Japanese media among Western media. They say giving press passes to Japanese media is a waste.”

The Japanese media seem to be heating up off the golf course. A TV producer says some female announcers see Ishikawa as a future husband candidate. “In a magazine interview, Ishikawa's mother said her son should have a woman who is fluent in English and older than him. After the magazine was published, young female announcers started showing their interest in golf reporting.”

Many critics say the media should back off and give Ishikawa a chance to develop his game and not cover his private life at all. (Translated by Taro Fujimoto).

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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“The majority of Japanese media go back to Japan without reporting the final result of the tournament because Japanese golfers often miss the cut. That doesn’t create a good impression of Japanese media among Western media. They say giving press passes to Japanese media is a waste.”

Too right, they don't deserve them. They only report something if it makes Japan look good. Had it with the Olympics and other sports.

This Ishikawa might have potential and might be pretty good once he matures, the behaviour of the media here though makes me see look on him as just another stuffed shirt. I pay no attention.

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the japanese media is a joke, totally agree that their coverage of sports is completely ethnocentric

and how nice of them to throw in how Ishikawa is marriage material. Does anyone in this hellish country even know how to report on stories??

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Agree totally with the article about it being a waste giving media passes to japanese media. They don't really care to give results of competitions once the japanese players fall out.

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Here here, Japanese media are terrible, they report like gossip magazines.

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Oh, I just remembered 2 years ago they were covering one of the golf tournaments in the US and Tiger was in the play-off about to make a putt that would win the match. He stepped up to the ball and was about to swing when they went for a commercial break! They have no sense of what is important to viewers, or maybe they just don't care.

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Oh yeah, did you see the well rounded news coverage of the Oscars?

Hats off to the filmmakers for Departures as best foreign film, but c'mon, maybe viewers are curious about other winners, instead of having to watch five solid minutes of exclusive coverage of what Japan did at the Kodak Theater?

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Lest there is the accusation that it's only natural for a country's media to focus on their fellow countrymen's acheivements, I come from a country where a round-up of sports items are regularly given for sports in other countries, even if there are none of our nationals playing.

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of course it's natural for a country to wish to support its nationals in international competition. what is deplorable is to head for the airport as soon as it becomes obvious your man won't be the victor. reminds me of the 1936 olympics or something.

i think in this case the issue is glaring because a lot of the japanese press are getting behind ishikawa from a celebrity, rather than sporting point of view. he is the latest media poster boy so there is no reason to hang around when he drops out of the competition

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should have a woman who is fluent in English and older than him

But he's 17 so I hope if he gets married this year that his wife will be 'older.' Otherwise, he'd probably get busted for statutory rape. And why fluent in English? So he can use her as a free translator? Hang love, free labor is more important?

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yeah, they pretty much suck. no argument here.

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Typical Japanese self obsession, which i have stated on here many times before, only for the Japanophiles to state all countries act like this re sportsman etc. If so why is the rest of the world teed off with the J Media.

Another negative report that tarnishes Japans increasingly poor image abroad. NHK world needs a lot of propoganda to try to reverse the trend.

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I remember when Jumbo went to the PGA tour. Television coverage of the tounaments was awful. Because he was never in contention, he teed of early and was just about finished with his round when the broadcast started. So you had to watch about one hour of taped highlights of his game so far which was mediocre at best. Then we go live to watch a guy shoot 7 over and never get to watch a real horse-race for the lead at 16 under.

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Oh BTW it was a great ending for the Northern Trust Open with Flame-out Phil just avoiding another monumental collapse and Freddie Couples in contention right up till the final hole!

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Can't disagree with the article, but we live in Japan. What can we do, run for office? Oh sorry, forgot we got to be born into it and inherit it.

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How completely childish...marriage material ?? Poor kid,give him a break Japan,actually give him an identity of his own for a start.

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IchyaWarFare: We can refuse to watch this ethnocentric drivel! It's nice to be proud of Ishikawa, but I want see a game and not the same guy doing the same shot with the same commentary over and over again! Watch or read the highlights on sites like youtube, or any other FREE online media, at any time. I don't have a TV, and I can still watch the Tour.

Oh, and when you do, refuse to pay the NHK fee when they come a-knockin'

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Many critics say the media should back off and give Ishikawa a chance to develop his game and not cover his private life at all.

Most sensible thing I've heard in quite some time.

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oh my, japanese behaving badly in other countries!!! NO, say it aint so. they dont show what going on the field, on the court, on the course unless a japanese is there. there are people, japanese and others alike, that would like to see the whole shebang - not the media`s interpretation of only the japanese players.

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Japanese media only cares about talento not about their talent.

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“In a magazine interview, Ishikawa’s mother said her son should have a woman who is fluent in English and older than him. After the magazine was published, young female announcers started showing their interest in golf reporting.”

I think Paris Hilton would think of Ishikawa as a tasty morsel

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I wonder if the Japanese media actually realize how pathetic their reporting is compared to the rest of the world?

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re post in this thread "meanwhile the youngest ever Us amatuer champion( younger than Tiger) just became the youngest ever European Tour champ. Japan media must have missed it". Guess if you aren't Japanese you ain't noteworthy. Doesn't help that he was born in Korea.

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Reminds me of when Arakawa won gold at the winter olympics. The TV station actually showed her winning performance first, revelled in her gold with the normal JTV back slapping as though the presenters themselves had won or played some part in it, and THEN showed the rest of the competition in the order that it played out. Like announcing who has won a game of football and showing highlights before the match starts.

Japan is obsessed with itself, or at least what other think about it. Part of the reason is the cuture of idolising celebrities. They pick up person and he or she turns in to the face of that sport, as seen with Ai chan or Hanikami Oji. Or when a foreign footie team plays in Japan, they focus on one player to the exclusion of all others. C.Ronaldo has been treated like this along with Beckham and others. I love (hate) the way they zoom in on that person ignoring all others. They do the same at opening cermonies too. Seeing the gooning face of Japanese athletes is wonderful but please show us something else, like possibly another countries team.

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when i was watching a US baseball game in Osaka, the game was going great and fun to watch. Then the Japanese pitcher changed in the 8th, and that was it for the broadcast!? Media have no regard for the game playing itself out in their coverage. If the Japanese player leaves, there's no reason to continue.

So here, if the media want to be invited more willingly as in PGA, then they will have to (try to) be more polite and leave their fixation on a single viewpoint behind and report the entire game, not just their man. He isn't alone out there.

Being Canadian, although we play a lot of winter and summer sports, we're not often at the top, and certainly not in every sport. So during events like the Olympics the broadcasters try to show a wide variety of events, some even with no Canadians at all. When I don't see the same attitude to appreciate others playing a sport of interest, it comes off as rude and self-centered. I sometimes wonder if the point of the event wasn't totally lost.

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gogogo, I don't think they realize...or care. Money money money money.

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too bad the media are so terrible. They are making it difficult for Japanese athletes to succeed. How many reporters did Japan Today send?

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We all know the Catch 22 of this culture. Or Catch 44 if you will. They do what they want to do, and will do it forever. In younger days I used to be dead set against the wisdom of the phrase "East is east and west is west" but now I see its a bit closer to reality than I used to imagine. Just listen to the conversations of people on or off the TV. Its really a world apart, like the period of boycotting the black ship. Not a whole lot has changed except for outside appearances. And what do I know?

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when i was watching a US baseball game in Osaka, the game was going great and fun to watch. Then the Japanese pitcher changed in the 8th, and that was it for the broadcast!?

I can definitely relate. I attended a game where the Yankees were playing in Oakland a few years back, and a Japanese by the name of Erabu was the Yankees' starting pitcher. The media section had a ton of Japanese cameramen and such. As soon as Erabu was taken out in the fifth inning of a game that was in close contention and really top notch, that section immediately emptied out. It was embarrassing to witness.

Sadly, a story like this one, given sufficient exposure and publicity, would likely have the Japanese reflect and change some of their behavior -- all the while resenting the perceived pressure placed on them by outside forces.

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To me he's just an AVERAGE GOLFER. Nothing more nothing More nothing Less. I can't watch Sports News in Japan. It's always ONE SIDED.

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yabits,

Actually, I can understand why the photographers left - they can't sell photos of non-Japanese baseball players in Japan or even to their own newspapers. The 'reporters' however, should have stayed.

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NHK news seemed to be obsessed with this boy, hyping him up for days before the tournament began. During the tournament they seemed to focus almost exclusively on the boy: even though other Japanese golfers were doing better, they hardly got a mention.

I wish I knew how NHK decided on what to put in their sports bulletins. If it's rugby, Waseda university always get lots of screen time, the national team gets none at all. Ladies golf items always show that pretty girl from Okinawa and not the less pretty one who often does better. And let's not forget the Aomori ladies curling team: even if only one man and a dog are at the rink watching a practice session, the event is somehow deemed worthy of broadcast on the national news.

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It possibly the fact that this country is useless at sport, overall. For the size of the population and economy, Japan fares rather badly in terms of global success. They will use the 'yappari, foreigners are bigger, stronger ' line on most occasions to explain why, but Kitajima seemed to do okay at the olympics, winning gold for Japan in swimming. Of course when the say foreigners they mean western, basically non asian.

Of course an average golfer can remain in Japan and live the high life as he is a god in his country, so why humiliate yourself by going overseas (there be dragons) to be trounced, when you can stay in Japan and make a fortune being sports celeb, with NHK and the rest fawning over your every move.

As a result the locals seem to support anybody along as he or she is Japanese. I love F1 and I always chuckle when locals say they support Honda or Toyota. I often wonder why as if the only reason is because of nationality, they have chosen the wrong sport as F1 is on the whole British and run by Brits.

For example, Ai chan may well be the number one Table Tennis player in Japan, or maybe not in term of rankings, but she is certainly the ONLY player in Japan in terms of public awareness. Imagine if you were the number one ranked player in Japan and you trained hard to achieve success and results, yet find that little miss cry baby gets all the attention, the personal sponsor's money, the CM deals, etc. I would make you crazy. I can imagine that Ishikwawa's peer group may feel the same.

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Agree with all the comments about the abysmal Japanese media. But there is genuine interest in Ishikawa in the world media as a potential future star, so have to separate the player from the hype. There will be at least two other teenagers at the Masters, the Korean-New Zealand guy mentioned above and another from Northern Ireland. We'll see how he matches up and how the Japanese media covers it, or if Ishikawa does poorly, doesn't cover it.

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So I've never been to Japan but I was wondering along the line of where Richard the First was going I love F1 and now I wonder how do they cover it since it usually originates with 1 world feed and the host country controls the cameras. Is(was) it all Toyota & Honda talk as they run midpack or do the mention that ya know Lewis, Felipe and Kimi are slugging it out for the World Championship

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I actually enjoy Japan's F1 coverage. It seems pretty balanced to me and the Japanese announcers always seem pretty excited about whats going on up front. I would say it's better than the US coverage.

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For example, Ai chan may well be the number one Table Tennis player in Japan, or maybe not in term of rankings, but she is certainly the ONLY player in Japan in terms of public awareness.

Probably a lot to do with cuteness.

Ai was really terrible in the Olympics and I couldn't work out what the fuss was about. It was the same with those two badminton players who are always on telly, or that beach volleyball team. Likewise with this chap Ishikawa, and that hankachi oji or whatever he was called.

Just a bit of minor titilation and it's not really the sport they're interested in.

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He's a AVERAGE GOLFER with nice YELLOW PANTS. He is boring, he should spice it up a bit. Throw a golf club in the air. Yell curse and scream.

I never see this guy get fustrated. He is as boring as Micheal Phelps.

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I agree with his Mum. His future wife should definately be older than him and be bilingual too. Now WTF is this "news" story about?

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Anyone wanting further proof of this "Japanese only" mentality did not have to look any further than BS1's coverage of the tournamnet this weekend. Even on Monday morning, days after Mr. Yellow Pants had been eliminated, they showed a highlight package of his two days. Then, they cut off the broadcast at 8:30 AM -- as Phil Michelson was in the middle of the 18th fairway, needing a par to win. Japanese media, and Japanese viewers in general, are not true sports fans. They are Japanese teams and players fans -- period.

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I'm really amused Ishikawas mother makes APPROVAL for his future endeavors regarding relationships....

And on a good note perhaps it was better that he didn't make the cut, now the media can focus on other sports and sense besides the same shot of him doing the same thing and therefore, will maybe persuade them elsewhere to give the resr of the professional sports players credit and awknowledgement.

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herefornow

you nailed it with the bit about J-folks only cheering their own, its pretty damned pathetic, but it does make the US look good at the Olympics as Jpn is more full of itself than the US, that, takes some doing, ha ha.

Man I remember when I used to watch tv back when Nomo & Ichiro first left the nest, with Nomo all you saw was his pitching, everytime you blinked if wud be a different inning & Nomo`s teams NEVER got to bat(on J-tv ha ha ha), with Ichiro, we only saw him swing.

Its pathetic as we all know, I find it embarassing myself with this crap.

As for the PGA soultion is to grant 5media passes to J-media & if anyone goes home when the J-man misses the cut then thats one media pass they dont get the next tourney, then in short time there will be no J-media & I bet Ishikawa wud be grateful

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it would be expected that the press not cover athletes not from their home countries. If you travel 14,000 miles to Pakistan to watch a guy from your hometown play, after he's out, doesnt make any sense to stay there, right? same thing...

Even in the Olympics the coverage on NBC was almost 100% US players. In gymnastics and swimming, i rarely saw any of the other countries' players, only in the final round. And actually, if no US players were up for medals then i would find out in the internet or newspaper, they wouldnt even show up on TV. same thing...

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Why the comparison with Pakistani TV? I don't think the Japanese would be flattered.

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For the first time in my life I have seen softball, during the Olympics, thanks to the hysteric japanese media focusing on the only athletes that could make a somehow not so bad performance. Softball!!!!!! WTF, who cares? I cared about Phelps, Bolt, and other of this kind...instead, the same soup about Nakajima, depressed judoka and Ueno all over. Japanese fans are fans as long as their athletes are doing good. They sometimes care for foreign athletes, in football (soccer), and their "fanhood" is changing with the wind (J-Media),japanese Madrid fans peaked in 2003, then Barca, then Manchester (during the last Club World Cup, the japanese crowd just came to see C. Ronaldo doing the twist and twirl around the ball like an asthmatic breakdancer.). But they also focused on Matsui playing for le Mans (this team has an actually High School level) and many other worthless footballers in Europe, just because they were japanese. This Ishikawa guy is another tarentless tarento; he's japanese, polite, shy,he still has acnea but his mother is already thinking about marriage: same old same old in Yamato. I also suspect that the poor performance of japanese athletes in the international arena is definitely due to the fans beeing easily satisfied with peanuts and beeing ethnocentric: Hide Nakata retired when he was 29? Bashing anyone? Nope, he's now advertising some crap. In one or two decades, Japan will probably create some sports in which only Japanese could compete: inago charming, extreme soba eating and of course the Zenkoku Baatendaa Long Island Ice Tea Sheikingu!!! That would make everyone happy.

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I think Ishikawa has some talent, and guts. The other day in the final hole of a tournament he hit the ball completely submerged in water in a lake, and the ball landed within a few feet, then he sank the put to win. More hyped up golfers such as Greg Norman and Lefty have folded under lesser pressure than that.

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Anyone remember the olympics...summer and winter? I would watch events on TV but once the last remaining Japanese participant would be eliminated they would switch to another event without showing who won the Gold Medal- thats the fun of it- sure I root for my home countries and other countries I like but it is fun to see who wins and from where. This Golf thing is NO SURPRISE

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It's because it's all ratings related. If they continue showing the olympic event/sport without Japanese athletes, people will switch channels. It's part of the reason why they use popular boy bands to front these things as 'special supporters'.

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It's because it's all ratings related

And that doesn't say much about the sad viewers.

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@Richard the First If people really were given half a chance to get interested in the sport they wouldn't switch channels. That's the media telling you what to do, not fans of sport. But if they did that they would learn Ishikawa's real skill level. Even so, it would show what he is up against and how he deals with pressure in the sport. Denying the rest of the broadcast denies understanding and development of a true fan base.

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I think some people aren't giving the local media their dues. They don't just cover Japanese competitors. They'll interview as many as the top tiered foreign players as possible to ask the golden question, "What do you think about Ryo Ishikawa?"

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Geneva man you've got a point. But why we even bother commenting among ourselves? Nobody that lives here (ie natives) give a hoot about our opinions, so we're definitely not writing for the sake of "improving the place". Its good to have a place to release opinions, if your lucky enough not to have it be ruled "off the subject."

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