Comments of support flooded in for Yoshizumi Ishikawa’s retirement! Kasumi” is loved in China for a “convincing reason”. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Comments of support flooded in for Yoshizumi Ishikawa’s retirement! Kasumi” is loved in China for a “convincing reason”.

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All-Japan Championships held in January ’23 (Photo: Yohei Nagata/Afro Sports)

Table tennis player Yoshizumi Ishikawa announced her retirement on May 1.

In a report published on her Instagram, she reflected on her active career and expressed gratitude to those who have helped her. In fact, the same report was also published on the Chinese SNS Weibo. There, he added a message to his Chinese coaches and fans.

I would like to thank all the fans who cheered for me with their voices until the last rally of the last match. I have been coached by several Chinese coaches since junior high school. The coaches have helped me and I have been exposed to a lot of Chinese culture through our time together. I have been very happy to learn Chinese and interact with Chinese fans. I always received strength from your warm support at the games in China.

Whether I was happy after winning a match or depressed after losing, you were there for me. I would be happy if my games could encourage those who cheered for me, even just a little. I will treasure the original goods and gifts you gave me.

Ishikawa, who has been coached by a Chinese coach since junior high school, taught herself Chinese.’ At the World Table Tennis Championships in Houston in 2009, there was no Japanese interpreter, so Ishikawa answered interviews in Chinese. His fluency in Chinese surprised the local media, as the Chinese fans watching the game cheered. Charming and humorous, Ishikawa has become as popular as “Ai-chan” as a “Japanese who speaks Chinese too well.

<In her retirement report on Weibo, many photos from her playing days are shown (from her SNS).

The words “Yoshizumi Ishikawa announced her retirement” exceeded 88 million searches on Weibo on the day of her announcement. The report on her retirement received 81,000 likes. In the comments section, Chinese fans have sent more than 8,000 messages of regret and support.

<I regret so much that I didn’t go to the WWT games. Please come back to China to play again.

<I will never forget the sight of your frustration when I saw you at the games. You always give me courage.

<When Kasumi signed my autograph, she said, “Thank you. It is we who should say “thank you.

<I am sad, but I will support the decision you have made. I hope you will be happy for a long time to come.

A Chinese sportswriter explains Ishikawa’s popularity in China.

In China, there is a culture of “chasing” athletes like idols. There are many enthusiastic fans who travel around the world to cheer them on at matches. In China, where table tennis is a powerhouse, there is a great deal of interest in table tennis players, especially Ai Fukuhara and Yoshizumi Ishikawa, who are fluent in Chinese, and have won the hearts of many fans with their humble, friendly personalities and good looks.

Ishikawa often posts photos on SNS of gifts received from Chinese fans and photos with fans. While many athletes take their support for granted or prefer to concentrate on competition, Ms. Ishikawa has often expressed her gratitude to her fans. His fan-oriented attitude is unparalleled among Japanese athletes. In her retirement report this time, she did not just translate the Japanese, but added words of gratitude to her Chinese fans, which shows the sincerity that is typical of her.

Her last match before retirement was held in Macau, which was attended by many Chinese fans. After the match, Ms. Ishikawa asked the fans to take a picture together. The fans who were there said, ‘Now that I think about it, that was the last time she said that to us. She was so kind to me right to the end.

Photo taken with a cheering sign made by Chinese fans at the WTT Champions in Xinxiang, China (from her SNS).

We would like to congratulate “Kasumi,” who was loved in China as well, on her new journey.

<Photo attached to retirement report> Memories of competing in the Olympics (from his SNS)
<Photo attached to the retirement report> Ishikawa being interviewed by Chinese journalist Li Wujun. It may express his gratitude to Mr. Li for his repeated coverage of him (from his SNS).
<A photo attached to his retirement report: A photo of Chinese fans who came to cheer him on at his games (from his SNS).

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