World Cup Interview: Team Japan [ローラーデービーのワールドカップ:日本のチーム]

Like most of the Roller Derby community, we at the Scottish Roller Derby blog are increasingly excited by the prospect of seeing a whole 30 nations competing at the Blood and Thunder World Cup in December. In fact, we’re so excited, we’ve been following up with all of those national teams to learn a little about their plans and progression towards that important meet up in Dallas.

Because there are so many teams, we’ve grouped them together into regions, roughly geographically, which we’ll be devoting a week each to. We’re starting with the “Africa and Asia-Pacific” region, and with one of the new entrants to the World Cup – Team Japan!

The excellent Team Japan logo.

The excellent Team Japan logo.

(This interview is in both Japanese and English. I apologise to Japanese readers for my poor Japanese. 「私の日本語が下手です。すみません。」The interview was conducted about a month ago, and I’ve inserted some updates accordingly.)

Team Captain Hiroe Somekawa 「染川 ヒロエ」(who skates as Thunder BELL) was kind enough to answer our questions.

1) On your website, I see that you have really started in June! How are things progressing?

日本代表チームの ウェブサイトは  6月から 始めた と言う. ドのように進んでいます?


Yes, we just formed a team for Japan in June of this year.
We think team Japan is probably the last team that was formed out of the participating countries.
Japan has fewer number of female derby players, so we are recruiting Team Japan members until August 31.
And we are getting a lot of cooperation from male players of Japan (Ninjapan players) and practicing in mixed-gender with them now.

2) There are many teams in Japan, but they seem to have many Americans in them (Kokeshi Roller Dolls, and the others from Okinawa, for example). How are you recruiting skaters for Team Japan? Will you be requiring Japanese nationals?

 日本に多くのチームでますでも多くのアメリカの スケーターデスやら。
 など オ機縄のKokeshi Roller Dolls).ドのように 日本代表チームの スケーターを募集している。

現在、日本人選手はTokyo Roller Girlsリーグにだけ在籍します。

Exactly, there are a lot of teams in Japan. But 99% of players are Americans.
Actually, Japanese Nationals players are in only Tokyo Roller Girls league now.
There are about 15 people in all Japanese Nationals including fresh meat.
We were looking for Japanese players who live outside of Japan in Internet
and referral from derby sisters, and made contact with them.
And Team Japan has four players who live outside of Japan now. [These skaters are from El Paso Roller Derby, San Diego Derby Dolls and Green Mountain Derby Dames.]

3) Most of Roller Derby is conducted in English. Does language cause problems for Roller Derby in Japan?

 ローラーダービー イギリスごで 実施すっている は 問題ですか.

しかし、Tokyo Roller Girlsリーグの全てのアメリカ人選手達は、英語が理解出来ない私達日本人選手に

Usually the game has been held without any particular problem because most derby players who live in Japan are Americans.
But for Japanese skaters like us, the situation that derby is carried out in English is really hard.
However, the American players of all of Tokyo Roller Girls league are very kindly telling us the strategy and rules of roller derby while using gestures for us who doesn’t understand English. We are really grateful to them.
Actually, even if some Japanese girl want to play roller derby, they can’t do it without understanding English.
The rule book has such very complex contents in particular, it’s really hard to understand it for us.
We think that Japanese players will be increased if an official Japanese rule book was announced.

4) How are you raising money and finding sponsors?

 ドのように金銭をやスポンサーを 募集している?



About donations, we tried to collect donations from all over the world in Gofundme.
But we could not receive a donation via Paypal in Japan by Japanese law.
So now, I am thinking a different way. We can have only simple way for gather money. That is selling team Japan merchandise.
We are planning to launch an online shop for the first time, and are creating products now.
About sponsors, I was able to meet with manufacturers who will become our sponsor at RollerCon.
We will visit to companies to found our sponsors in Japan.

5) As a relatively unknown team, what are your aims going into the World Cup?

 チーム 若い ですは 私の目的が 何 World Cupに します?


Our biggest goal at the World Cup is that team Japan grow to be gained world recognition for roller derby.
If we can do it, we can spread Roller Derby in Japan.
We would like to spread Roller Derby as a sport, and the great culture also.
And… we wish that we get at least three wins at the World Cup tournament if possible(!)


Since our interview, Team Japan has gained a sponsor in Atom Wheels, and begun regular practices.

Team Japan can be followed at their facebook page and the Women’s Roller Derby Japan website. Merchandise will be available soon!

Team Japan’s Roster is:

Slamurai #7
Chee Fighter #31
YUMI #52
AYA #54
Axel Managarmr #75
Ninja Plz #143
Secret Asian Slam #303
MARK #229
MIHO #555
chikai #719
Oscar Little Wild #831
Thunder BELL #950
Vagichael Jakson # 5umo
Mocha Panic # pa29

Their gofundme (running since the last week in September) is:

2 thoughts on “World Cup Interview: Team Japan [ローラーデービーのワールドカップ:日本のチーム]

  1. Pingback: World Cup 2014: Africa and Asia-Pacific Round-up | scottish roller derby

  2. Pingback: The World Cup: SRDB picks! | scottish roller derby

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