Saki Kurosawa

Tell us about a typical day for you as an M-Leaguer…

In the afternoon I do some other work, such as porcelain arts, and if I have time then I take a nap before getting to the venue by around 5pm. There we draw seats, change, get make-up done, eat a lunch box and do other things to get ready before the games start at 7pm. On the train on the way home I review the games from the day and when I get home I jump in the bath and go to sleep.

M-League must be far more demanding than monthly league sessions. Have you gotten used to it?

During the season my daily rhythm definitely changes. Normally I get to sleep around midnight and get around 9 hours sleep, but during M-League season I usually don’t get home until well past midnight and I’m often too excited to get straight to sleep. It’s really hard to get used to, but I make up for it by getting a nap before games.

Do you do any team-building activities?

We have a separate league tournament with my teammates and the team director. Also, in the off-season we visited the East Japan earthquake site as a team and played mahjong with victims. Things like this bring us closer together as a team.

Is there anything that you absolutely must do before games?

I clean our family altar, set up offerings of rice, salt and water, and dust the Ema tablet I made for winning matches. Before the game I drink a honey and black vinegar drink to gear myself up for game-mode.

What is your playstyle?

I always go for concealed, high-scoring hands.

Do you have a message for the fans overseas?

Just like other sports, mahjong also differs a lot based on play style of the competitors. Find someone who has a play style you like and if you pretend to be them while you watch their games, I think it will make the game even more exciting!!

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