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yamada_katsumi.jpg
Sasuke Shuriken YAMADA Katsumi (山田 勝己) jpn.png
Nickname: Mister Sasuke
Born: October 22nd, 1965
Hometown: Harima, Hyogo, Japan
Occupation: Part-time worker
Sasuke Debut: Sasuke/Ninja Warrior #01
Website:

Yamada Katsumi - 43 years old from Harima, Hyogo Prefecture, he is known as "Mr. Sasuke". Due to Yamada's success in the earlier competitions, he was once thought to be the most likely to complete the entire course. Yamada, whose profession used to be that of a propane tank delivery driver, debuted in the 1st Competition and failed the Hammer Dodge in the 2ND Stage. The only time he reached the FINAL Stage was in the 3rd Competition, when he timed out just a few inches from the buzzer. In the 6th and 10th competitions Yamada reached the end of the Pipe Slider only to fail the jump to the final mat. He is particularly notable for his unusual devotion to the Sasuke competition; many times he has sworn to retire from the competition only to resurface again, at one point alienating his family in the process. Despite his frequent claims that he will never compete again, Yamada has only missed the 13th Competition. After failing on the Pipe Slider in the 10th Competition, he never returned to the 3RD Stage.

Since being disqualified in the 12th Competition on the 2ND Stage (for finishing the 2ND Stage wearing gloves that contestants start with, for safety reasons on the Chain Reaction, but are required to remove before the third obstacle, the Spider Walk), he has never completed the FINAL Stage. Since the factory where he once worked has closed down, he never acquired another full-time job, and spends the rest of his time training. There is a rumor that Yamada is training his son to compete in upcoming tournaments. As of 2008, Yamada has completed the 1ST Stage 10 times, the 2ND Stage 4 times (5 if he removed his gloves), and the 3RD Stage once.

Photos

yamada_katsumi_sasuke_22.jpg   yamada_katsumi_sasuke_23.jpg

 
Video

Sasuke #17 - 1ST Stage - Sandan Rolling Maruta (Rolling Log)

Sasuke #17 - 1ST Stage - Cross Bridge

Sasuke #17 - 1ST Stage - Jump Hang

 
Memorable Moments
YAMADA Katsumi (山田 勝己) (aka Mister Sasuke) the leader of the All Stars is an interesting individual. His determination to compete in Sasuke is well known, since it inspired people like NAGANO Makoto to start competing as well. His unwillingness to quit in the face of ever worsening performances might be commendable. However one wonders whether YAMADA may have developed a bit of a co-dependent relationship with Sasuke (needing the fans and the spot light) especially after NAGANO's kanzenseiha in SASUKE/Ninja Warrior #17. Since then Katsumi's performance has really gone down hill and you can see a certain sense of disdain in his face when some competitors succeed (while the rest of the All Stars cheer them on).

There is in Japanese culture a well known relationship between a Sempai (Senior) and a Kohai (Junior) where the kohai is in a sense "in debt" to the Sempai. Since the Sempai came first they have the "primacy". So in Japanese culture it is very rare to see a kohai call a sempai out but in this Sasuke Memorable Moment from SASUKE/Ninja Warrior #21 you'll see NAGANO Makoto (長野 誠) doing just that.

YAMADA has just landed on the mat at the end of the Jumping Spider - ジャンピングスパイダー and it looks (to some anyways) like he fakes a leg injury. At the sight of this NAGANO screams out "Iji mise te! (維持見せて)" which translates to "Show us your guts!". You can see the disgust in NAGANO's face and he then pleads with YAMADA not to "throw in the towel" but to show us what competing in Sasuke is all about. It's telling that two Sasuke's later (SASKUE/Ninja Warrior #23) the announcer is calling NAGANO "Mister Sasuke".

 
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SASUKE Record
 
Competition Date
#
1ST 2ND 3RD FINAL Result
Sasuke 28
December 2012 99 Failed       Failed - First Warped Wall
Sasuke 26
October 2011 91 Failed       Failed - Warped Wall
Sasuke 26
January 2011 90 Failed       Failed - Jumping Spider
Sasuke 25
March 2010           DID NOT COMPETE
Sasuke 24
January 2010 80 Failed       Failed - Warped Wall
Sasuke 23
September 2009 71 Failed       Failed - Slider Jump
Sasuke 22
March 2009 81
Failed
      Failed - Jumping Spider
Sasuke 21
September 2008 96
Failed
      Failed - Warped Wall
Sasuke 20
March 2008 1999
Failed
      Failed - Jumping Spider
Sasuke 19
September 2007 91
Failed
      Failed - Jumping Spider
Sasuke 18
March 2007 73
Failed
      Failed - Rope Ladder
Sasuke 17
October 2006 100
Failed
      Failed - Warped Wall
Sasuke 16
December 2005 99
Failed
      Failed - Rope Climb
Sasuke 15
July 2005 99
Failed
      Failed - Cross Bridge
Sasuke 14
January 2005 99
Failed
      Failed - Jump Hang
Sasuke 13
April 2004           DID NOT COMPETE
Sasuke 12
October 2003 98
Cleared
Failed
    Disqualified - Spider Walk *
Sasuke 11
March 2003 100
Cleared
Failed
    Failed - Balance Tank
Sasuke 10
September 2002 1000
Cleared
Cleared
Failed
  Failed - Pipe Slider
Sasuke 09
March 2002 99
Cleared
Failed
    Failed - Wall Lift
Sasuke 08
September 2001 100
Failed
      Failed - Warped Wall
Sasuke 07
March 2001 100
Failed
      Failed - Rope Climb
Sasuke 06
September 2000 99
Cleared
Cleared
Failed
  Failed - Pipe Slider
Sasuke 05
March 2000 100
Cleared
Failed
    Failed - Spider Walk
Sasuke 04
October 1999 100
Cleared
Cleared
Failed
  Failed - Cliff Hanger
Sasuke 03
March 1999 89
Cleared
Cleared
Cleared
Failed
Failed - Final Rope
Sasuke 02
September 1998 91
Cleared
Failed
    Failed - Spider Walk
Sasuke 01
September 1997 92
Cleared
Failed
    Failed - Hammer Dodge

* Although Yamada completed the Second Stage, he was disqualified for wearing gloves on the "Spider Walk" obstacle.

 
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