Sport Climbing Futaba Ito──”Even if you have to look back, just smile and you will naturally be refreshed.” | GQ Japan

Ito Futaba, well-known in the Paris Olympics!

Ito Futaba, reluctant to sever ties with the Tokyo Olympics, said at the time that he hadn’t sorted out his emotions yet, winning the “home run climb” that conquered all four challenges in the bouldering Japan Cup final in one attempt . Looks like the engine is finally going to start.

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Ito has his sights set on August’s World Championships, which will feature a place at the Paris Olympics, and he plans to compete in the Bouldering World Cup in Tokyo’s Hachioji from April 21-23. In March, when he was preparing for the competition, “GQ JAPAN” hit him directly.

──What kind of countermeasures do you take when you feel nervous such as a big game?

I will spend my time as usual. Routine dare not be conscious. Because it can be a negative number when you can’t protect your day-to-day life.

──What are your strengths?

His specialty is moving the center of gravity. Balance movements such as planks (slopes) are strengths. It is a type that can further exert its advantages and has better physical coordination.

──Which climbers influenced you?

Originally, the player I admired was Akiyo Noguchi, so I think there are many things I can improve in the process of imitating him. Noguchi is good at the heel hook, so the first thing I learned was the heel hook. But I don’t think I want to climb like everyone else, so I think I learned the style myself.

──The Tokyo Olympics in 2021 is frustrating.

Sometimes I don’t want to practice because of the frustration and disappointment in my heart. But after all I love climbing and I love climbing. When I climb with the mindset of simply enjoying climbing rather than practicing, I start to find climbing fun. However, I didn’t immediately switch to targeting the Paris Olympics.

──What do you think of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics?

I can support them purely. It was the game where Noguchi announced his retirement, so I hope she can achieve good results, and Ikuun Nonaka is also very supportive of her. While I want to congratulate them on their achievements and winning medals, I also feel like I want to climb up and compete. It made me want to target the Paris Olympics.

──What do you think of the Paris Olympics?

First of all, this year’s World Championships is a competition. Last year, I realized that there are more areas where I can grow and more areas where I can be accepted on the world stage. On the other hand, we are starting to see some problems and if we can overcome them, I think we can see a podium. I’ve been working hard through trial and error and getting over these issues, so I’m looking forward to the World Cup starting in April.

──Are you a genius or a hard worker?

I think it’s hard work. I think you should practice hard.

──What do you do when you are depressed?

Worrying too much, thinking too much, watching addictive anime, watching YouTube, listening to music, looking for things other than racing. But most importantly seeing my family. I feel peace when I meet family and friends who support me unconditionally and feel their warmth.

──Please tell us your favorite music.

It’s Avicii. I like the feeling of being a “strong woman”. The music and lyrics are good, and it puts me in a good mood, so I listen to it for about a week before the game.

──If you had a free day, what would you do?

For cafes I often go to Omotesando, Shibuya and Harajuku.

──If you had a week off, what would you like to do?

I want to go to Hawaii.

──What would you do if you had 3 months free travel?

I want to fly all over Europe. I like Chamonix in France because of its air and atmosphere.

──If you could buy anything, what would it be?

There are doors everywhere. I often think that I live in Tokyo, but I would like to live in my parents’ house if possible.

──What if you are born again?

This is a cat.

──How would you rate your current position?

60 points. I have goals that I haven’t achieved yet, but I’m achieving them now.

──How can the world become happier?

I don’t mind other people’s eyes. I’m curious.

──What did you do to change?

go out. When the weather is nice, I go for a walk.

──Is there anything you want to challenge in the future?

In any case, now is the time for the Paris Olympics.

──Can you cook?

I don’t have a favorite dish, but I’m good at quick cooking. Recently, I often make rice paper dumplings.

──What do you always keep in your refrigerator?

Iwaizumi yogurt and natto.

──What would you like to eat at the end of your life?

Grilled meat or sushi.

──Organized? approximately?


──What kind of fashion items are you interested in now?

The North Face Down Vest.

──What is your favorite movie?

“A Star Is Born” is inspiring. The music is not bad either.

──What is your favorite color and why?

I love turquoise blue and pink.

──Tell me the 3 steps you always do in the morning.

Brush your teeth, put on makeup, drink coffee.

──What do you do before going to bed?

Spend 30 minutes to an hour stretching and caring for your body. No matter how busy or tired I am, I will do it for 10 minutes.

──Who is your hero?

My dog, Varm. Shiba Inu.

──What is your motto?

Smile. Even when you may be looking back, if you smile, you will naturally feel refreshed.

Ito Futaba

sport climbing

Born in Iwate Prefecture in 2002. He has been in contact with rock climbing gyms since the third grade of elementary school, and won all the bouldering championships in Japan, Asia and even the world when he was young. In 2017, he won the bouldering Japan Cup at the youngest age of 14 years and 9 months. Commencement of professional activity in 2021.

Photo by Teppei Hoshida
Hair and MakeupMIKI ISHIDA
Written and Edited by Akira Kamiya (GQ) AKIRA KAMIYA

Futaba Ito, Sports Climbing – “I naturally feel better when I smile, even when I feel trapped.”

Japanese rock climber Ito Futaba’s current goal is to “break into the Paris Olympics.” Using the disappointment of the Tokyo Olympics as a springboard, the 21-year-old climber hopes to reach new heights.

“I’m still processing things,” Ito Futaba commented after her road to the Tokyo Olympics was unceremoniously cut short. However, in the final of the bouldering Japan Cup held in Tokyo in early February this year, Ito won the competition by conquering all four challenges in one run. It looks like she’s finally back on the swing of things.

Ito is scheduled to take part in the Bouldering World Cup in Hachioji, Tokyo from April 21-23. Beyond that, she has her sights set on the World Championships in August, when qualification for the Paris Olympics is up in the air. In March 2023, we had the opportunity to interview Ito as she prepared for her upcoming competition.

──How do you prepare for potentially stressful situations like high-stakes racing?

I do what I always do. I deliberately don’t fuss about routines because it can negatively affect me when I can’t stick to them.

──What are your strengths?

I’m good at shifting focus. I feel confident in moves like the plank where balance is crucial. I’m a fairly balanced climber and can use my strengths for more physical or highly coordinated movements.

──Which climber influenced you?

I’ve always looked up to Akiyo Noguchi, so a lot of my growth is due to imitating her moves. She was good at the heel hook, the first technique I learned as a climber. But then again, I don’t necessarily want to climb like everyone else, so I think the style I have now comes from within me.

──It must have been tough for you not to make it to Tokyo 2021.

I’m frustrated and confused and sometimes don’t feel like practicing. But at the end of the day, I love climbing. I like it. So instead of practicing, I decided to climb out of love for the sport, and gradually I found myself enjoying climbing again. But that doesn’t mean I’m ready for the Paris Olympics right away.

──How do you see the 2021 Tokyo Olympics?

I really root for everyone. Since Akiyo Noguchi announced her retirement before the game, I hope she can end well, and I also support Miho Nonaka. On the one hand, I wish them both medals and congratulate them on their achievement. But on the other hand, I couldn’t help but want to climb and compete with them. Watching the Tokyo Olympics ignited the desire to work hard for the Paris Olympics.

──What do you think of the Paris Olympics?

The first challenge will be this year’s World Championships. Last year, I noticed that I had grown as a climber and was getting closer to being able to do it globally. At the same time, I also face things that I need to work on. If I can overcome these obstacles, I will be one step closer to the victory platform. I’m excited for the World Cup this April because I’ve been brainstorming how to improve, keeping training and seeing the changes firsthand.

──Are you a hard worker or a genius?

Hardworking. I practice hard.

──What do you do when you’re feeling down?

I’m anxious and prone to introspection, so I watch anime or YouTube, listen to music, or find something else I can focus on besides rock climbing. But being with family works best for me. Helping me ground myself in front of the unconditional support of my friends and family.

──what kind of music do you like?

I like Avich. She has this “strong woman” energy. The melody and lyrics are great and get you pumped, so I listen to it non-stop for about a week before any competition.

──What would you do if you had a day off?

I will go to the cafe. I often go to Omotesando, Shibuya and Harajuku.

──If you had a week off, what would you do?

I would love to go to Hawaii.

──What if you have three months off?

I would love to travel around Europe. I love the vibe and vibe there. I especially love Chamonix from France.

──If you could buy anything, what would it be?

door anywhere. I think about this a lot because even though I live in Tokyo, I want to go home with my family.

──If you were born again..?


──If you rated yourself out of 100, how would you rate yourself?

60. Some goals I have not yet achieved, but I have also achieved them.

──How can the world be a happier place?

Don’t pay attention to other people, even if it’s not easy.

──what do you do to relax

I go outside. When the weather is nice, I will go for a walk.

──Is there anything you want to challenge yourself?

Now the Paris Olympics.

──Can you cook?

I’m not good at any particular dish, but I’m a quick cook. I have always loved using rice paper to make dumplings.

──What do you always have in your fridge?

Iwaizumi yogurt and natto.

──what will your last supper be

Grilled meat or sushi.

──Are you meticulous or laid back?


──What fashion items are you curious about right now?

Down vest from North Face.

──what is your favorite movie

“A Star Is Born” blew me away. The music is also great.

──What is your favorite color and why?

Turquoise blue and pink.

──What is your three-step morning routine?

Brush your teeth, put on your makeup, drink your coffee.

──what do you always do before bed

I spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour stretching and working on my body. If I’m super busy or tired, I’ll do it for ten minutes.

──Who is your hero?

My dog, Varm. He is a Shiba Inu.

──What is your motto?

Smile. I naturally feel better when I smile, even when I feel stuck.

Ito Futaba

sport climbing

Born in Iwate Prefecture, Japan in 2002. Ito, who has been in the climbing gym since the third grade, won the Japanese, Asian and World Bouldering Championships as a young climber, and won the Bouldering Japan Cup in 2005 at the age of 14 years and 9 months, the most in history. young. She started her professional climbing career in 2021.

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