Like father, like son; How Yuki Miura took after his father

Yuki Miura is a center for the Iowa Heartlanders hockey team and has been for both seasons. He was #17 for all of the first season but when the second season came it was changed to #36. This may seem random and unexplained but there is a story behind the number change. 

Yuki Miura was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1996. He had a few family members who had played ice hockey. His father, Takayuki Miura competed in the 1998 Winter Olympics when Yuki Miura would have been two. Yuki Miura has since moved to America to play in the Eastern Coast Hockey League (ECHL). When asked about why he moved he responded with, “to chase my childhood dream of becoming an NHL player!” That then segwayed into why it was his dream; what led to his decision of becoming a professional player. “My dad was a professional hockey player. I believe it is the best job in the world.”

The differences between Japan and America were touched on a lot. First he talked about the people, in which he stated that, “I feel American people are more friendly and open,” however he said that Japanese people are more reserved. His biggest surprise when he first came to the US was how little English he knew. “I had zero clue what people around me were talking about. Language was one of the biggest barriers for the first couple of years but there was always someone to help improve my English.” 

After being asked if the move from Tokyo, Japan, (the most populous city in the world,) to Iowa City was difficult he responded by telling how he used to live in Czech for 2 years and in the suburbs of Tokyo; he was used to it at that point. “I also like the city like Iowa because it has less crowds and has more freedom than the busy life.”

When catering to both his Japanese and American fans he consistently posts on social media, writing both in English and Japanese. He posts lots of hockey skill videos, blogs, pictures, and more. “The reason why I am doing this is because I want to tell Japanese people how it feels to be a pro hockey player in the US since there are not very many resources.” 

Yuki Miura also discussed his hockey career, such as the differences between versions of hockey; the biggest being the intensity of the game and the speed of the puck. “The US rink’s ice size is smaller than Japan’s, so you have less time with the puck, and you have to make a play in a shorter time,” he went on to say that American hockey is more “dumping the puck,” or a chase and hunt rather than trying to get the puck and attacking the net. In Japan players try to make more of a play. “It’s interesting for me.”

The most difficult thing about playing hockey according to Yuki Miura is staying healthy throughout the years. Hockey players play over 70 games a season and every game is high intensity. 

The most difficult thing about playing hockey according to Yuki Miura is staying healthy throughout the years. Hockey players play over 70 games a season and every game is high intensity. “There is always some risk to get injury so taking care of my body and recovery as much as possible for the next game is very important, I believe.” Some advice Yuki Miura would give to anyone who wanted to start playing would be, “I think it’s very important to never forget having fun. You will get better if you love it,” He also mentioned that he would tell others to appreciate the chance to play and to thank your parents.

Speaking of parents, Yuki Miura talked about his father, Takayuri Miura. He mentioned that he watched some videos of his father playing in the Olympics, “I watched his live game in Nagano when I was 2 years old, (I don’t remember it though,) and I watched some videos when I grew up as well.” His father then came to speak about his experience. It started with the 1998 Olympics. He described it as a great moment, “Marching in front of 60,000 people at the opening ceremony was very special. The greatest sporting event in the world, the Olympics, firsthand!” Takayuri Miura was also remembered how happy he was to play infront of about 10,000 spectators. 

Takayuri Miura played hockey from the age of 9 to 32 and now coaches others. He became interested in the sport through his two older brothers, who played hockey as well. “Since we lived in a cold region, we had an outdoor rink at our elementary school, and I was a skater. So I naturally started playing hockey.” 

He devoted a lot of his time to teaching Yuki Miura how to skate. Takayuri Miura even had him watch videos and gave feedback. “I made him learn figure skating and short track skating. In Tokyo, there were not many rinks, so I took him to all kinds of practices he can attends.” He was then asked if his participation in the Olympics influenced Yuki Miura’s decision to play hockey. He stated that his son was at the games but was unsure if Yuki Miura remembers it. “As he got older, I think he learned how great and wonderful the Olympics are, and he started to aspire to be an Olympian.” 

He thinks it is amazing that Yuki Miura is playing professionally now, “he is playing at a stage that I have never experienced before.” He is able to watch the Heartlanders games and does so often. He watches his son every Saturday and Sunday in Japan time. “I like his quick vision to read what’s next, his read-and-react play, and his body defense on the shot block.”