R/C car(radio controlled model car) racer
◆What was your childhood dream?
"Real Race Car Driver"
My parents were in love with cars, especially my father, who was obsessed with motorcycle racing.
Every year in Japan, the Suzuka 6 Hour Endurance Road Race event is held. My father competed in the event and won third prize. Consequently, he is quite the maniac for motorcycle racing.
My mother did such things as being part of my father's team in the pit, holding up pit signs, and so on. She consistently supported my father in everything he did and she frequently received awards for her help.
While my father was racing around the track and while my mother was busy being a supportive member of his team, I was sleeping in the stroller peacefully, even in the midst of the loud noises in the pit. Well, I have not changed a bit; I am still able to sleep soundly even in loud environments and inside of vehicles. I suppose this might be one of my talents.
As soon as I was able to develop an interest and curiosity in the world around me, I had things like car erasers, picture cards of super cars and toy mini cars everywhere around me all the time - maybe because the European super cars were so booming.
In my backyard, I used to ride in the car that you have to peddle by yourself. I used to make the course to follow using the tires on the car. This was also the result of my father's influence.
What caused me to become an R/C racer is when I was about 5 years old, my parents gave me a present - an R/C (radio controlled) car. Indeed, this is what initiated me into R/C racing. Actually, as a matter of fact, I cannot even remember that time period at all!
◆Is there anything you do as part of your daily routine?
"As soon as I wake up, I feel appreciation."
The air allows me to live, and I appreciate everything that exists. I have a feeling of "thankfulness."
Of course, towards my parents, towards my ancestors, I feel appreciation. For the day, I greet myself.
I try not to forget about appreciation because I couldn't have done anything by myself. Today exists for me, not from my own will or my own power, but because of others who came before me. Thus, I try never to be conceited.
◆Who is the person or what is the book that inspires you and
"Many things that occurred in the racing field changed me."
Sometimes, rival teammates, sometimes racing sponsors, and sometimes the audience influence me and inspire me; because, until now, I have spent most of the time in my life consumed by racing.
Those people who supported me were my family, the companies that sponsored me, the people in charge of mechanics, and the fans that cheered for me.
When I was a student, I used to read D. Cargnegie's books and philosophy books to improve myself.
◆ What are your favorite words?
"Thank you." "I never want to lose!" "There is always someone better!"
"Thank you." : When I won my championships, I cannot even put in to words what I felt, I was just full of appreciation. At the same time I felt happiness from the bottom of my heart.
I strongly hope that everyone in this world can have that type of feeling - feelings of deep thankfulness and appreciation.
"I never want to lose!": In order to achieve victory, you have to play serious with a rival by putting your life on the line and vice versa.
To upgrade your skills, you have to seek numerous possibilities and put your effort into training.
However, even if you put all of your effort into doing it, there is no guarantee that victory is waiting for you ahead; everyone goes through this. In this situation, these words will support you: "I never want to lose!"-whenever I am in trouble, this helps me.
I use these words to support myself, take myself to the next level, and pursue self improvement. Consequently, these words pop into my head when I am suffering.
Therefore, even if I did not know if what I was doing was right or not, I have never given up anything and never had the feeling of quitting.
"There is always someone better!"
Whenever I race, I always have these words in my mind.
If you forget about this, you will not be on your guard and not be able to "continue winning" in the racing world, especially, when you are contending for and defending the title of "No.1 in this world."
For instance, even if you win the racing championship, before the awards ceremony, the next race has already begun. In other words, "Before one race is over, the next one starts"- the rivals might catch up to you next day.
"There is always someone better!"-because I always keep these words in my mind and do not forget about them, even though I have became a top racer, I have never been conceded, and I attempt to be better than today to prepare for the next day.
Therefore, I have been able to stay on top.
"My strongest rival is myself! If I can win against myself then I can win against others!"- I kept saying this to myself.
◆When was the turning point of your life and what was it?
"The first time I participated in the world championship"
When I participated in the world championship that was held in Las Vegas, USA, because of some Japanese racer that got a measurement mistake from the race organizers, they underestimated his ranking; he was ranked lower than he was supposed to be.
Thus, he went to the people who were in charge of the
championship event to point out this mistake, but they rejected us by saying "It is impossible that a Japanese racer can go so fast like that!"
This incident triggered something deep inside of me, as if I were asleep in the dark and the switch were turned on to wake me up.
Although I was just a high school student, I could not clear up my mind because that incident damaged me severely and at the same time, I felt like "I have to be stronger" because I realized that the world underestimated Japanese capability.
At this time I decided, "I am going to be No.1."
With this determination, I searched more than ever for a number of methods to improve my racing. I just practiced over and over - in order to show 100% of my effort. Even though I believed in myself to win the championship, I spent many years preparing for a race that was just 8 minutes long.
If I lost, then everything I had been doing would have been invalidated. Not only this, but I felt as though my entire existence would have been invalidated.
This is the definition of being No.1 in this world.
If even one thing was wrong that I was doing, then I could not be number one.
There is not that much difference in terms of human ability.
On the world championship level, even a minor mistake can be severe by determining if you are number 1 or not.
But first and second place are completely different.
In order to win, for my daily practice, even though something seemed not related to R/C racing, I worked out my body to stay in shape, I ate good food and maintained my nutrition, I improved my mental strength, and of course I studied how to control my breathing, etc...
Even though other racers wouldn't do these things, I did everything I could think of to improve myself nonetheless because I believed I could increase my skill.
Closer to the actual race day, every night before I slept, I closed my eyes and simulated the race in my head.
I did this because when the actual race time came, I did not want to be unprepared and let the atmosphere overcome me. All the time one must be conscious of the race and self motivated to prepare.
Especially when I imagined about when the rival's name is called on race day, my heart beat so fast and strong and I felt the nervousness running through my body.
Your feelings must be tense, but at the same time, it is good training to feel and think that "I will remain calm" when the actual race begins.
When the actual race starts, it is a question of "how well can I release my tension?" This is why simulation of the race is extremely important and effective because it might determine whether you win or lose.
When I achieved my status as a champion, I felt as though "I want to continue to be a champion" which is why I continue to be a champion.
If I have the thought that "I don't have to win" then as soon as this enters my mind, I am sure that being in the position as the number 1 racer would be in someone else's hands.
This is why I always had the plan that "my goal = to be number 1 in this world."
To do this, my method was to do everything I could think of including studying what my rivals were doing and gathering information from books and the internet; I just did everything I could think of to be the best.
"I will do anything, whatever it takes, in order to win!" I've always had this feeling. But, I have never been an obstacle to my rival's practice and I have never done anything unfair.
For practicing and for racing, all the time my motto is to "Go ahead and do your best. Show your ability and your maximum effort," this is my motto.
Everyone contributed the same amount of time and so for every racer who participates, there should be the same and fair conditions in the race.
Except Japan, there are some countries that claim the following things: "racers of my nationality have a better chance to win," or "racers of my nationality should have more benefit, otherwise it is weird."
I have a thought that "everyone should have fair conditions" and this generous thought seems to be rare in this world.
However, an idea and reality are very different. Nonetheless, even though I was under unfair circumstances because of the incident in Las Vegas, I could use this as a spring that propelled me and allowed me to win many times. Thus, I even appreciate the fact that people said that "It is impossible that a Japanese racer can go so fast like that!"
In addition, in November of 2008, there was a world championship in Thailand. An incident similar to the one from 22 years ago occurred; once again, a mistake in measuring the time of a Japanese racer.
However, this time, they did not reject his claim and altered the time to an adequate time.
When I heard this, I felt that my primary mission was completed.
Today, most people do not look down on Japanese people in the R/C race field.
I used all of my energy to fight for a higher position for Japanese people, "I put all of my effort and I feel fulfillment;" from the bottom my heart I felt fulfillment when the Thailand incident occurred.
In addition to this, in 2008, my precious Japanese 15 year old pupil named Naoto Matukura could win the title of No.1 racer in the world - it was his second time participating in the world championship.
This is why, while I had raced for 32 years since the time I was 7 years old, I decided to retire from that period of my life and decided to move on to the next step.
◆How did you overcome the obstacles of problems and trials?
"Provide self-pressure and overcome"
I provided the pressure to myself until the point where I was not able to run away. Consequently, I started to have the strong feeling that "I will overcome my obstacles no matter what." Once I had this feeling inside of me, I had enough motivation to step up to the next level.
In addition to this, I used to make radio controlled racing cars for a living, thus this situation of knowing that "if I do not win, I cannot live off of what I do" caused me to be a stronger person.
Needless to say, I've always had this important feeling: "never give up no matter what"
As a racer Masami Hirosaka, "winning" gives me the happiest feeling of fulfillment.
On the other hand, "losing" devastates me and gives me the hardest time. One should use the hard time of "loosing" as a spring that propels them and allows them to improve their self. It is important to never lose your self-confidence and to never give up.
Consequently, winning becomes more likely after losing.
This is the thinking of transforming negative energy into positive energy.
These past years in Japan, I think that people are avoiding "competition"
I heard that some schools do not use a ranking method for sports and athletic events. I believe this type of thing prevents people from growing stronger, does it not? You have to accept your losses and the accompanying aggravation otherwise you cannot turn on the switch that makes you compete to win. In other words, even though the ability exists subconsciously, if the switch is not on, the ability will not fully manifest.
In order to be activated, you use the energy from losing.
When experiencing aggravation from the bottom of your heart, you can turn on the switch inside of you.
◆What is your dream?
"I want to try my best to contribute to society through R/C racing"
I would like to return the appreciation to the model car industry that I was raised in since I was a child by spreading R/C racing as a hobby for as many people as I can. I want a lot of people to have fun with it. I would like to make the R/C world more major and well known as "the sport of spirit." At the same time I would like to illustrate that Japanese have a quality technique and high level of skill. I want Japan to be more well known from a worldwide point of view.
In addition to this, I want to sponsor many events in major popular places and have many Hirosaka training halls to teach racing techniques.