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Interview with Shotaro Makisumi


Staff member
Mar 13, 2006
Thread starter #1
November 7, 2008 : Interview with Speedsolving.com member Shotaro Makisumi : Currently (at the time of this interview) has attended 16 competitions including 3 world championships. He is the former world record holder for the 3x3x3 (single and average in 2004), 2x2x2 (single and average in 2005), 3x3x3 Blindfolded (2004/2005), and 3x3x3 One-handed (2004-2005).

Unless I get kicked out of college, I'll be in Princeton, New Jersey for the next 4 years. I lived in Southern California--5 minutes from Caltech--for 7 years, and in Japan for 11 years before that. My parents now live in Japan, so I have no home in the US.

I'm an undergraduate student. Class of 2012! I might declare as a math major after this term.

What is your favorite event, why?
It's a tie between 3x3 speedsolve and 3x3 blindfolded. I'll spare you the usual talk about the complexity of F2L or the excitement of seeing a solved cube when you open your eyes. And of course, being pretty good at them helps.

What made you become interested in solving puzzles?
I've always liked puzzles, but I was a leisurely cuber until I discovered the Fridrich method online. I was averaging near two minutes, so I was blown away by her claimed average of 17 seconds. I really found it unbelievable at the time. The complexity of the method only made it a more attractive challenge. That's how I became a speedcuber. It's only after I got serious about speedcubing (~40 sec) that I took interest in other aspects of the cube, like blindfold cubing and the mathematics behind many twisty puzzles. In that way, speedcubing helped me to reach a renewed appreciation for puzzles in general.

What, in your opinion, is your biggest "cubing" accomplishment?
In terms of competition records, I'd say being the first to officially average under 15 seconds. But I'm more proud of having contributed to the popularity of blindfold cubing, first at Caltech and later through my online guide. After all, records are set to be broken. The community I was fortunate enough to help create lives on.

But maybe I feel this way this because all my major competition records have been broken! ;-)

What are your other hobbies?
Math, juggling, piano (less now), telling people about alternative keyboards like Dvorak and Colemak, DDR (less now). Learning interesting things and meeting interesting people.

I have to tell you, I'm now somewhat comfortable with juggling 5 clubs!

What is/are your pet peeve(s)?
Having learned English as a second language, I often have a problem with native speakers who use incorrect grammar. I can't really blame them because, well, they're native, but these still annoy me: Double copula.
Using "however" as if it were a coordinating conjunction (in writing).
Improper use of relative pronouns (in writing). This includes the "improper" substitution of "which" for "that" in restrictive relative clauses (it's okay if you're British).

What will the future of cubing be like and how would you like cubing to progress?
I won't make predictions, but I'm very excited about the recent developments in blindfold cubing. I'd like to see more participation in this category.
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