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Fusha Watari (風車渡), called Windmill Cross in English broadcasts, was the second First Stage obstacle for the first five KUNOICHI tournaments. Competitors had to step on a thin beam in the shape of a windmill, then traverse it while the obstacle spun like a carousel in order to clear the obstacle. This is one of the few obstacles in KUNOICHI's history to have been modified in every single tournament, varying from rule modifications to aesthetic changes. It proved to be deadly in it's first few tournaments, taking out upwards of seventy competitors in combination with Buyoishi in KUNOICHI 2002.

During its lifespan, there are four versions of this obstacle, with Yusa Masami being the only competitor to attempt all four versions.


First Version

Kobayashi Yuko attempting Fusha Watari in
KUNOICHI 2001

The first version was composed of three spinning windmills. It might be due to the fact competitors had to traverse three spinning windmills as opposed to one in future tournaments, the width of the beams were 10 cm. Many competitors that failed this obstacle, did so by failing to make the transitions from one windmill to the next, however many people still lost their balance while the windmills spun and fell into the water. Even competitors that cleared this obstacle normally spent so much time on it, that they would end up running out of time later in the course.


With only two clears overall in KUNOICHI 2001, the worst tournament result, the producers decided to modify Fusha Watari in the following tournament.


Second Version

Mizuno Yūko attempting modified Fusha Watari in KUNOICHI 2002

Due to the bad result in KUNOICHI 2001, the producers toned down Fusha Watari in order to make the obstacle a little easier for the competitors. The obstacle now only consist of one giant windmill, with the width of the beams reduced to 6 cm. Even though producers tried to make the obstacle easier, they ironically ended up making it become arguably the most difficult version of the obstacle, as the reduced width, combined with it also spun faster than the previous version, making competitors had hard time to balance themselves. In addition, competitors had to jump to a platform sticking out from the landing mat in order to clear. To further indicate the obstacle's grand modification, the course out areas of the windmill were sloped to prevent competitors from climbing back up onto the beam.

Competitors that reached the end could still manage to plunge into the water due to the speed at which the windmill was rotating. Combined with Buyoishi that recorded 63 victims in the tournament, it is estimated no more than thirty competitors cleared the obstacle, making the results of KUNOICHI 2002 just a tad bit better than the previous tournament. It is worth mentioning that it did sleet during this tournament and even though it did not occur during First Stage, it was still cold, leaving competitors to attempt First Stage at a temperature of four-degree Celsius.

Due to the result of the tournament, which just improved a bit, the producers decided to modify Fusha Watari again for the following tournament.


Third Version

Izumi Mika attempting modified Fusha Watari in KUNOICHI 2003

In KUNOICHI 2003, the obstacle was once again modified, making the width of the beams become 7 cm wide. The windmill also spun much slower than it did previously, making some competitors have to wait before they could step on it. Also, due to these modifications to make the obstacle easier, the producers now made it illegal for competitors to use their hands, which is not the case for the first two versions.

The modifications proved to be what needed, as more competitors can clear this obstacle. But, due to it spinning much slower, it now acted more as a time waster. Still, 14 competitors ended up clearing First Stage, which remain a record in KUNOICHI, excluding KUNOICHI 2009, which the format of the tournament guaranteed at least 25 clears.


Yamada Miho attempting modified Fusha Watari in KUNOICHI 2004

In KUNOICHI 2004, it received minor modifications, primarily saw aesthetic changes made to the obstacle. The beam competitors had to step on was raised a couple of centimeters and the sloped areas were less sloped. The windmill also spun a little bit faster, but not nearly as fast as the second version. The obstacle was also given a face-lift of sorts to make it look better, as there were no longer any curtains covering the plastic sloped area.


However, due to Miyake Ayako's Kanzenseiha, it was once again modified in the following tournament.


Fourth Version

Uchida Taeko attempting modified Fusha Watari in KUNOICHI 2006 New Year

While remaining very similar to the previous version, the producers actually attempted to make the obstacle more difficult following Miyake's Kanzenseiha, however they ended up making arguably the easiest version of the obstacle. While the speed of the obstacle returned to the second version one, the sloped portion of the obstacle was steeper than it had ever been and the beam was close to a metre high, which make many competitors were able to easily jump off onto the landing mat once they began to lose their balance. It is estimated no more than a handful of people failed this version.


It might be due to its high clear rate, Miyake's second Kanzenseiha in the tournament, and the course's renewal in the following tournament to accommodate international competitors, it was replaced by Sankaku Bashi.


Competitors' Success Rate

  • All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found.
KUNIOCHI Clears Attempts Percentage
2001
2002 21 32 65.63%
2003 37 46 80.44%
2004
2006 New Year 43 46 93.48%
Total


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