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Kanno Hitoshi (菅野 仁志) is a Silver Accessories Designer, formerly working as a pachinko hall maintenance personnel from Tokyo.

Early Days and Mixed Success[]

According to his mixi and the Japanese wiki page, Kanno's first appearance was in SASUKE 20, where he wore #1976. He failed the Jumping Spider and his run was all cut.

He then qualified for SASUKE 22 through the Sasuke 22 Trials and wore #49. During his run, he showed great speed but was also a bit sloppy, only barely sticking the landing on the Jumping Spider. He was only the second person that day to beat the Slider Jump and while he almost got disqualified for touching the water with his foot, he managed to clear the stage with 3.74 seconds left. In the Second Stage, Kanno was flawless. He easily cleared the Salmon Ladder without any trouble and finished with 18.4 seconds left on the clock. In the Third Stage, his training really paid off. He was able to crush the first three obstacles. On the Shin-Cliffhanger, he became only the third person to clear it, joining All-Stars Takeda Toshihiro and Nagano Makoto. Then, he was able to clear the Jumping Bars and Hang Climbing without any trouble. However, on the Spider Flip, his stamina seemed to run out, and he could not reach the vertical part of the obstacle. Instead of falling into the water, Kanno touched part of the support beams with his foot and climbed along the side of the platform, therefore going off the course.


Kanno going off course on Spider Flip, SASUKE 22


Kanno on the scaffolding of the Spider Flip, SASUKE 22

Kanno got an automatic invitation to SASUKE 23, based on his previous performance. In the First Stage, he struggled at times, coming close to failing the Curtain Slider, Half-Pipe Attack, and Slider Jump. However, he still managed to clear the First Stage with 6.21 seconds remaining. In the Second Stage, he almost failed the Salmon Ladder when the bar dropped two levels on the left side, leaving him holding onto the bar with one hand. Amazingly, he was able to recover and cleared the Second Stage. In the Third Stage, the Spider Flip was modified in order to hide the metal supports. Due to this, he was able to clear the obstacle and the Third Stage. In the Final Stage, he struggled to grab the G-Rope and was several meters away from the button as time expired.

Because of this near-victorious performance, he was given #99 in SASUKE 24. In the First Stage, he cleared the first four obstacles very quickly. On the Half-Pipe Attack, he had to swing back to the half pipe twice causing him to lose lots of time. It also took multiple attempts to scale the Soritatsu Kabe, and even though he eventually cleared it and the Slider Jump, he timed out before attempting the Tarzan Rope.

Balance tank

Kanno failing the Balance Tank in SASUKE 25.

Kanno entered SASUKE 25 and drew #89 in the lottery. He completed Stage One with 10.84 seconds left. In Stage Two, he failed in the Balance Tank, losing his balance on the rolling portion of the obstacle about halfway through. This marked the first time he failed the Second Stage.

He returned in SASUKE 26, wearing #93, but was digested in the original TBS broadcast (however, his full run was shown on the G4 broadcast). He surprisingly failed the Rolling Escargot, unable to hang on until the end of the rotation.

In SASUKE 27, strong competitors were spread across the field of 100. And Kanno was no exception, and received #1. He became the third person to wear #1 and clear the First Stage, doing so with ease (after Atarashii Ichirō in SASUKE 4, and Yamada Koji in SASUKE 12). However, he dislocated his shoulder on the Spin Bridge in the First Stage, and after the Slider Drop, he ultimately chose to withdraw before attempting the Double Salmon Ladder, and thus his result was declared over at that point.

SASUKE RISING and Consistency[]

In SASUKE 28, Kanno cleared the new First Stage with over 10 seconds remaining. He then went on to clear the redesigned Second Stage (for the first time in 5 tournaments) with little trouble, posting the fastest time of 27.16 seconds. On the new Third Stage however, he suffered the same problems as the two previous competitors who had attempted it that tournament. He ran into trouble on the Iron Paddler, nearly slipping off towards the end where the bar rolled back, and ultimately failed the Crazy Cliffhanger when he couldn't land the last jump with a good grip. He was the last man standing in the tournament.

Kanno competed in SASUKE 29, wearing the number #97. He cleared the First Stage yet again, and despite the significant increase in difficulty of the Second Stage, he cleared with just 3.8 seconds remaining. However, on the Third Stage, he met the same fate as in the previous tournament, falling on the last jump of the Crazy Cliffhanger. He was once again the last man standing.

He represented Team Japan in American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. Japan. He completed Stage One in 1:25.43 seconds, beating his own Stage One record, however he was beaten by his opponent Paul Kasemir by just 0.73 seconds, hence losing the match-up and giving USA a point. He went up again Paul Kasemir again on Stage Three, who had made it to the Flying Bar, the final obstacle. In order for Kanno to have won this match-up, he would have had to reach the third rung in a faster time than Kasemir, however he failed the Ultimate Cliffhanger which he had never attempted before, hence lost to Kasemir in this match-up as well, granting USA another point.

In SASUKE 30, he wore #2996, which is equal to to #96 in normal competitions. His First Stage run was digested, but it is shown that he cleared the stage. In the Second Stage, his performance was slightly sloppy, nearly falling off the mat before the Swap Salmon Ladder, and almost failing the Backstream, however he managed to clear with 2.94 seconds remaining. However, in the Third Stage, he fell on the Crazy Cliffhanger again after he failed to clear the jump between the 3rd and 4th ledges.

He once again represented Team Japan in American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. The World. He participated in two match-ups, the first being Stage One against Paul Kasemir and Miska Sutela. He was the first to run, and had a very quick run however could not scale the Soritatsu Kabe which he had never failed before. He tried several times before becoming too fatigued and bowed out the stage. Kasemir cleared the stage, while Sutela, who went last, exceeded Kasemir's time as he reached the Soritatsu Kabe, hence USA won this match-up. In his second match-up against Sean McColl and Elet Hall in the Stage Two, Kanno was digested, but was shown to have struggled on the Rope Jungle, eventually failing there. Both McColl and Hall went on to clear the stage with the former winning the heat.

In SASUKE 31, he was given #96 again. His First and Second Stage runs were digested, but he did manage to clear with little issues and reach the Third Stage for his fourth time in a row. Once there he completed the Drum Hopper and the Iron Paddler once again, and also cleared the new Sidewinder, however he injured himself on the obstacle and was invisible pain by the time he reached the Crazy Cliffhanger. Despite this, he attempted the obstacle for the fourth time. Incredibly, unlike his previous three attempts, he was able to complete it, becoming only the 5th person to complete the Crazy Cliffhanger. However, it was evident that he was too exhausted to go much further, but after Kawaguchi Tomohiro encouraged him to keep going, he attempted the Vertical Limit. Although he made it to the gap between the two ledges, he was unable to maintain his grip on his transfer from the first to the second ledge and ultimately failed there. This resulted in him having the second best performance of the tournament behind Morimoto Yūsuke, who would go on to achieve Kanzenseiha. To date, this is currently his last time attempting the Second or Third Stages.

Slump and Recurring Injuries[]

In SASUKE 32, he was given #96 for the third straight time. He started strong, however on the Soritatsu Kabe, he struggled, and when he was able to scale it he had only 16 seconds left. Immediately after scaling it, however, he re-injured his shoulder and he was forced to stop, timing out atop the wall. This was the first time he has failed the First Stage since SASUKE 26, and would start a streak of first stage fails that he has not broken yet.

Kanno returned for SASUKE 33, looking to get back to his usual form, but a misjudgement in his dismount from the Rolling Hill saw him end up in the water. With this result, Kanno had failed in two consecutive First Stage appearances for the first time. On the landing on his jump from the Rolling Hill, he tore his Achilles Tendon. He did not compete in SASUKE 34 due to the injury he sustained in SASUKE 33.

Kanno came back for SASUKE 35, wearing #72, his lowest number since SASUKE 27. He started strong, and even made the transition on the Dragon Glider, but the bar became crooked while dismounting, causing him to only get one foot on the platform and tap the water. He did not compete in SASUKE 36 due to the injury he sustained before.

Kanno returned for SASUKE 37, wearing #85. He started out strong, but on the Dragon Glider however, he mistimed his release to the second bar. Although he held on he couldn't develop momentum and resultantly timed out there, being the second person to do so after Takeda Toshihiro in SASUKE 35.

In SASUKE 38, Kanno's run was digested, but sadly he once more failed the Dragon Glider when he mistimed the transition to the second bar and ended up backflipping into the water. In a blog after the tournament, he mentioned that re-injured his shoulder.

In SASUKE 39, Kanno was looking to get back to top form, but sadly he fell on the Dragon Glider for the fourth consecutive time when he mistimed his transition to the second bar. His run was digested.

Kanno would finally complete Dragon Glider in SASUKE 40 and time out on the Ni Ren Soritasu Kabe, his strongest performance in a long time.

Kanno was expected to compete in SASUKE 41, but had to pull out of the competition just before taping due to a tear in his calf suffered whilst training.


  • With Kanno completing the First Stage in SASUKE 27, wearing number 1, he became just the third competitor who completed the First Stage in the start position of 1. The other two competitors who achieved that feat were Atarashii Ichirō and Yamada Kōji.
  • Kanno wearing #89 in SASUKE 28 marks the record of the highest start position increase, going from #1 in SASUKE 27 to #89 in SASUKE 28, an increase of 88 start positions.
  • Coincidentally, Kanno wearing #1 in SASUKE 27 also marks the record of the highest start position decrease, going from #93 in SASUKE 26 to #1 in SASUKE 27, a decrease of 92 start positions.


SASUKE # Result Notes
20 1976 Failed Jumping Spider (First Stage) All Cut. Announced on mixi page.
22 49 Disqualified, Spider Flip (Third Stage) Disqualified, Course Out. He touched a frame of the construction, therefore going off the course.
23 96 Failed G-Rope (Final Stage) Time Out, About 19m up.
24 99 Failed Tarzan Rope (First Stage) Time Out.
25 89 Failed Balance Tank (Second Stage)
26 93 Failed Rolling Escargot (First Stage) Digest. Full run shown on G4.
27 1 Withdrew, Double Salmon Ladder (Second Stage) Injured his shoulder on the Spin Bridge. He was able to clear the Slider Drop before withdrawing due to his shoulder.
28 89 Failed Crazy Cliffhanger (Third Stage) Transition from the 3rd to the 4th ledge. Last Man Standing.
29 97 Failed Crazy Cliffhanger (Third Stage) Transition from the 3rd to the 4th ledge. Last Man Standing
30 2996 Failed Crazy Cliffhanger (Third Stage) Transition from the 3rd to the 4th ledge.
31 96 Failed Vertical Limit Kai (Third Stage) Transition from 1st to the 2nd ledge.
32 96 Failed Soritatsu Kabe (First Stage) Time Out. He re-injured his shoulder after clearing the wall
33 92 Failed Rolling Hill (First Stage) Tore Achilles Tendon when he failed the jump.
35 72 Failed Dragon Glider (First Stage) Failed Dismount
37 85 Failed Dragon Glider (First Stage) Time Out.
38 72 Failed Dragon Glider (First Stage) Digest.
39 76 Failed Dragon Glider (First Stage) Digest.
40 3944 Failed Ni Ren Soritasu Kabe (First Stage) Digest. Time Out. Second Wall.

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