When Tsuyoshi Fujita squared off with Zvi Mowshowitz in the finals of Pro Tour–Tokyo, it was a momentous occasion. It may seem shocking to imagine a time when Japan was not one of the dominating forces on the competitive Magic scene, but before Tsuyoshi's Top 8 turn no Japanese player had ever played beyond Saturday at the Pro Tour level.
Tsuyoshi is 10th on the all-time money list and 11th on lifetime Pro Points, tops among all Japanese players. Tsuyoshi became one of the first Japanese players to travel outside of his region for Grand Prix competition and is widely recognized as one of the game's great deckbuilders. His Sneak Attack deck for Grand Prix–Seattle was one of the most unexpected decks that season and his refined Goblin Bidding deck that won Grand Prix–Bangkok became an industry standard.
When asked which of his Magic accomplishments stands out most, Fujita was quick to show his trademark humor: "Spreading the fame of 'Go Anan' and his decks throughout the world!"
"All kidding aside, I am really happy when I think about how many people use my decks and how well they perform," he said. "Including Kuroda's win at Kobe, ever since Tokyo all of my Block Constructed decks have made Top 32 at a Pro Tour. Thinking about it objectively, if I may say so myself, that's pretty amazing."
Pro Tour: London 2005: 2nd (Booster draft) Los Angeles 2005: 5th (Extended) Tokyo 2001: 2nd (Invasion Block Constructed)
Seattle 2005: 7th (Extended) Kuala Lumpur 03-04: 4th (Standard) Bangkok 02-03: 1st (Standard) Hiroshima 02-03: 7th (Extended) Utsunomiya 02-03: 3rd (Rochester draft) Nagoya 01-02: 4th (teams) Fukuoka 01-02: 6th (Booster draft) Hong Kong 01-02: 3rd (Rochester draft) Hiroshima 00-01: 6th (Booster Draft) Kyoto 00-01: 1st (Extended) Taipei 99-00: 2nd (Extended) Kyoto 98-99: 4th
Masters San Diego 2002: Top 8 (Standard)
Japan National Championship 2004: 1st
Fujita says that a certain Hall of Famer played a big role in his development as a Magic player.
"Back when Jon Finkel was in his prime, all the good American players were strong. I mean, really strong. I fell in love with them. Around the time Finkel won Worlds in Belgium, I was seriously thinking about enrolling in a study-abroad program so I could go to the U.S. and study Magic with him and the other pros."
There is little doubt that Fujita will be sitting down for the first round of action at this year's event. His monoblue Pickles build from Pro Tour–Yokohama nearly got Masahiko Morita his first Top 8 and has become one of the dominating archetypes of this Block Constructed season. He is the only player from this year's class who already had Level 3 status and he will also be playing in Valencia, where he will no doubt have an exciting deck in store.
"I have always been a competitive person," Fujita admits. "I love playing hardcore with other people. So, to me, Magic is the ultimate hobby.
"It may even be the most important thing in my life."
Listed below are notable decklists from Tsuyoshi Fujita's Pro Tour career.
Members of the Magic community share their memories of Tsuyoshi Fujita on his induction into the Pro Tour Hall of Fame.
Tsuyoshi Fujita was the first breakthrough star from Japan, the first player from that country to make a Pro Tour Top 8.
Fujita has made it as far as the finals of a Pro Tour twice, including Pro Tour-London 2005.
Fujita poses here with fellow godfather of Japanese Magic, Itaru Ishida.
An innovative deck designer, Fujita is part of a long tradition of Japanese creativity when it comes to Constructed formats. Along with playing his own decks, he has outfitted some of the best Japanese players with tournament-winning decks.
One of the brightest personalities on the Tour, Fujita is rarely found without a smile on his face.
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