Sanspo is carrying an interview with Matt Murton that was conducted in the player's room at Jingu after last night's game.
What is the meaning of pointing to the sky with your fingers?
Not just today, but from the very start, God has been watching over me. So it's a way of me thanking God.
What are you feeling now that your surpassed Ichiro's record?
Ichiro is a player that recently tied a record that only Pete Rose held up until now. He's a great player. When he set the record, it was back when the season was only 130 games long. It was a different time. It's not easy comparing the two records, and the fact that I beat his record doesn't make Ichiro any less of a great player. I think he went to the US when he was 26, but if he stayed in Japan and played a 144 game season, he would have been able to hit more. I have a lot of respect for Ichiro.
I also want to thank the manager, the coaches, the scouts for this opportunity. This isn't something I could have done alone. I also want to thank my family, my wife. Coach [Yutaka] Wada and coach [Atsushi] Kataoka helped out a lot as well. They pointed me in the right direction. I had a rough stretch that lasted about 2 weeks, but they helped get me back on track. I want to thank them as well.
What did your family say to you before you left for this current road trip?
My parents told me to have faith in God and to believe in myself. My father, who was also my football coach, said that he'd give me a kick if I didn't do my best. I think I've done well in Japan because I continue to try to do the right thing and believe in myself.
Just a note: these types of interviews can be extremely difficult to translate because interpreters will some times "add" extra things into their translations that might ultimately change the original meaning.