After Osaka, my brother Jean (who shot the photos of this article) and myself jumped on a plane back to France to continue running the company’s daily business, which was put on hold while we were away. We slept the whole plane journey and for the 3 months we’ve been back, all I’ve been doing is sleeping some more. The rest of the crew stayed for an extra week under the supervision of Uru, the boss of our Japanese distribution Kukunochi. They stopped in the small town of Shimane on their way to the southern island, Kyushu and the big city of Fukuoka. A demo had been set up in Shimane by our distributor and the local shop where apparently the fatigue was so extreme and the waiting crowd was so huge that upon seeing it and realising the impossible task of perfrming at that stage, the entire team burst into uncontrollable tears of laughter and had to be picked up from the premise by paramedics, destroying the brand’s reputation in the area forever and bringing shame upon the Western world. Hopefully they got back on track after this tragic episode when they were again released in the streets of a major city. The rest of the trip involved a lot of night skating, a citizen militia trying to take the guys down in Fukuoka, incredible spots, excellent curry and various other specialties, police interventions (which is something you have to get used to in Japan, and is easier to handle if you have locals around) and a lot of other fun stuff. Judging by the dark rings of the French squad when they came back, I understood that the last part of the trip didn’t decrease in its intensity.
Shingo Ogura, slappy lipslide drop in.
Our motivation to put ourselves through this intensive schedule was born not only of the incredible atmosphere Japan creates and the urge of taking in as much as possible of their magnificent culture, but also because much like for our previous trip to SF that led to the SF HILL STREET BLUES 2 DVD (available in every skateshop with a bit of good taste!), our plan was to release a DVD of our trip to Japan featuring the team and all the Japanese homies. And in order to have enough material to make a DVD, you need to film A LOT of stuff and experience a LOT of things. We did film a lot of skateboard manoeuvres and got a lot of inspiration from what we saw, heard and felt, so the DVD is in the making or out as you read this. Visit our website and find out!
We would like to thank all our Japanese friends who helped us out during this trip with amazing kindness, and particularly Akinori Hagiwara, Takahiro Morita, Shinpei Ueno, Uruma Masanori, Shingo Ogura and Akira Matsusaki.