A Happy New Year, everyone. How was your holiday? Time flies, it’s January 2008. It feels a year pass by before you know it every year. You be lazy and get old and when you die, you think to yourself, “I haven’t done anything that I wanted to do!” Be careful. Basically flow of time is infinite, but flow of time within you is finite. Well, it’s the beginning of the year, so we’re thinking like this, let’s get back to our story. As you can see in the report section, we’ve been touring nonstop all over the country last year filming. We’re still filming and we’re working our asses off in front of the camera, monitor, keyboard and skateboard for the completion of the new title. We’re almost there to release the proof of all FESN crews’ progression, please wait for a little while. I’ll present you the content of the forthcoming “Overground Broadcasting” here next month.

By the way, I’d like to make an announcement. Debut dvd from a domestic wheel brand name Strush Wheels from Osaka that my friend makes has been released, with name of “Collective Improvisation” I skate for the company. I’ve had two pro model wheels from the company. It was a brand that started in 98 from Kobe in the beginning, but it didn’t work out, it started again from Osaka in 2004. It took three years and it came to a happy conclusion, it was released on December 28th. The premiere took place in Osaka, Tokyo and Kumamoto. My friend takes care of filming, design and also he skates for the company. He has a regular job too, so he has to make time and film both in Osaka and Tokyo. There are four riders in Tokyo, so he had to come to Tokyo with a camera and a skateboard and film whatever he could when he had time. For three years since the start, he rented a small space at an office that his friend had, learned how to design and the way to edit. That’s how this piece came to light. We’re the same age. We’ve known each other from my second video that was released in 96. We’re both skate freaks. As we got along, whenever I went on tour to Osaka, he was there for me. When he was in Tokyo, I was there for him like a twin brother. Longer than a month stay at times. Maybe we’ve spent longer time than friends in my hometown. I took part in this dvd that my twin brother made, and with my selfishness, it was something with one condition. The condition was that I had to cook my own footages whether what the other teammates had in mind.

The expression of having a full part means a lot by making it all on my own. It doesn’t mean a thing if I don’t make on my own. I want to express my video part with my favorite sound, tricks and image. No one else can express the way I do. And I don’t want anyone to touch it. How close we are, how much trust we have… Even though I know he has good taste…even though… The reason is written below.

When I started skating, there was no one close to make a skate video or someone strange enough to even wanting to make one, and that was normal in that time. Video camera was so expensive and it was unreachable. There was no skate park and the neighborhood road was a skate spot for us. Skate as much as we could at the road and when we got bored of the place, we moved on to the next road. On and on. After we got over with all the road skating, we took over an empty lot. Then we stole some wood and all kinds of building materials and built a ramp by following American skate videos’ example. We were junior school students and took a week to build one, and it was destroyed by the ward office the next day. We were so pissed and we built another one at another spot. It was there for about three months. We looked for a place where we could have a ramp on the way home from private tutoring school. And also a good construction site where they carried a lot of material. We stole whenever we could and we stored them at our secret spot, we were prepared to build a ramp. Rather than to wait for a spot to appear depending on someone else, we built our skate park on our own. We had to take care of our toys and a place to play, but it was extremely fun. In the best time, we had two mini-ramps connected with a spine, and a 180cm quarter-pipe at the end. We also had bank-to-bank with a table and a removable ledge. Lot of things went down as I reminisce the past. We gathered all the materials and worked together to make the park. We built all the terrains so much that we became pretty good at building them. Due to claims from people who lived around there, we couldn’t skate at night. We negotiated directory with them so that we could skate there at least in the daytime. We negotiated with respect and honesty so that they won’t rat on ward office. But as we got tired of negotiating that never went anywhere, we abandoned the park and headed to the street. That kept on and on. In skating, “elements other than skating” was always involved. In the extent of skating, my way of expression and joy as I said earlier exists.

The ramps that we built with our own hands when I was a kid by wanting to skate ramps in American skate videos. It’s the same way with how I make skate videos today. I want to make something better than the ones I made before, and I don’t want to make the same mistake. I don’t want to waste my experiences. That’s all. Doing it on your own, that’s the way it should be. I don’t rely on anyone. The amount of work I put in, the same amount I earn from it. I take whole responsibility on what I’ve done wrong. The good and bad expressions I’d put out, it all comes back to me. If you’re going to release and sell your piece, it can’t be just a self satisfaction. If you think the consumer as your priority, what you have to do next becomes clear. As I started audio-visual expression from the age of 18, I’ve never felt it’s just something for fun or got tired of. And even if I was tired of it, I knew I could never get away with saying so. I started this with my own will. I feel happy with everything I do and I’m still doing it. This is how I kept making skate videos nonstop for the past 13 years.

The joy of making skate videos for me… you, my twin brother, you can’t take it away from me YET. But…it’s a fact that I’m waiting for the day when we can do it your way. I’ll be waiting for that day, maybe at the right timing in our flowing time. Other than anything, I hope we can make it happen like in the days when we were just having fun. Until then, just keep making your things with persistence.

Collective Improvisation. A collection of the riders’ footages. My part was an improvisational filming with my partner at my hometown from January to March of the year 2007. I got an inspiration from the beat that my friend DJ Baku made and figured out what tricks I’m going to do, and I gave him back with my footages. It was a total coincidence that my improvisational way of filming matched the title Collective Improvisation that my friend came up with. Since I was told about the title just before the piece came out, I never knew about it when I was filming. It all linked to me for real.

I’ve written so much, but my dear friend completed his first skate video. And I cooperated with it on my own way. If you please, take it in your hands, and if you felt something from it and paid 3570 yen, people say that it’s yours and you’re able to bring it home. You can find them in skate shops all over the country. Keep your eyes on this wheel brand STRUSH WHEELS that my Osakan friend makes.

My brother in Osaka, welcome to the second stage, and congratulations.

2008.01.07
FESN director, Takahiro Morita

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