Photo: Chang W. Lee for The New York Times.
Japan has been the source for some of the most interesting and inventive skateboarding in recent years. Brands like Far East Skate Network, LIBE, Tightbooth, and Evisen have been pushing the envelope and creating a vibe that has been lovingly imitated by skaters all over the world. And this year, the country’s scene will get an even brighter spotlight when the 2020 Summer Games—which will include skateboarding events for the first time ever—hit Tokyo.
The New York Times investigated how the culture may adapt to the sudden exposure by interviewing local movers and shakers, including photographers and business owners, about the concerns and hopes for the post-Olympics skate scene. Yoshiro Higai, a 54-year-old photographer, says, “One thing that concerns me is after the Olympics, if it becomes too popular, they might restrict skateboarding in the streets even more.”
But one can hope that the perception of skateboarding in the mainstream will improve. Japan, like the rest of the world, takes a dim view of our most favorite childish obsession. Japan’s Olympic skate coach, Daisuke Hayakawa, says, “Skateboarding became one of the sports at the Olympics, but the image of skateboarding in Japan is that it’s an activity for unruly kids.” Some things are universal.
Read the full article at The New York Times’ site, here. And check out a couple of projects we worked on in Japan over the years, below: