Yoshi is a green and white agent of stoke from Japan. He’s already been skating all over north America and is repping hard for landyachtz in Japan. Dattebayo! Konbanwa Yoshi-san. Daijoubu?
Konbanwa! Gbemi-san! Daijoubu dayo!
Excited for the weekend?
Hell yeah! I’m excited every weekend. No school. Skate time!
What do you study?
Well I’m still a high schooler but mainly I study car mechanics!
Where are you from?
I’m from Chiba, Japan! Right next to Tokyo!
When did you start skating?
I started street skating in 3rd grade. My mom bought me a board from Walmart haha. It broke after only 3 days. I got an actual skateboard after that. In 7th grade my friend got me a cruiser board and that’s how I met longboarding. So yeah, FUCK YOU walmart!
You have Wal-mart in Japan?
No! If there was I don’t think it wouldn’t be as successful as in America! I lived in San Diego, California.
How much of your life have you spent in America?
I went to America when I was 8 years old. For my parent’s work, and I lived there for 7 good years!
Do you remember how you felt when you first moved?
Yeah! It was scary at first for sure! I did not know how to speak English at all! I was really nervous at that time!
Did skating help you make friends?
Oh yeah, it sure did! Because of skating I learnt English by communicating with other people! If I didn’t start skating, I don’t know what would have happened to my life!
You’ve spent almost half of your life in both places, how has that influenced the man you are?
I learned many things, I’m sure Tommy Watson had the same feeling when he visited Japan when he was little. Learning each country’s culture made me feel really great! Learning other country’s culture is sometimes hard and but I find it really fun!
You and Tommy are 2 sides of the same coin!
Seems like it haha. I think we had similar experiences living in each other’s country!
What was the most difficult American culture to adopt?
Religion haha and roads! I don’t know if roads count as culture though.
Is there a big culture of street skating in Japan?
Oh, yes! Big population of street skaters.
What kind of skating were you doing before you moved back?
I was just a cruiser going around the town and bombing garages. It was really fun hanging out with my homies around the town! God, I miss those days!
Did you continue skating when you got to Japan?
Yes! Skating is like a drug to me! You can’t stop once you start! As soon as I got back to Japan I met Japanese downhill crew called Wired made by Yoshinori Takuma Satoru Takuma and Nori Tamura!
Were you prepared for fast skating?
I was really nervous, but once I tried, it was amazing!
Where are they based?
Wired crew? They are also crew from Chiba Japan!
Haha ya! I was super fortunate to be skating with them. I thought there was no downhill skating existed in Japan!
Are there nice runs around Chiba?
Hell yea! Chiba’s pavements are beautiful and if there are any rough roads, they get repaired within a few weeks!
What did you learn from your crew in those days?
How did going fast change skating for you?
Connection with lots a rad friends! I met a lot more people than when I was doing street skate!
When did you first get to test your new skills against others?
I’d say it was a local hill in San Diego where there was a small race going on. I achieved 1st place on my first race!
Are there any events in Japan?
There was one recently hosted by Ayumi Oride. We would love to host lots of events but the policies in Japan are way too strict, can’t make scenes too frequently.
What happens if you host an event without the government’s permission?
I’ve never gotten caught hosting events in Japan yet! So I don’t really know what would happen; probably shut down on sight?
Where is the centre of the Japanese community?
I’d say Kantou is the centre of Japanese skating community you know? It’s just because they have sponsored riders and more amazing shit going on around.
Is it hard for you guys to get sponsored?
I guess it’s hard since there aren’t many longboard companies in Japan. SkateSlate Japan came out recently and I’m hoping that would bring more company eyes to Japan.
What kind of amazing shit is going on in Kantou?
Fuckin amazing events, meetings, it’s just everything you know! It’s crazy, everywhere you look there is a hill to skate!
Who are your favourite Japanese skaters?
I’d had to say Nori Tamura I really look up to him he is my inspiration in Japan!
Have you skated in any other Asian country?
No, I have not! I’m planning on going to Philippines for racing this year! I would really love to go trip all around Asia no lie.
Do you have any friends there?
Justen Ortiz told me about this story and introduce me to few other Landyachtz people in Philippines. Getting hooked up around world is amazing.
When did you meet Justen?
I met Justen when he visited Japan for Landyachtz tour Asia! He is a funny and amazing guy. I cannot describe him in words just awesome rad dude! Unfortunately we never got to travel together. When he went somewhere I didn’t and whenever I did, he wasn’t haha.
What are you riding right now?
I’m currently riding the New Landyachtz prototype Canyon arrow with prototype FSU’s!
Are any of those your sponsors?
Landyachtz Longboard all day!
First Japanese person on the team?
Yep, I guess I am. Well if you include Zen Shikaze… Then maybe not.
How did that come about?
I went to Vancouver, Canada last summer last year and stayed there for 3 weeks watching Whistler; Racing Mt Tabor and F BOMB! Doing all that, I got a message from Justen asking If I’d be interested in Landyachtz.
What was it like skating there?
Crazy! So many rad dudes. Yardwaste were my favourite people of all time. Hanging out with them was fun.
Must have been nice to return to America!
Hell yea! Everything is big in Merica! Merica! I feels very comfortable to be back there all the time! Seeing so many shredders is rad.
Were you a different skater from the kid who left 2 years ago?
I don’t know about that. Feels the same to me haha.
Where else did you skate on your return?
San Diego! I’d like to say this is like my half home-town. I met up with Rad Train Jimmy Riha,Max Capps,Spencer Smith, and my French buddy Tibs Parise! Rad crew, rad people! We went road trip all around South cal. Skating famous GMR,Santa Barbara, Skatehousemedia I met Patch Schlep and more rad dudes at Skatehouse!
When will you visit them again?
Fuck yea! I love em a lot.
What gave you the biggest smiles on that trip?
GMR was the one put me on most smile. It was just fun skating with people I know, Patrick Switzer was there and I met him only twice or ish one when he visited Japan with Tamara Prader and 2nd was Whistler and 3rd was GMR!
What are you doing for Landy in Japan?
I have a page called Landyachtz Japan I basically skated all the places in Japan and posted picture on there and showed the scene. Landyachtz in Japan is doing spreading the stoke!
When can we expect a landy Asia video?
How is your year going?
Solid start I guess. Nothing bad has happened to me yet! We’ll see when its middle of year something terrible could happen!
Is the community in Japan growing?
Absolutely! A lot of people show up now at events. Before it was between 10-15 people but now there are about 40-60 showing up and it is a big step up for the longboard community!
When are you going to have a race there?
There are actually tons of spots where we can race and open event’s its just that the traffic of the cars and night car drifters ruining the roads and soccer moms snitching on us racing prevents us from racing currently!
Why should skaters reading this plan to visit you guys?
It’s Japan! Who doesn’t want to visit Japan? Skaters needs to travel around the world and see how skating in other countries. I’m not saying just Japan but everywhere. See how it is outside of your country!
What are your plans for the rest of this year?
Race Mary Hill, Whistler,and attend the Giants head!
What do you do when you’re not skating?
Jam out the old Iron Maiden, Playing Bass.
Pick 3 numbers between 1-20.
4,8,1 (I actually won a lottery by using this numbers)
Millions of Yen?
Nah only 5000yen about 50 Bucks haha.
4 – do you have any recurring dreams?
8 – what did Lincoln keep under his hat?
Super stoked to have this chat with you Shun-kun! Hope we get to hang out one day. Kampai!
Kampaiiiiii haha Yea! come out to Japan someday and we can go for ride to all around downhill camp!
Any last words?
I’d like to thank my parents for getting me a skateboard and my sponsors for helping me out; without them I don’t think I’d have accomplished anything. Also, Pat Schlep: How’s Poison from China? haha