Vol. 138 Individualist “Chptr 10 and Vrs 2”

Following on interview with Minezaki-san “This Way” on  Individualist “Chptr 10 and Vrs 1”

I used to skate when I was little kid. It wasn’t the style that a lot of skate community look up to. I was more of a kid just to explore around my town with my friends to feel the speed and air. Doing tricks was not my thing though I had tried and I got injured so bad that I decided to quit since. Ever since I quit skateboarding, still I sometimes go on to the Internet to check out some of the talented folks to wonder what it is to become one of them. When I get older and have some time off then I might start just skating around because I have a cruiser that one of my friend gave me when I was in the states. That reminds of me the days of living out there that holds series of memories with it. I did not skate at that time very often though haha.

 

昔ですが、小さい頃スケボーやってました。多くのスケーターがチャレンジするトリックではなく、ただ単にスピードやボードに乗っているときの風を感じるべく、友達とボード、ローラーブレードで町中を走りまくっていたのを覚えています。ですが、スピードが出すぎて大怪我をする羽目に。なんと顔面から落ちるという笑。その当時、怪我するのやだなぁと思いそれ以降辞めてしまったのも覚えています。ですが、ちょっとでも時間があるとネットに出向き、最近のスケーターのトリックや活躍している方をチェックしたりもしています。実はクルーザーもアメリカにいた際に友人から譲り受けたものがあるのですが、こっちでは全く乗らず。アメリカでもそこまで乗ってはいなかったんですけどね笑。

 

それではどうぞ!

 

“自分は結果を出した=良い結果だとは思ってはいないです。やることやったという事実が結果を出したって事だと考えています。”

“I do not think that even if I have accomplished something, that does not always mean as  a good result. I suppose that whatever you could possibly have done would end up as a result.”

 

IO) あなたにとって日本語と英語とはなんでしょうか?例を挙げて説明してください。

峰崎さん) 自分が話せるのが日本語。話せたら便利なのが英語。

 

IO) What does Japanese and English (your own tongue) mean to you?

Minezaki-san) Japanese is the language I can speak.  English is the language that I find it useful.

 

IO) 日本はどんな場所ですか?日本人とは誰であり何でしょうか?(あなたの目線、もしくはブランドとして具体的に)

峰崎さん) 便利な場所じゃないですかね、距離感的に。コンパクトで!人数的には少ないと思いますが。スケボーなんてやってる人はごく少数でしょうし。まぁ、今がスケボー作ってるだけなんで、結果出したら次だと思いますが。

 

IO) What does Japan, being Japanese or being a Japanese descendant mean to you? How do you think it has impacted your life and your success?

Minezaki-san) I think Japan would be the place of convenience, I mean it as distance-wise. I would also say Japan is small island so it is compact though I also think there are not enough people to skate. I believe that there are only few people that skate. Well, what I do for now is just to make skateboard so that I will move on next if I could see the result.

 
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IO) スケボー人口が少ないと仰っていますが、スケボーと日本人との関連で思いつく事はありますか?

峰崎さん) マイナス関連のイメージが多いですかね。日本だとマイナースポーツでしょうし、海外よりもスケボーが出来るエリアも少ないでしょうからね。

プラスの話だとHaroshiさんですかね!廃棄されたボードを利用して彫刻作品を作っている日本人の方なのですが、アート界でもボード買いでも有名な方なんです!この方の作品は綺麗ですよ!

 

IO) You told us that there are not enough people who skate in Japan. Do you have anything in your mind regarding to the relationship for skateboard and Japanese?

Minezaki-san) I do have negative aspect against about it more than positive. Skateboard would be considered to as minor sports and there are only few places that you can actually skate. Something like that I think.

Positive aspect would be the person names “Haroshi”. He is an artist who makes sculpture art from discarded skateboard. He is pretty famous among art world as well as skateboarders in Japan. His art piece is pretty amazing and beautiful.

 

IO) 日本や日本人の良いところと悪いところはありますか?例を挙げて下さい。

峰崎さん) 海外に行った事が無いですし、外国人ともまともにコミュニケーションをとった事が無いのでわかりません。ただ、最近テレビでやたらと自分達日本人と日本を褒めまくっているのは良くないんじゃないかなと気になっていますね。ちゃんと「海外が進んでいて日本が遅れている分野。」とかも同じ様に気になるレベルでやって貰いたいですね。

 

IO) What do you think are the positive and negative points about being Japanese, Japanese descendants, and Japanese culture?

Minezaki-san) I have never been abroad and I rarely had a chance to communicate with foreigners so I have no idea about that. However, recently one thing that gets me and realized that a lot of Japanese are complementing about themselves and country of Japan as well on TV. I don’t think it is good though.

I think that I want those media to feature on negative aspect of Japan such as some territories or fields that Japanese is still behind compared with other countries.

 

IO) 海外が進んでいて日本が遅れている分野とは具体的になんでしょうか?また、自画自賛は日本が良くないと思う理由は何かありますか?

峰崎さん) 何でしょう?笑。そこに関してテレビが報道していればわかるんでしょうけど笑。すみません。自分がわかる例であげるなら、分野という訳じゃないですが、世界的な賞レースとか競い合っている場で「世界で弱い日本人」ってワードが時々取り上げられている気がします。世界と競い合わなくてはいけない場ではまだ日本は弱いのだなと思います。

自画自賛が日本に良く無いと思う理由は、何か違和感があるんですよね褒め方に。過剰すぎるというか笑。そこまで褒めなくていいだろうと興ざめしてしまう時があります。

 

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IO) What exactly do you think Japan or Japanese are behind about compared with other countries? Any reasons for not being self-applauding?

Minezaki-san) I have no clue about that haha. I could totally understand what that would be if I were in that position or broadcasted on TV haha. I’m sorry. As far as I know, I notice that an expression of “Japanese are less competitive” is sometimes on the topic of argument when there would be a prize competition worldwide or some fields of competitive activities. I think Japanese are still behind about that when it comes to compete with people outside of our world.

The reason why I think self-applauding can be bad is that I feel something awkward about how Japanese are complementing about themselves. It is too much haha. As far as I can tell you, it can be a turnoff that I wonder why we give a good account of ourselves.

 

IO) 日本人として西洋の文化(アメリカ、フランス、イタリア等)への憧れや尊敬、または日本の文化に対する憧れや尊敬は感じていますか?

峰崎さん) 感じています!どちらにも憧れや尊敬はありますが、西洋の文化は憧れで、日本の文化は尊敬しているって感じですかねぇ。

 

IO) As a Japanese/Japanese descendants, for you have any ambition, envy, aspirations against western (U.S. for example) or Japanese cultures?

Minezaki-san) I do. I do have them for both cultures. Admiration for western culture and respect for our own culture I would say.

 

IO) 具体例はなにかありますか?

峰崎さん) 西洋の文化ってカッコいいイメージを抱いてしまうんでしょうね。日本人あるあるの一つでしょうか笑。ミーハーなんです。具体例であげるなら、建物とか体のスタイルとか音楽シーンですかね。やはり西洋の方が華やかに見えてしまいます。それに対し、日本は地味に感じてしまいますね。

日本の尊敬している所は、侘び寂びを感じられるシーンですかね。地味なんだけどそれに美しさが存在している所。例で挙げるならベタにお寺や神社。草木で言うなら春に花が咲き誇り、秋には葉が陰り落ちる事すらまでも美として捉える文化や感覚。そういった所はやはり尊敬してしまいますね。伊達に長いこと日本やってないなーって笑。

 

IO) Any specific ones for you? 

Minezaki-san) Probably I cannot help but to think that we might be prone to have better image about everything against western culture in general. It happens a lot for Japanese I assume haha. This is almost like a groupie for a band or something. To be more exact, architecture, physical appearance, and music scene, those are things that I came up with about western cultures. I could view them as more fascinating so that those images of Japanese would be more plain and low-key.

What I respect about Japan is that various moments that you can feel about as Wabi-Sabi. It would be low-key but it also embraces the aesthetic of beauty. For example, it might be a cliché to say that temple and shrine are the ones that you find Wabi-sabi in them. Flowers blooming in spring and falling leaves in autumn when it comes to plants I think. Those are the examples of how we capture as beauty in scenery. I find it really respectful about those senses that Japanese embrace. I wonder why Japanese has its great history for a long time haha.

 

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IO) 海外進出はお考えですか?

峰崎さん) 「海外進出」って響きイイよなぁ〜ってレベルですかね。海外進出って事は日本である程度結果残したんだろうなとも思いますし。

IO) Any plan to go abroad or expand your entity?

Minezaki-san) I find it pretty cool and sounds great to do that. I also find it pretty obvious that going abroad would be a consequence of achievement in certain extent.

 

IO)「結果」という言葉がいくつか出ましたが、やはり結果を出す事が重要でしょうか?

峰崎さん) 自分にとっては大切です。やったという事実ですしね。それに対して自分や他人の評価が良くても悪くても関係無いですけど。自分は結果を出した=良い結果だとは思ってはいないです。やることやったという事実が結果を出したって事だと考えています。

 

IO) “Result” and “Achievement” I found those words quite often from what you mentioned. Is it important for you?

Minezaki-san) They are very important for myself. They are facts and also they are what you have done. Either good or bad, I could not care less about neither my own reputation or from others for my accomplishment. I do not think that even if I have accomplished something, that does not always mean as  a good result. I suppose that whatever you could possibly have done would end up as a result.

 

IO) 日本のおかしなところはありますか?具体例をお願いします。

峰崎さん) おかしな所はいっぱいあるんでしょうけど、パッとは出て来ないですね、おかしいですね。。

 

IO) Is there anything you find strange about Japan as a Japanese/Japanese (American/Canadian/Brazilian)

Minezaki-san) I suppose there are so many weird and crazy things in Japan but I can’t come to think of it for now. It is strange…

 

IO) 少し考えると何か出てきますか笑?僕だと、赤信号みんなで渡れば怖く無いという考えですかね。

峰崎さん) 強いて言うなら、初詣で賽銭を投げるのに順番待ちの列になってしまう日本人ですかね。前の方まで行くと、「並ばなくて結構ですよー。」って係りの人が言っているのを何度か経験しています。言われることで列が無くなっても、数分後にはまた列が出来てますからねマジで。列が無くなったのに、また自然と列が出来るなんて日本人か蟻くらいでしょうねぇ。DNAや遺伝子レベルのものなんでしょう。

 

IO) Do you need some time to think about that? I think the mindset that Japanese has as “There is safety in numbers”. Something like that.

Minezaki-san) When I come right down to it, we often get in a line and wait until you throw off changes into offering box at shrine, especially New Year’s visit to a shrine. I heard someone says “ no need to get in a line and wait” when people including me in a line move forward to throw changes. Even if a line of people vanished after a while when someone says not to get in a line, there would be another line that is created by people all over again. It is serious and people like us and ants are the only ones who would do that. I am talking about this as something embedded in our DNA though.

 

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IO) クリエイティブの定義とは?

峰崎さん) よくわからないです。笑

 

IO) What is your definition of creativity? How would you define creativity?

Minezaki-san) I am not really sure about that haha.

 

IO) 人生とは一言/ 一文で何ですか?

峰崎さん) 人それぞれ。

 

IO) How would you define life in one sentence?

Minezaki-san) Each one of us has our ways of life.

 

IO) 同業者と差別化を図る方法、秘策はありますか?

峰崎さん) スケボーに関しては、板の形にこだわっています。気付く人がいるかわかりませんが、木のスケボーとなるとサーフィンの陸上練習用として出来上がった当初の形をそのままやっているものが多いですが、自分が作るものはそれよりかは鋭くシャープに作っています。往年のサーフボードの様な柄をやるつもりもありませんし、技をやるのが目的でもないので、板の端を反らしたりもしていません。色々な人からそうやらないの?と聞かれますが、その度に他の人達がやっているし、自分がやる必要も無いと答えています。

 

IO) Do you have any tips for differentiating yourself from competitors?

Minezaki-san) Regarding to my work, I am meticulous in shape of the board. I am not sure if someone would notice or not but I try to make my board a little sharper than typical ones. Usually wooden skateboard is made as a tool to practice for surfer when they are out of the sea. I am not trying to design any patterns that traditional surfboard has and also I would not want to make typical skateboard that has a tail or head bent because my work in not meant for doing tricks. A lot of people ask me to make board like that but I think I would like to stick with my way and I would answer them that I’m not even the one who should make one of those boards.

 

IO) クルーザーにこだわる理由はありますか?

峰崎さん) 無いです。形が故にスケボーと言うよりクルーザーと言っていた方が多くの人が納得して貰えるのでクルーザーと言っているだけです。クルーザーにこだわっていると言うよりかは、無垢板である事と無垢板であるが故に必要な板の厚み、そして形。この3つに自分は美しさを感じています。それがボードを作っている理由です。

 

IO) Any motive to stick with cruiser type of board?

Minezaki-san) No I don’t. Just because of its shape I make such as cruiser type, people would recognize my work more as the way it should be called rather than just a typical skateboard. I would say I am more into the state of making my board from solid board, the thickness that needs to make, and the shape of course. Those three factors give me the sense of beauty and that’s why I make my board.

 

IO) 注目している人、ものは?

峰崎さん) VIVEVAGINAデザイナーの”si_oux“さんに注目しています。ブランドデザイナーとして注目していると言うよりか、si_ouxさんの発想力がとても魅力的なので良くInstagramとか覗いたりしています。

 

IO) Something that you are currently into? What is a current hobby or interest of yours?

Minezaki-san) I am currently into “Si_oux” who is the designer of VIVEVAGINA. I find her really fascinating as the way she creates out of her imagination, not as a designer though. I often check her Instagram and get a lot of inspiration from her.

 

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歴史にもそれほど詳しくなく、ちょっと頭でっかちなのは十分承知ですが、頭の片隅に常にある、”日本人とは?”を探し続けていければいいなと思います。今回のインタビューでも新たな発見と、国としてや人としての日本の立ち位置ってなんだろうなぁと考えさせられる回となりました。

 

I am not really into history of my own country and I might be hard-ass to talk about this but I have always had this thought “What is us?” I really hope to keep exploring about that for as long as I can. I could get to discover new perspective as well as I got to wonder about what our country is about again. 

 

Tomohiro Minezaki  “This Way” 
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