A postcard from Morita

Photo and interview: Benjamin Deberdt

“If we shared our burden and did whatever we can do in our specialized field, this world would be a better place.”

 Benjamin Deberdt

The Japanese Guru, Mister Morita truly is one of a kind skateboarder and a beautiful mind… To the point that we will give him and his work a way more in depth review in a bit. Today is only a story of modern communication, and old fashion connections. Long story short, I met Morita (as everybody refers to him with) very briefly, when he came to Paris, in order to film over the course of a few days, what might be the best part of Soleil Levant, the latest full length from his Magenta friends. To celebrate this sharing of black coffee and a short conversation made even more interesting by language barrier, I actually put a stamp on a postcard made of a photograph I thought he would enjoy and sent him his way. A little while later, I got a response by form of an email, including a short video. It is 2013, after all, plus Morita is a master at communicating his ideas via the skateboarding he decides to film, and then the way it edits… This was meant to be shared with all of you, so, here it is, with a few words of explanation from my Japanese friend.
This conversation is far from finished…

Benjamin Deberdt

What was the idea behind the video you sent me?
The Magenta guys came to Japan earlier this year, to bring my guest board. But unfortunately, I was busy traveling all over Japan, visiting skate festival and skate camps for my online TV show called FESN.TV. It’s pretty hard to keep connecting with local scenes across Japan and keep influencing them. That’s why I visit local skate communities, participate in events and skate with them. Skating is the best communication tool. I communicate with people through skating with them at skate festivals and events. And the video I sent you is also reply for the postcard you sent me. You sent a photo and I sent a video. [Laughter]

Where was it filmed?
It was filmed in Tokyo, Ibaraki, Shizuoka… also Kurume and Fukuoka in the Kyushu area. Most of the places had street section and ramps at their local music festival. We have an annual local festival in my hometown, Nakano, organized by FATBROS skateshop, and we had skate course in the main stage right in front of a train station, this year. There’s a skate shop called GRANDE in Kurume, Fukuoka and they have a little street course too. I enjoyed sessioning with the customers, and it was fun. I spent a week there, and the end of last year, for rehab, after an earlier injury.

Who won the Magenta race?
The race is called the Evi Race. My buddy Akira Komatsu and I came up with it. The first race was between Soy Panday and Leo Valls, and Soy won. Leo had trouble getting the right start… After that, Jimmy, Zack, Yoan, Jean, Masaki, Vivien entered the race and Jimmy won. But, to tell the truth… no one has beat my record. I’ve been training with my buddy Akira, after work. I’m always serious about the race. You do it only once, there’s no retry. We went to the Fuji Mountain for training. We’d tick tack uphill. It’s a harsh training but we got better at it. So if there’s anyone who want to enter the race, come join us! You can contact me here.
Let’s do an Evi International Race! You can check it all out here, actually.

When are you coming back to Paris?
It was my first time in France, last year. I was focusing on filming a part for Soleil Levant in Paris so I couldn’t do any sightseeing. That’s why I chose all the touristy spots and skated there. [Laughter] I now have the map of Paris in my head, especially the central area. So, next time will be the real deal. I want to enjoy Paris with my wife next time! I was on my own, so I was a bit lonely. But Yoan, Leo, Soy, Vivien, Mathias came to Paris and we hung out. That night was super fun. Steak and mushed potato! Super good. I even met you on the last day, at that café, through Leo! The coffee was great, I want to go back there again!

Why skaters should be united?
No one can live alone. Everyone has his or her parents, and friends. Whatever country you’re at, whatever religion you believe in, there’s no exception. You don’t want to see your friend get killed in front of you, right? You don’t want to see your parents get killed for no reason in front of you, right? I think all mankind feel this way. But these things actually happen around the world today. The massive earthquake that hit Japan, it was not a war but many lives were taken. I still remember the coastal areas where the tsunami hit. Parks that I spent time skating with friends are now gone. I just want to be as human as possible. I don’t want to forget about friends that I skate with. I can’t forget about the places that gave me great time with friends. The things one person can do are so limited. But if we shared our burden and do whatever we can do in our specialized field, this world would be a better place. Skateboarding is to have fun. We should all enjoy it to the fullest! Use our lives and give maximum impact on things. The world where our friends get killed is not a good place. History is being made, right now. Politicians across the world will be seized by skaters that gained knowledge. Let go of small pride, and a time where we face greater pride will soon come. There will be no more war. If skaters united, the time will change. Because skating is to just have fun!

You can find Takahiro Morita's latest part in Soleil Levant, and learn more about this character in this in-depth VHS feature on him.
But, for now, you can enjoy his video-card, here and now:

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