Takahiro Morita

PREMIERE / "Hot Plate" / Marshall Nicholson

It is no less than six years that Marshall Nicholson spent restlessly working on his second independent, full-length skate video (after "FEED YOUR HEAD", and shorter clips such as "JIVE"): "HOT PLATE", a few parts from which had already found their respective ways online before - notably via Theories of Atlantis and Vague Skate Mag. Talking Theories, they are still hosting this interview with Marshall by Mike Wine where the approach for, and process behind the piece were discussed in length; Vague, on their end, had Dom Henry take over the interrogation room, which resulted in even more commentary from the author.

Now, Marshall is a full-time father and still undertaking new projects, be it video-wise or not as he's also been busy managing Palms Skateshop; and yet in spite of such an intense schedule, today, he's delivering and serving us the full "HOT PLATE" - now watchable in one shot fired from Fort Myers, Florida but also, by extension, N.Y.C., Baltimore, Chattanooga and Tokyo. A whole universal story wrapped up within exactly forty-two VX-1000-driven minutes; Douglas Adams himself never was this correct at estimating the meaning of life.

Collective Improvisation

We were just bringing it up the other day whilst sharing "N.Y.C. 2019", the newest Strush Wheels edit: "COLLECTIVE IMPROVISATION" is the first full-length video by the brand, which came out in 2008 and had been available exclusively on DVD since. Well as a matter of fact, Japanese skate media platform VHS Mag just put it up on YouTube in the whole glory of its entirety - like a chapter that had been eluding the Western history books for too long a time despite featuring incredible parts from Shinpei UenoLui Araki or Takahiro Morita amongst others, and all filmed between Osaka, Kobe and Tokyo - just like that. A mandatory viewing for sure - at least one of those crucial classes that if you skip it, then you'll for sure fail your tests!

On The Broad

Fat Bros Skateshop in Nakano, Tokyo is a true institution, going strong since 1994 and one that doesn't stop at supplying skateboarders with gear (meticulously curated by the honorable Hagi-san): since its opening, it's been directly intertwined with the activity of the local scene as a whole via the organization of all kinds of events, skate lessons for the youth right next to the nearby, improbable Sunplaza, by doubling up as headquarters of choice for many a foreigner struggling to catch up with jet lag or portable Wi-Fi and, like we're demonstrating today, by producing videos such as the mythical "ON THE BROAD" (2007), authored by the just-as-mythical Takahiro Morita of Far East Skate Network - a personality LIVE should no longer have to introduce to you as we already did so many, many times and he never needed our humble help to establish himself as the ambassador of Japanese skateboarding throughout the decades anyway, most especially with his master opus: "OVERGROUND BROADCASTING" (2008), quite the Encyclopedia Universalis of the worldwide scene at the time.

Well, if some segments of the aforementioned "ON THE BROAD" had found their way online over the years, somewhere on the quite loaded Far East Skate Network official YouTube channel, so far it hadn't been the case of Kenji Nakahira's, also the opener of the full film because, well, it's that representative - and inherently great. The sharpest minds might remember Kenji Nakahira's name from Yoan Taillandier's "MINUIT", out of many other productions. Today, thanks to Léo Valls and Max Guyot (himself behind the recent Nancy and Paris full-length video: "BROTHERHOOD"), the shot is fired at last and the whole world gets to contemplate Kenji's incredible approach to skateboarding: some unbelievable pop on huge, wild, stylish ollies, silk-smooth body language and - to even better complete the picture - a certain eye for some of the most unreachable spots Tokyo has to offer.

This part is just art, and the custom soundtrack by Taichi Masuyama - consisting in a vibrant mix of jazz, hip-hop beats and various sophisticated sonic experimentations as though to not just match great skate footage but also represent a general mindset only makes for the cherry atop of one delicious cake, really. Kenji's song is even entitled "WINE (RED)" - a true writing on the wall regarding the Bordeaux connection!

Quality in the broad sense of the term - that's a guarantee!

And as for whatever's next, Léo intends to keep uploading more rare gems and other shamefully forgotten classics on his new YouTube channel, here.

Takahiro Morita "Freehand" / 5 W's!

Unless you are new to this website or to independent skateboarding altogether, Takahiro Morita no longer should need any introduction by now. The genius behind the underground video hit "Overground Broadcasting" that helped spread awareness about the Japanese skate scene exactly a decade ago (!), the Far East Skate Network enterprise and the clothing brand LIBE has yet again produced something conceptual. A passionate skateboarder but also a plastic artist, "Freehand" is the name of his new performance exhibition at the Ichihara Lakeside Museum, for which he built a skate course and, well... Peep the video recap to try and get it! LIVE Skateboard Media also got to briefly exchange with Morita regarding the happening. His words below.

Aquatic Spirit

A "Spirit Quest" section is bound to always have the same impact at first watch: first one gets confused by the frenetic pictures their eyes are resting on. Then, everything gradually becomes coherent and in the end, culminates as a sum that's incredibly pleasant to watch. And if this video looks like no other, it’s due to Colin Read's mind brimming with creativity, behind the lens. Everything is precisely thought out, and designed to hit hard thanks to a combo of filming, editing and spot selection taken to new heights. The resulting piece is so inspiring, just watching it could spark off vocations!

Far, far out!

Not sure we can explain everything that happens here, but –once again– Takahiro Morita explore space and volumes, whether "natural" or "fabricated" one, and makes you react to his skating. Which is quite the feat in itself…

Jap' funk!

At Strush, they know how to pick them "jazzy", but this time up the tempo a notch, and you are in to witness one hell of a jam session! With Master Shinpei as a soloist, nonetheless!

Takahiro Morita History Month

Here is a little catching up course on Japanese skateboarding, through a résumé of Mister Morita latest twenty seven years… Well, yes, you do not become the guru of the movement that came from the Country of the Rising Sun overnight! The most fascinating here is seeing him mature with time to the reach the mastership he is known for nowadays… You can also retrace the family tree of many recent trends.

Peace warriors

This is on the seventieth anniversary of the explosion of the very first atomic bomb, on the Japanese city of Nagasaki, that Takahiro Morita and Far East Skate Network decide to put out this edit reminding us all the visit, a few days after the Fukushima catastrophe, the Magenta and the GX 1000 heads paid to the locals on their very own spot. Because, sometimes, the important thing can be to skate together. Simple as that…

Morita's card

In the end, what will remain of your love for skateboarding will be the people met along the way… Thanks to Mister Morita for reminding me the obvious!
Benjamin Deberdt

À Bordeaux!

"It's about the way it looks…" Léo Valls. What else?


Apart from the social and cultural differences it often transcends, skateboarding, by aging slowly but surely, ends up making different generations interact, allowing –well, sometimes– a more global vision of where they stand to the youth… In many ways, this part shared by Léo Valls and Takahiro Morita celebrates this possibility to share common grounds, here in San Francisco, half-way from their native countries. And, furthermore than the philosophical debate, this ode to doing down, and back up, hills also got one of the best "twists" to be ever pulled by a skateboard video, proof once again of Morita's genuine genius. And, yes, Léo is now part of the Libe movement, which Magenta distributes in Europe.


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