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I haven’t been to Japan yet, unfortunately. This is something I need to fix sometime soon. Still, I have to say, this country holds a really special spot in my mind. To be honest skateboarding wasn’t even the first reason why. As a teenager I was also a fan of video-games and manga; 2 things deeply rooted in Japan. So it’s no surprise that the culture resonated with me.

Then I remember the first time I saw some skateboarding happening there and I was like ‘oh shit that looks so cool I’ve got to go there’. That was in my very first skate DVD ‘Menikmati’. In the bonus section they put their Japan tour and I watched it over and over again. The vibe and all the spots seemed perfect. We could tell already that Japan has a totally different view on the world and skateboarding.

This has definitely been proven true over the years and it is with a lot of pride and happiness that we introduce you now the mastermind behind Evisen Skateboards: Katsumi Minami; who started Evisen in Tokyo to support his local skate community.

I remember a while ago reading a quick interview with Katsumi and something really struck me. When he was asked ‘besides skating, what other interests do you enjoy doing?’ he replied ‘None’. Period. A few years later, here we are in 2016 and the only thing that comes to mind right now is: hats off Minami-san! And long live Evisen and the whole Tokyo skate community. Look forward to skating with you. -k

Katsumi Minami, wallie to boardslide

Katsumi Minami, wallie to boardslide. Photo: Marimo

Where are you from?

How long have you been living in Tokyo for?
Around 30 years. I lived in Sendai for about 6 years when I was a kid too.

What’s your relationship with the city?
I love it, but there are too many people here and that pushes up the price of rent. Sometimes it sucks to think we’re working so hard just to make rent here…

Katsumi Minami, wallie 180

Katsumi Minami, wallie 180. Photo: Marimo

Skateboarding wise: what makes it so special?
It’s a massive city so there are so many spots…

The city is so big: how is a regular skate day organized?
Usually we just pick an area and push around with the crew.

If I were to land in Tokyo tomorrow: what are the first few stops I should absolutely do?
Get some good sushi and skate/drink some beers on the street in Shibuya!

Crew in Shibuya

Crew in Shibuya

When is the best time of the year to visit & skate in Tokyo?
Spring and Autumn have the best climate for skating, with the beautiful cherry blossom in Spring and the worlds craziest halloween in Autumn.

In few words how would you describe the skateboarding scene in the city?
Security is so tough here, so we have to hit spots like a ninja attack haha!

Cover image: Katsumi Minami, gap to Kamaboko. Photo: Marimo

This interview was originally featured in the printed KrakMag issue 12 that shipped with the Winter KrakBox. Want to get your hands on a copy of the next printed KrakMag? Want to receive epic skateboarding product every two months? Check out the KrakBox now!

Katsumi Minami, pole jam

Katsumi Minami, pole jam. Photo: Muraken