jima is a skateboard videographer from tokyo, japan. he's been filming for over 15 years and skating for much longer than that. he's actually a next level ripper in his own regards, as you'll see below. we met jima earlier this year at our good friend, and fellow skater, dan pulvermacher's wedding in tokyo. seeing that the term "maru" has a japanese origin, we figured why not interview a japanese dude. jima breaks down what skating is like in japan these days, along with providing some perspective on our name, "maru."
maru: how long have you been filming for man?
jima: i had a camera in my house since I was like 17, but it wasn't my own camera at the time. if we count that, i've been filming for the last 15 years, but I only really got into filming pretty seriously 6 years ago (when i released our first dvd).
maru: soo who are some of your favourite skateboarders in japan right now? and why?
jima: Keishiro Takashima, he's got crazy pop. he doesn't only have a high ollie though, he's also good at grinding and hitting tall obstacles.
with keishiro, things that we previously never thought were spots suddenly became skateable.
maru: what is "magical mosh misfit (mxmxm)?"
jima: Its a clothing brand that also produces decks, trucks, wheels, bearings, and griptape. pretty much everything.
maru: so you guys are releasing your second video, "moshimosh." how long did it take to film for this video? who's in it?
jima: 4- 5 years. full parts from 4 different dudes, Genki, Keishiro, Hino, Shige. There's skating too from the other MxMxM riders, a friends section, an SF tour from 2009, and one of our rider has crazy bowl in his backyard, so there's also a bowl section as well. its fun.
maru: did you film the whole thing? is the footage only from japan?
jima: yes, I filmed most of footage, but not everything is in japan (*note the san francisco trip mentioned above). MxMxM riders do not live super close to each other, so it can be hard to film sometimes.
maru: what projects do you have coming up? what should the world expect from japan in the next year or two?!?
jima: So much! the skate dvd dropped earlier this year, and next year there will also be another video. I definitely want to showcase MxMxM riders, so we're filming for a bunch of projects. already working on the next mxmxm dvd.
maru: what is "maru" in japanese? beyond the literal meaning, i know it's a famous internet cat and an awesome japanese skateboarder.
jima: If you are a skater, maybe you have the image of that japanese skater first, but in general, it means "circle."
maru: we're using it for our brand because of its literal meaning, and we want it to represent the circular shape of the lens of a camera. do you think that works? do you think "maru" the skater would be bummed on us? haha
jima: no, I dont think he'll have any problems, I think he'll be just fine with it haha.
maru: japanese skateboarding is pretty different from that of north america. to me it seems super creative and a skater doesn't necessarily have to throw himself down big stairs and handrails. what's your take on that, and what's your favourite thing about japanese skateboarding? what's your favourite thing about north american skateboarding?
jima: Skateboarding is from america, its not originally japanese, so we all copy like monkeys. haha but we (japanese skateboarders) can't be the same, we don't have the same spots like you see in the skate video from america, you don't see picnic tables at a schools. we don't have big side walks that you can skate. we don't really have famous spots with stairs and handrails in them either. so you need to go find something different. I like people here! they're crazy over finding different spots.
maru: speaking of which, you got some old footage from LA yourself! your skating is incredible man! front crooks down handrails in '02! what's up with that?!
jima: I used to live in LA for about 2 years! this footage is 12 years old already.
maru: mxmxm is pretty crazy man! compared to some of the other japanese brands, this one seems super hesh and fairly loose in terms of style. in your words, what's the style of mxmxm?
jima: MxMxM's style?? Hard to explain with a few words, i'm just going to leave it at that. we enjoy everything man!!
maru: if we wanted to pick up moshimosh here in north america, where can we buy it?
jima: From our website!
maru: any last words?
jima: Thanks! Thanks to whoever reads this. visit us if you come to Japan! let's go skate.