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The Last Shoot, ten-chu sneaker


Today finally we finished shooting for 'Kicks Japan'
We met Taichi+Benio from ten-chu sneaker.
These guys make most amazing custom sneaker, and they also have a band called
'Seppuku Pistols'.....bloody cool people. Check out their PV below.





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BBoy Yoyogi Park


BBoy Park is Tokyo's biggest hip hop event hosted by Crazy-A of the Rock Steady Crew, who was one of the first people to popularize breakdancing in Japan, after some of the luminaries in Wildstyle did an in-store appearance in an Ikebukuro department store.
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Individual collectors are quite shy and hard to find. So we were lucky to get an introduction to the Imai brothers from Blake @ Undefeated. Between them, they have a collection of 1500 pairs of kicks- mostly Nikes, stacked precariously in boxes in their spare room. Tsuneyasu Imai, the younger of the two has an affinity to buying the same model, but in various colors, while Tomoo Imai is a vintage freak.
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Homaraya S8 park Fashion

Did our last fashion shoots with Devin and Alessa at Homaraya S8 park!!
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BONZAI SK8


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Sousou & Kayo Sakata

 
Rounding up model shoots this week. Shot the ridiculously beautiful Kayo Sakata, in a gorgeous ryokan in Ueno- it is impossible to take a bad shot of this girl! Shoes from the Kyoto tabi company sousou. Thanks Risa for the hair/make.
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REE K


Ree-K is a Dj/ graphic desinger who will contribute to the customize section of the book. I've been seeing her spin at parties since I was a teenager.
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Skit Overload

Skit is the sneaker aficiandos ultimate, all time fantasy come true. The store houses 16 THOUSAND pairs of used sneakers,- it is both mind boggling, and dizzying. The prices, however, are not. This is the least greedy shop in Japan, seriously- this is the best place to get rare, vintage kicks for a great price. We went to the owner Katsushige Kamamoto's pad to shoot some of his collection, both of kicks and old skool hip hop records, that feature sneakers on the jackets.
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DC

GOT A BOX FULL OF CUTE DCs FOR SHOOTING TODAY
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JUN WATANABE

Jun Watanabe is the art director for the virtual city zozotwon, an online city that somewhat replicates the Harajuku area with the top brands and clothing stores selling through their website. As of 2010, the company is worth 620 million Euro, having a monopoly on the e-commerce streetwear market.
Jun Watanabe is also an independent designer who makes toys, apparel designs, characters, and of course sneakers for companies such as Pro-keds, UBIQ and MAD FOOT! His designs are deliriously pop, colorful and cute.


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RUYZ

RYUZ is a sneaker brand that uses vehemently Japanese themes in their kicks. Drawing from traditional Japanese culture, and employing motifs such as Buddhist gods, and family crests, each pair of sneakers is laden with the brand’s love of Japanese culture. We talk to Tomoyuki Nishibe, the representative director of RYUZ.
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Hisashi Tenmyouya


Went on yet anther mission to the studio of Hisashi Tenmyouya. He is one of the rising stars of the contemporary art scene, and his work is a fantastic, hybrid mix of traditional Japanese art, and street culture- what he calls neo-nihonga.

His work is a fusion of traditional art, anime, subculture references, gangs, family crests, sports, graffiti, nature, sex, violence, and uikyo-e, all seamlessly blended together. The subjects he focuses on are a reflection of his disparate interests, and talking to him- this guy knows a lot!! Very intense conversation.
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Mita Sneakers


Famed for both his formidable collection of kicks, and his extensive knowledge on the industry, Kunii from Mita sneakers does not disappoint. His interview is enough to base a book on, and he does, indeed own 2000 pairs of sneakers, as well as a pair of pumas with his name embossed in them as a present from the company. Mita sneakers is one of the premiere places to buy kicks in Japan, starting off as a geta store. Kunii has witnessed every sneaker craze in Tokyo, and instigated many trends with his numerous collaborations.
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stars & stripes


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Daytime: continued our Converse love. Nighttime: Sisen is an industrial/ techno DJ who is famous in the underground for his completely flamboyant style, and is probably the most incredible looking guy at any club. His potentially fatal shoes just fit the sneaker category, -how he managed to ride his bike from one side of Shinjuku to another in them remains a mystery.
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Converse

We love the timelessness of  Converse sneakers, and we will express our love quite thoroughly in the custom kicks section of the book.
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Sneaker Wolf

We were pleasantly surprised to discover Sneaker Wolf (nice moniker!) who collaborates with various sneaker companies,- all his designs are infused with an inadvertently Japanese flavor, and are perfect for our book.  His Ueno inspired Nikes are engraved with laser cut sakura, and the New Balance collabos are influenced by manga such as Gundam.
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Tigarah


Tigarah is a baille funk emcee and producer that found out about the raw, sexy, beats of Brazil's favelas from her Brazilian political science class mates during her college days. Instead of the smut ridden lyrics of typical baille funk, Tigarah raps in both English in Japanese about society at large, and is larger than life, both on and off stage. One of the hottest talents in the underground club scene, we were lucky to shoot her before she heads out to the UK til the end of the year.
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Sige&Feebee

Sige and Feebee are two of the most talented people KicksJapan has as friends. Sige does cool, obviously street inspired paintings, and does commissions for a plethora of street, skate, surf and snowboard companies. Feebee's girls are chic, vehemently sexy, and influenced by ukiyo-e. We went and visited them in Yokohama and look forward to seeing their contributions to the book! x