Over the weekend, in the Land of the Rising Sun, Honolulu’s Ezekiel Lau won the biggest surf contest in Japan, taking out Indonesia’s Hairil Anwar in the challenging final. Waves were barely waist high, but that didn’t deter the big Hawaiian from displaying his power surfing and above the lip repertoire. Lau looked like Godzilla in the water, smashing the small surf like a radioactive reptile wreaking havoc on Tokyo’s buildings. While there was no webcast of the event our homie, Nick Mita, who brought Zeke to Japan with him, captured the action and edited the piece above.
I love Japanese Matsuri Festivals. A Matsuri is a celebration of a town by the people of that particular place. I was fortunate enough to have caught this Matsuri of Misaki town in the Chiba prefecture of Japan. The energy of the people is so powerful and taking part in these Matsuri’s makes me so proud of my Japanese heritage!
Due to the popularity of the Quarter Pounder, McDonald’s Japan is launching four new burger styles based off the QP. One of which is a “Hawaiian Burger” in which a loco-moco is brought into the picture. For those that don’t know, a loco-moco is a Hawaiian comfort food originating on the big island of Hawaii. It’s ingredients and construction are simple: two scoops of rice as a base, a hamburger patty on top of the rice, two eggs on top of the hamburger and gravy all over (grilled onions optional). I have a problem with loco-moco’s, I’m addicted/in-love with them. If it’s on the menu, I’m ordering it. And burgers? Well, who doesn’t like a burger?? Combine the two….I need to TRY THIS SHIT!!! Plus, they substituted bacon for rice! Fucking BACON!
My ultimate combo would be a Liliha Bakery Loco Moco inside a Kua’aina Avocado Burger. I’ll construct it myself if I have to. Thank you McDonald’s Japan for actualizing a young daydreaming Hawaiian’s vision of food heaven. Inspiring, to say the least.
More info (click) HERE.
so about one year after the release of the Nintendo DSi, which i dont even have yet… They have announced that the Nintendo DSi LL will be releasing on Nov 21st in Japan, i dont think there is a date set for the US yet… the newer model features a bigger screen, 1 whole inch to be exact, a bigger easier to grip stylus that doesnt store in the handheld and about 1 more hr of battery life compared to the DSi… it will also come installed with 3 DSi Ware games, two Brain Age games and an unreleased dictionary program. they say the bigger screen is big enough where people on the side of you can enjoy the screen also. the price is a little more at 20,000yen like $220.. the colorway on this one is nice though… wine red(pictured). it also comes in white and black. it seems more like a luxury thing to me.. not much enhancements other then that its bigger and more expensive. but the wine red colorway is dope! maybe nintendo is just trying to make a buck… but if you dont have one and is planning on buying one, maybe wait for this one…
image from ign.com
The mountains protect the crops from the wind, the river that runs through these valley nourish the crops. Man tapping into nature’s cycle. To me this is Beautiful Japan!
“Liberty-shmiberty! Lets erect a kick-ass, sky-high, killer robot statue instead!” < < That sentiment would totally be in Nihongo, if I actually paid attention at Japanese school as a keiki. It doesnt matter anyway, it's merely how I imagine the proposal to build Tetsujin, a 60 ft. steel behemoth and relic of modern Manga, went down. Like it's sister project, the Tokyo Gundam, Tetsujin, once completed, should be able to move limbs and emit lights for its throngs of ankle-high spectators.
Mr. Obama, AT LEAST replace Lady Liberys torch with a lightsaber….please?
Widely known for creating the opening theme song to the Cartoon Network anime series, Samurai Champloo, SHINGO2 is in town doing a handful of shows with the SIQ Records camp. He was born in Japan, but was raised in London and Tanzania, as well as going to school in California. His flow and style unique and his music often has a deeper seeded message behind it. He’s also responsible for inventing the Vestax Faderboard with help from Vestax and KORG. Word is he may be doing a show with The Grouch over on Maui. Contrast had an opportunity to shoot a few questions to SHINGO2 right off the plane yesterday…
Contrast: You were born in Japan, raised in Tanzania, London and Japan and also lived in California for a period. How has all these different areas inflluenced you as an artist?
Shingo2: They all had a profound impact on me, it’s shaped how I look at the world, and hiphop culture gave me the tools to express myself. I really want to go back to Tanzania and check out the African hiphop scene. I have a couple of friends who travel and shoot documentaries, it really seems the world hiphop scene is creating potent stuff.
C: You went to Berkley for school in the mid 90’s, is this where you
took an interest in hiphop? How was the scene there at that time?
S2: For sure. Berkeley is the melting pot for revolutionary people from all walks of life. If I didn’t go there, I’m sure I wouldn’t be MCing. I started out more interested in graf, then I really got into music after I met the local musicians, including Del & Heiroglyphics, the artists from Living Legends. Bas-1 mentored me through the process of making albums and performing on stage. Then eventually I started meeting people around my age and formed a crew.
C: Your music has many activist themes, what are some activist
movements you are involved in?
S2: Mainly it has to do with peace and environmental activism. You can check out Operation Peace Crane, a cyber origami project and also the Stop-Rokkasho Movement, a call to bring awareness about radioactive contamination. Whatever social issue, we’re all interconnected, so we can’t take it lightly. I hear Hawaii has problems with Depleted Uranium use on the island, we’re all in the same boat. I strongly believe music and art can help spread the cause and change the world (including laws and regulations) for the better. That’s how it’s been for the past century.
C: Heard you’ll be here for two weeks, any fun plans?
S2: We got more shows planned, other than that, I’m sure my boy Meiso will take me around to appreciate the nature here! Mahalo!
Check SHINGO2’s music on his myspace: www.myspace.com/shingo2
Here’s a list of SHINGO2’s shows coming up locally (really looking forward to the 7/8 one):
7/3 - TONIGHT - Shing02 Live with Meiso, Amen, Ill Hill Society, Lionz of Zion @
Lotus Soundbar 18+
7/8 - Emi Meyer with Satomi Yarimizo Trio & DeShannon Higa featuring
Shingo02 @ Gordon Bierch 21+
7/10 - Hot 16 Writers Battle Hip Hop At The Trops featuring Shing02,
Meiso, Illaversion @ Tropics Cafe 18+
7/11 - Shing02 TBA
7/18 - Shing02 with CAVE @ Santa Fe Cantina Lahaina
Photo courtesy of Caori Photography
The first time I went to Japan 17 years ago these Cup Noodle machines
were everywhere. Zen and I would eat these things seriously everyday
after we surfed. I haven’t seen them around for so long, and I’ve been
checking all the spots where we used to eat them from. I finally found
one. Its in Tatado in Izu next to Baguse our friends Mar and Nori’s Mom’s
It so sweet! It takes coins or cash. Gives you change. You can choose
the one you really want like a soda machine. Your cup noodle drops and
then you fill it with hot water on the bottom left side. So easy and cheap!
If you’ve ever engaged in competition we all know that nothing is better than the taste of VICTORY! In my line of “work”, Professional Surfing comes with more loses than wins, considering only one person really wins at the end of a surfing contest.
While the Contrast crew and the rest of Hawaii was partying the night away for “UNO” in Chinatown, I was across the Pacific Ocean competing in the 5th Annual Beach Sound Pro in Kamogawa, Japan. As much as I wanted to be be sharing a good time back in the 50th State, I was competing in the 2nd of 5 events on the Japan Pro Surfing Tour.
To make a long fairy tale short, as the Final horn blew at 5:00 pm on Sunday, May 24th in Kamogawa, the start of Contrast Magazine’s Party “UNO” was jumping off at 10:00 pm on the 23rd! Check the shots from Back to Front…
Final Podium: 1.Me 2.Izuki Tanaka 3.Teppei Tajima 4. Darren Turner
This was such a close Final. Everyone was ripping, any one of these guys could have won the event. Lucky for me God was on my side and in the end I came out on top! I want to thank Dropout Surfboards and my shaper, Jason Kashiwai, for making me such amazing boards and all of my sponsors: Vertra Suncare, Ronin Eyewear, Billabong, 88 Tees, Futures Fins and Destination for supporting me! Gotta plug the sponsors, they make it happen!
Being chaired up the beach after a Final from the water to the podium is amazing! I had a lot of support from my Fiancee Aiko, Nick Mita, Kekoa Uemura, Salty, the Ronin Eyewear Boys, the Budiasa Boys, the Hawaiians Dave and Jason now living in Japan and so many more! Thanks to everyone that was there!
My trainer, Kimo Middlesworth, once told me that Preparation + Luck = Success! You can’t just have one or the other to win contests and this is something that has always stuck with me. When it comes to competing I’m always doing whatever it takes to be prepared for any given situation that I could encounter in a heat or the ocean, but to win events “Luck” does come into play…May 24th was a culmination of everything coming together for me! I’m so thankful! Thanks Kimo for everything!
This is an amazing view of Kamogawa! Just to the right of the highrise in the middle of the beach is Seaside where the contest took place. My buddy, Miki, tipped us off of this amazing spot to get birds eye view of what his town looks like! Breath taking to say the least. This is me and Aix, the girl of my dreams and my number one supporter! I’m so happy we were able to travel to Japan together, it made the moment that much sweeter!
Not only does this view give you goose bumps from the view, it’s also a place of stability. Couples and friends alike come up here with locks, as a symbol of commitment either to love and friendship. Aiko and I were joined by my good buddies Nick Mita, Kekoa Uemura, Keisuke Imada and Hisamitsu Iijima just to check out the view, once we got up there the air was filled with mana!
Love Lockdown in Kamogawa.
All the while Contrast Magazine was right there! I never leave home without it, everywhere I go in the World people love it! All the people that make Contrast possible: this shot is for you! Thanks for everyones commitment and dedication! Committed in ‘09!