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Lost in the Japanese Arcades

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

“A short film I created on my first trip to Japan, inspired by spring, trains, planes, and all the people that I met along the way. I created the film using every single photo and clip I shot, excluding the rolls of film went through an old Nikon”-Vincent Ricafort IV

Ezekiel Lau Wins ASP 4-Star Billabong Pro Tahara

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

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.

We Are All Radioactive

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Japanese Matsuri

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

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!


Thursday, January 14th, 2010

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.

Nintendo DSi LL announced in Japan….

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

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

info from Nintendo.co.jp and you can compare the DSi and DSi LL HERE

Beautiful Japan

Monday, September 14th, 2009

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!

Giant Robot

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

“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?


Friday, July 3rd, 2009

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

Cup Noodle

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

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

surf shop.  

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!