I took the long way around to the office today. I have, for some time, been meaning to travel to Chiba, not far from the work train station, to visit timber surfboard shaper and custodian of Japan's surfing history, 'Nobby' Ohkawa. He also shapes replicas of Japan's original body boards, the itago.
Nobby's name kept coming up as I visited surf shops, and researched the archives piecing together Japanese surfing history, particularly with the Olympics approaching and surfing now a demonstration sport...
I went to Chiba looking for a shop but instead found a little shed in an industrial area and one man and his jigsaw, shaping boards and fins made out of timber. Beautiful work. I've ordered one for myself, for research purposes of course...
We chatted about surfing, he brought out one of his treasures, one of the original itago. As I asked to photograph it, he brought out another and another...each one with its own history.
|History lesson 1|
|Variations on a theme|
|There's a love story in there (Yoko)|
|On the canal|
|The long view|
|A blue sky|
|Patches of colour|
Gosh it was exciting and we talked about working together on that history. Some days I love my job, I'm lucky I get to do what I do. I walked back to the station, twenty minutes or so, delighting in the sights and a momentum for this project.
Oh, and I did eventually get back to the office, to do what had to be done...
[Camera : iPhone6s, 3.30pm-4.01pm; 22 April 2018]