It’s probably no secret that we love Japan here at Jenkem HQ. There’s just something about Japanese skating and skate culture that resonates with us, whether it’s the quick-footed styles, frequent renegade night missions, or the emphasis on fun and silliness that a lot of crews and skaters from there seem to have.
That’s why last week, when our friend ITO sent us a part he filmed with Junnosuke Hasegawa, a 16-year-old from Chiba, Japan, we decided to run it. We knew next to nothing about Junnosuke, but the part had everything a VX purist would love: 4:3 SD formatting, grainy night footage, and zero “Strobeck” zooms.
It’s also worth mentioning that Junnosuke has both the style and ability to make Street League-level skating look entertaining. It’s rare someone other than Yuto Horigome can do that for us, so we thought we’d showcase Junnosuke’s part and ask him a few questions just in case he blows up and becomes the next Japanese skateboarding superstar.
Disclaimer: there’s a bit of a language barrier here, so the answers are short and sweet, but we wanted to give Junnosuke some space to tell us about himself regardless.
Q&A W/ JUNNOSUKE
What is Chiba like, and what is the skate scene like there?
Chiba is a great place to live because it is both urban and has a lot of nature such as the ocean, and you can get to Tokyo in less than an hour by train! The skate scene is great, with my first sponsor Tizz Skate Shop since I was about 12 years old, and many other cool skaters and skate stores.
Why are most of the clips filmed at night? Do you prefer night skating, or are the streets too busy during the daytime?
Tokyo has very strict security compared to other spots in other countries, so I often go there to shoot at night when the buildings are closed.
Tell me more about Lesque skateboards – who runs it, where is it based, and how did you get on the team?
The crew at Lesque is cool, and the boss, Mr. Itoshin, is a nice guy. We are always touring and filming to make videos, so we are a great team.
You’ve skated in some contests – do you prefer street skating or contests?
I like contests, but I like skaters who are moving around on the streets more than skaters who only do contests.
What are your goals in skating and what are your life goals outside of skating?
I want to get signature boards and shoes, and get SOTY. I wanna live in the US and live healthy and happy. I want to enjoy my life outside of skating for now.
How long did the back 270 lip take you? What’s the secret to that trick?
There was a police station right in front of the handrail, so I took my first shot and the police came out right after, and 10 minutes later I made it on my second try! I’ve been doing this since I was a kid and it’s one of my signatures.
How long did it take to film this part?
It took me about two years because I had other projects going on at the same time. I was shooting this part, contests, and I injured my back in the middle of the part and couldn’t skate properly for more than half a year.
Has the skate scene in Japan changed since the Olympics?
I was skating the streets after the Olympics and a security guard told me to skate in the park like the people in the Olympics instead of doing it in a place like that.
Who are some skaters that you look up to? Why?
T Funk. I like his style, transition and street, and his speed! His frontside ollie on the china bank is just too good!