I bring the very first interview here on my blog. In this interview, I talk with an old freind, “Kusa,” who is about to publish what critics have been calling, “The Zine of the the Millenium!” Here he gives us a little insight about himself and his upcoming publication.
I met Kusa in Tochigi, Japan about 4 years ago. Never did I think that I would meet another white guy in my town who was also a skateboarder. We spent a lot of time together eating donuts, hanging out at the local coffee shop where he would try to meet girls, (haha, sorry dude!) and keeping eachothers sanity in check. He is a good friend and I am very proud to introduce him to you, here he is, KUSA! Happy Reading!
1) For the readers who do not know you, could you tell us little about yourself? Who you are? What you do? Where you do it?
I’m a Canadian in Japan. I love the hot springs, but hate Hello Kitty. So you could say its complicated.
Right now i live in one of the best places, Hakuba, in the Japanese alps. The Whistler of Japan (without all the money, good parks, or unlimited tree riding). Without snowboarding, i pretty much shrivel up and become a mere husk of a person. It was in this state that i met J-dawg. He rescued me from a potential crystal meth habit, and we got to sk8ing together.
2) What brought you to Japan? and What keeps you in Japan?
Oh geez… do i have to say it? A girl. I dated a Japanese girl in Canuckistan, and when she went back, i decided to study Japanese in uni and go visit her. By the time i did, she had another boyfriend, so… I just played out my fanatasies of living in Japan from when i was into ninjas in the 4th grade.
Japan can be pretty frustrating for me sometimes, but there is some weird gravitational force created by mushroom tempura, the countryside, and the old culture here that prevents me from going back to North America.
3) Could you tell us about your upcoming zine, what it’s about and what are you hoping to accomplish with your zine?
I was faced with potentially not getting my visa renewed this year. There was a lot i wanted to tell Japan before i left, things that do not usually get voiced over here. Things are pretty hush-hush when it comes to dealing with anything more important than which ramen joint is popular or what colors are in season.
So the mag is a billingual collection of love letters to Japan and the world, things we want to try to change or just get off our chests.
Each issue revolves around a quote, the first one being Gandhi’s “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. Which can mean ending world poverty, or it can mean getting some friends together and building that mini ramp that you have been talking about. We have some good stuff, like a damn good photo essay of some rural Japanese parents, some sk8 info on the spots up here in Nagano, and an interview with the band Propagandhi.
Oh, and we plan on ressurrecting ‘Scarfing Material’ (for any of you who read Thrasher before ’90)
get a hold of me at antibling at yahoo dot com, and i’ll shoot you some details. the mag will probably be around 3 bucks, for about 30 sloppily edited pages.
5) Any last words?
Listen to the new Propagandhi album, it will rip your ears off and feed them to you while you are in the fetal position.