“8:05” is a video produced by Japanese skateboarder and Ikebukuro local, Yuzo Kudo. The story goes, these guys wandered upon an abandoned building in Tokyo. What they found inside was the left over’s of machinery, desks, office supplies, and such. After couple trips in and out they compiled their photos and footage to create a photo book along with a DVD.
I just happened to be in Japan during one mission into the building, so I’ll tell my story as it was quite a memorable one, and one I thought could land me inside a police station being the one foreign guy among the group of Japanese skaters I was with at the time. While in Tokyo that trip, Yuzo and I had been out skating a couple times and on this particular day, he asked I meet him near Tokyo station. He was very specific with his directions, but as I disembarked at Tokyo station, I could not find the exit which he mentioned.
I decided to start skating around the station in the direction I thought Yuzo might be and took a couple photos of Tokyo station. Totkyo Station is quite a large old building squeezed in among the likes of Tokyo’s more modern architecture. As I rolled through the maze of sidewalks and convenience stores all resembling themselves, I wandered into one of the many 7-11’s to grab some grub. As I peruse the aisles for my next edible victim, I notice someone walk in who looks all too familiar, a skater perhaps. It was Jiro (a Japanese skater friend)! But before I could say ‘Hello,’ he was out the door and on his way. I walked out in a hurry after him to see if he was with Yuzo. As I step outside I hear my name, “Ji-Yon!” It was Yuzo belting my name louder than an overweight Opera singer.
I walked up, greeted the group of 5 or 6 skaters and was sat down and told that we were about to embark on a top secret mission. I was sworn to secrecy and told no skaters could be told of the location of this building. I agreed and we moved between building and ended up in front of a very tall, metal fence with an extremely sharp edge. A couple people made it over, and from behind I hear a voice. Its a man in uniform stopping us from going in. A couple people were already in and had kicked a soccer ball back over the fence. They told the man, “Oh, we were just going in to get our soccer ball!” The man in uniform responded, “Please don’t go in there.” The group all came back out, apologized and reconvened. It was time for Plan B. We walked around to the opposite side of the building and all successfully jumped over the fence. This time was a little more tricky. Now, we were in clear view of everything above including the train going over head. We ran, hid, dove, and jumped from obstacle to obstacle in an attempt to get to the front door. Yuzo went ahead first, unlocked the door (which he had put his own lock on) and waved us on!
We were in. We climbed four flights of stairs, walked through endless empty hallways as it opened up into a gymnasium sized floor of nothing. Someone in the group brought face masks and handed them out upon our arrival to the 4th floor. It was obvious that the building had been empty for quite some time as the floors were caked in black soot. These guys went straight to work as there were no lights inside and our daylight was quickly running out. On one side, a couple the crew were shooting photos and on the other Yuzo was already filming a line with Yuji.
The day went on with no interruptions. The mission had been accomplished. Photos were taken and skating had been filmed. And now months later, there is a finished product showcasing all of the journeys into that abandoned building. The zine and DVD is now available over at Theories of Atlantis.