Friday, March 1, 2013

The Papa meets the Surfing Shintaro.

One of the best highlights of this years Fish Fry was my chance meeting with Muneo-san, a travel writer for Japan's alternate surf magazine 'Blue'. He was on the road with his wife and daughter and came to the Fry to cover the event as well as showcase some handmade fins that he bought over from his hometown of Shizuoka on the coast of Honshu. As he carefully unwrapped his wares I became intrigued and approached him and introduced myself. What transpired was one of the most interesting and delightful conversations I had had in sometime. Muneo-san, like many Japanese, was a little eccentric, his gig was to travel the world with his flute. Not that this in itself was strange but Muneo-san likes to play his flute while surfing and so here was this endearing Japanese surfer paddling out into the line up with his flute, sword like tucked down the back of his black wetsuit reminiscent of some crazy Koga Ninja from Nippon's feudal past. The surf flute Ninja! I collapsed in hysterics at the vision, only the Japanese would conceive something so wonderful.
Muneo-san was showing me some beautifully hand crafted d-fins that a friend of his back home had made and a gorgeous kimono print cover to protect it. He explained that all of the items were a by-product of  'mot tai nai', which loosely translated means wastage or recycling. The concept he aligned to the Japanese way of using every resource, especially in cooking where perhaps every part of a fish would be utilised down to the carcass for stock, or a vegetable from leaf to root. In the surfing industry waste ends up in a dumpster, but for Muneo-san fibreglass off-cuts ended up as curios such as love hearts or swallows and fish, carved from the foam and then resin tinted and glassed into beautiful objects. This idea is not a new one in the land of the Rising Sun where we often see the art of 'tsugi-hagi' that has been practised for centuries. In this concept recycled fabric, usually an heirloom kimono that has seen better days is cut and resewn or patched to regenerate its use for future generations.. In contemporary usage the concept has fuelled itself in the vintage denim market where we see 60 year old jeans patched, re-enforced and resewn and then glossing the pages of collectors magazines such as Free&Easy.
Muneo and the Papa enjoyed this easy conversation despite language barriers and cultural differences because of a commonality of mind and a mutual understanding of ideas. For Muneo the world is truly his oyster as he surfs the globe communicating through his flute and capturing hearts with his  gracious good nature and easy charm.

Muneo-san, Shintaro of the Sea, the flute playing Ninja.

No comments:

Post a Comment