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PHOTOS: Yusuke Sakamoto LOCATION: Kamakura    Known for a big Buddha and retro green and yellowish Enoden train driving down the coast, it’s not what you are here for. Kamakura...
"The point is inside of you. It’s between your heart beat and your breath, your board and your body, when all of nature becomes one- the time and sense that does not fit into what we know as language. That is the ‘point’ " - Author: Key Masuda Photos: Kazuyoshi Sasao Location: Australia /Japan   Materiality, circumstances, placement, your body and mind- all are never are perfect. Everybody has an equal chance to ride a nice wave, however there are only a few people who are able to attract waves like a magnet and do so.  You must have knowledge and skill. You must train your sense as well. Those who can do all of that- you might call them a ‘waterman’. Last summer I met someone who may have that sense, skill, and power. His name is Yoshiharu Komiya. His van is filled with surf equipment. You can find everything from standard polyester surfboards to an inflatable surf mat, an Alia, a hand-plane made from a variety of woods he comes upon (managing a recycling program for farms and schools). Most of people would see this as an unnecessary amount of equipment, especially from a minimalist perspective.  In my opinion, perhaps he has that approach due to his observant nature. He sees the ocean’s many faces, and wants to be able to feel close to every situation by using the right tools. Komiya San can ride a variety of surfboards, achieving near the maximum potential of each board.  He uses his keen senses to find his own spot, catching waves even in the most crowded of conditions.  No matter the other surfers he encounters, he can smile and create peace. If you ask him about what he is most aware of that gives him this power, he will say “It is essential to never lose sight of the point.” During a trip to Australia was when he realized the “point”. How to put air inside your body, taking a deep breathe on a takeoff, breathing for big waves, training for no breathing. The subtle ways to finding a path to feeling nothing, allowing you to breathe correctly.  This is what he learned from Surf Mat pioneer Mark Thompson. He also experienced this spending time with Tom Wegner, witnessing his sustainably conscious life, approach to surfing, and family. The love he has found in life is what allows for his unique surfboard shapes. His method of connecting different woods, ascertain a variety of materials, the process of shaping an Alaia with zero waste.     This discovery of learning a process from a variety of aspects, combined with a consciousness that relates to breathing is what made him realize ‘the point’. This point is not just about balance on your board, shaping the right board, and riding a wave. The point is inside of you. It’s between your heartbeat and your breath, your board and your body, when all of nature becomes one- the time and sense that does not fit into what we know as language. That is the ‘point’. When I heard that he felt this way, I thought there were other reasons he felt this way.     Surely what he learned in Australia was already a part of his experience, individual to him, from long before. I cannot help but think that through meeting various people, the small points inside of him join together and become larger ones, attracting waves, attracting people, and creating space and composure to be able to create peace and harmony. That point is not just communicated through the ocean, but through all of one’s daily existence, reflected throughout one’s entire path through the world. Surely today Komiya San interfaces with himself, his family, friends, and with nature the same way.     In the near future, Komiya San wants to trying surfing in highly frigid locations with his crew. To be able to surf in a cold location while on a trip with others provides for the extremist conditions for conflict to occur. Plus, time in the water is limited, yet he would be able to find something that acts as a medium for finding another new point. I look forward to learning what kind of point he finds.   Point | Komiya
- Photos: Max Houtzager Location: Sausalito, California   "Craft is something that has no form. It is an abstract notion unique to each and every individual's interpretation."- Professor Yamamoto of Iwaigama Ceramics, Tottori, Japan Last autumn we worked with local artist Kurtis Major (Locust House / Birdview Distillery) on creating 'Petrichor', a small temporary gallery space which currently resides at Marinship Studios in Sausalito. Kurtis recruited fellow Bolinas and Inverness based artists Jorgen Harle and Ido Yoshimoto to help with some of the more difficult wood work and hand forged metal fabrication. The space was designed within the temporary building restrictions and is moveable via forklift. It is conducive to a variety of exhibition types that can fit into a 10x12 foot space but stray from the typical white cube format. The design was inspired by the environment it was made in, Gate 5 in Sausalito, and the natural materials available in the area. 'Gate 5' in Sausalito was documented by photographer Pirkle Jones as a famous houseboat community where rules did not apply and many pivotal artists, thinkers, and builders worked and resided. The structure relies on traditional joinery methods, with a roof inspired by a combination of one of our favorite Mono-Ha artworks by Kishio Suga and traditonal boat hull construction. A burned exterior and floor to ceiling glass wall based on some nearby barges and boats, which likely drew influence from Japanese design in the post war era as many builders and architects at the time were getting heavily into Japanese design principles at the time. Materials were mainly Monterey Cypress from Evan Shively at Arborica, custom fabricated mild steel, and a copper roof. Machined metal fabrication and digital engineering of the structure was taken care of by Ezco Design.  The first exhibition, 'Detachment from Craft' is on view by appointment only until the end of July. It features work by Ido, Jorgen, and Kurtis, along with Nakaya Yoshitaka and Shinta Nakajima from Mount Fuji and Tokyo respectively. Like Petrichor itself, the artists all work primarily in metal and wood. Ido and Nakaya work with a variety of local wood. Jorgen is a blacksmith and Shinta, a silversmith. Kurtis is a jeweler by trade, but often finds himself working with both. All five of the artists create work that is functional and utilitarian, falling into the category of craft, while some pieces would clearly be categorized by most as art. The Petrichor space and 'Detachment from Craft' exhibition intentionally blur these notions. Throughout the process of building this space and putting together the exhibition, Kurtis and Jorgen began prototyping for the first Terasu Gastronomy collection. After receiving positive feedback from our gyuto and paring knives that Kurtis worked on, we were inspired to delve deeper into cooking tools that fit our ideas for illuminating new perspectives through food. We're now fulfilling our first pre-orders, and hosting a dinner on the water nearby Marinship Studios to experience food foraged, fished, and cooked by Ido, Kurtis, and Jorgen, in the context of having awareness of the materials, techniques, styles, and tastes that we gravitate towards as a result of our surrounding environment. Tickets to the Petrichor Artists Dinner are available here.    Petrichor | Detachment from Craft

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Max Houtzager-LOCATION: Miyazaki, Japan   The conversations afterward kept coming back to the air in Miyazaki tasting somehow different. Keysuke Masuda and I met for the first time at Midori So on a Wednesday during an impromptu photo shoot for some Japanese magazine. After he poured a geisha coffee for everyone, he told me about a final swell on his radar before the return of tsuyu season, an annual weather front that blocks low-pressure systems from passing over Japan, causing endless rain. During tsuyu, he said, the ocean would go to sleep until the arrival of typhoons in August. To no surprise, Miyazaki came up in the conversation; it is known for having some of the most consistent surf in Japan. Keysuke had been to the spot and scored it once before. I’d surfed a handful of breaks around Japan, but had somehow never made it to Miyazaki. A couple hours later, he texted me a photo of the forecast. We didn’t hesitate to book our flights, which would depart a couple of days later to align with a twenty-four-hour window of the potential surf. Our first day there, it was pouring rain on-and-off. We met a few local friends and surfed waves that were chest-high, sloppy and fat due to the full moon high tide. The entrance to tsuyu that everyone had been talking about, surfers and non-surfers alike, was evident. With no wind at times, the heavy rain gave the ocean’s surface a fur-like texture in which one’s mind was easily lost. Once I decided to switch board for camera, it mostly just drizzled. “Tomorrow it will pick up,” said everyone. The sun rose at 4:30 am, but the tide would only start to be good at the river mouth around 6, so we checked it then: occasionally thigh-high, but glassy and offshore, even peeling at times. If you were going finless, it was still fun — yet even smaller than when we arrived. For some reason, despite the dismal conditions, we didn’t feel the need to get out of the water. We grew hungry and tired, but it didn’t seem to matter. All of our senses seemed to be drowned out, dissolved like salt in the water. The conversations afterward kept coming back to the air in Miyazaki tasting somehow different. Miyazaki was clearly a place where people’s thoughts and feelings revolve around the ocean, the waves: some did it for the surfing, but I got the sense that “surfers” were a minority within that group. The waves here could be better than Chiba or Hokkaido or Amami — or worse. Miyazaki is known as a surf destination in Japan, but coming from California, it really didn’t feel like one to me. I couldn’t quite figure it out. Remembering near-perfect, head high plus waves in Chiba and Hokkaido, I questioned what impetus I might have for coming back to Miyazaki ever again — why this place, as opposed to the other Japanese spots I’ve come to know and love? A week after returning to Tokyo, I got my film back. I had already seen a few phone pictures and digital shots from our trip. But seeing the images burned onto film triggered in my mind the aftertaste of Miyazaki air, and the memory of its people’s energy. I would be back. Miyazaki | Entering Tsuyu
John Montesi-PHOTOS: Amado Stachenfeld, Max HoutzagerLOCATION: Hokkaido “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” -Ed Viesturs We are great at something that gets us nowhere. We are artists of avoidance. We fall, but not down. We keep our faces out of the snow and the gravel out of our teeth and make our falls last longer than gravity might, but not always.Yvonne Chounard branded us “conquerors of the useless”. This is far more generous than the monikers some have bestowed upon us. When we get high, we don’t take shortcuts—neither chairlifts nor substances will get us there. We earn every step and celebrate every graceful foot we fall.Galileo tried to prove that a feather and a brick fall at the same speed, but still they say that the bigger they are, the harder they fall. The only way to know for sure is to try it ourselves. Some of us seek the high of reaching the top, others chase the thrill of racing to the bottom.Skiing, snowboarding, downhill biking, paragliding, and log racing are all glamorous forms of falling. After all, they are just protracted means of getting us from a higher elevation to a lower one.It is not natural for us to fall. Whether it’s tripping over a shoelace or peering over the edge of a cliff, our stomachs turn and our hearts flutter at the thought of hitting the ground. We learn to ride bikes with training wheels because our parents are so worried about us falling. When we grow old, falls are dreadful because we may never getup.Still, none of us can deny the allure of topography. Mountains stand to make us look small, to make distances look shorter than they are, and to let us see where we came from. They give meaning to walking and teach us how to fall with dignity. They gather snow so we can ride it instead of rue it and they give us a hand so we can see what clouds look like on the inside or what our cities look like from the outside.We peer over the precipice and contemplate the descent. Wheels with full suspension make falling more fun in the summer, boards and skis make it better in the winter. They give us a means to conquer mountains and machines alike. We use machines to handle mountains, and mountains to prove that we are masters of our machines. Conquering them may be useless, but it is often the only thing that gives our days meaning. It is more than a means, more than an end.They call it ‘falling in love’. To most, this gives a somewhat positive connotation to the notion of falling. Of course, you can fall out of it, too, so love is a sort of bidirectional dream chasm, a mountain you can descend twice. Falling implies a lack of intentionality, but that is why we have climbing. To fall, you must first get up.  Falling is a choice. Perhaps the greatest disservice we’ve done ourselves is forgetting just how hard that is. Lifts and Jeeps and choppers help us avoid one of the most symbolically rich acts man can achieve.There will always be those who hike the back bowl so they can lay first tracks, those who pedal to the top so they can earn the fleeting ride back to the bottom. And they understand that it’s not a question of easier or harder, of up or down. It’s simply different: a yin and a yang, a night and a day, a sound and a silence. We need both to know one.But most of us compartmentalize. There are mountain climbers and there are downhill skiers: those we celebrate for the heights they reach and those who we cheer for the speeds they achieve as they fall thousands of feet in mere seconds, the fewer the better. Those who have mastered the art of getting high and those who are expert fallers.There is no sport that measures a successful climb and a stylish descent, no trophy for the greatest up-and-down. And perhaps it is better this way, that those who prefer to earn their rides do not seek accolades but perspective. First tracks instead of first place. First flag planted instead of insert-your-est-adjective-here. It is easy to do things for a prize, rarer and more commendable to do them with a singular purity that wants no reward. Whether you started from the bottom or the top, it’s good to think about how you got there and where you’re going next.There are plenty of ways to measure a great fall—a race to the base or a weave among slalom markers—but precious few to put it into context. I once heard a story from a Colorado Mountain Rescue member who said his favorite activity was racing cars down the top two thousand feet of Mount Evans, where switchbacks and innate acrophobia slow automotive progress. By foot, they’d simply take three clumsy steps and slide in the scree, tempting gravity and fate before taking three more steps to stay one ahead of a graceless fall. Cutting the switchbacks and coming one step closer to freefall, those sliding saviors could beat cars down the side of the mountain, at least until the road straightened and the pitch grew less steep. There was no trophy where the switchbacks ended, just a free beer at the base of the mountain for winning the bet. -  A version of ‘Art of Falling’ for online only. Read the extended version in Terasu Vol 01 | Early Hues.   The Art of Falling