A mentor of mine once told me that reading the air, as they say in Japanese, is not enough.
In order to make any sort of impact no matter how small, you must also be able to ‘create the air’. When I first met Ryosuke Kenmochi, otherwise known as M03, I could sense he had a certain capability like this, but I had no idea what exactly it was.
‘Ken’ means sword, and mochi means to hold. M03, coming from samurai lineage, had ancestors that held swords but without his ‘Ken’ he is just ‘Mr. Mo’ (Mo-San). He has let go of his sword but now has the ability to grasp much more.
In Shonan’s small Hiratsuka he is known as the informal co-mayor, which was immediately obvious after briefly watching his interactions with the local kids and seniors near his store.
Surfing with M03 in Hiratsuka, I felt a unique sense of community that is rare at any kind of break.
It didn’t feel localized at all, yet there was a clear feeling of camaraderie in the air that seemed to come from M03’s presence.
Furthermore, the waves looked like his playground.
When he went on the inside he found rampy sections and closeout barrels, and when he paddled further out he was greeted by wide open faces that peeled beautifully.
It seemed special but I thought nothing of it because Hiratsuka is obviously his local spot. That’s just how it works.
Half a year after our first encounter, he told me he wanted to experience the same low pressure system in Japan and California, first on snow, and then in northwest swell that Northern California is famous for in winter time.
I was immediately on board.
I thought we would embark on a journey in hopes of trying to see how the same weather system would express itself differently in Japan and in California, how it is reflected in the local culture- the vibe of the people, their style of riding.
The goal was to discover, amongst these different backdrops, how would M03 learn about himself, about each specific environment, and about the connection between it all. I thought about the space and expression of weather, nature, and people, but I was completely forgetting about one entire indispensable dimension, time / timing.