For us here at Japan Grabs, one of the highlights of the “The Fourth Phase” was the inclusion of local Nagano rider Shin Biyajima. As well as being a stylish powder and big mountain rider for Nidecker, Shin is Nagano through and through. “Ikigai” is the concept of having a purpose in life that is both what makes you happy and what you see meaning in, and finding the path to do that as a way of being in the world. This short film from Justin Smith (who also filmed Travis in Depth Perception) goes deeper into the daily reality of being committed to the mountains and snowboarding in Japan, and the the shared experiences that Shin opened up for them here.
Travis Rice says about this project: “I was able to spend three years traveling and exploring the Japanese Alps with Shin Biyajima during the production of “The Fourth Phase” film. During that time I shared so many adventures and conversations with this new friend of mine. After our film released, I really wanted to capture a more authentic portrait of Shin and his process of living and riding as a Japanese snowboarder. I spent about six weeks over two years following Shin around his backyard in the Nagano Prefecture hiking, inquiring and immersing myself in Shin’s universe. Joined by film maker Justin Smith, we wanted to capture an intimate portrait of a lifestyle that is quite foreign compared to the norms of North America, yet still strangely similar to the principles that most snowboarders share around the love of the mountains.”