1994: The Path To Genesis feature image

Photobook: Yoshiro Higai // 1994: The Path To Genesis

Japan Grabs was at the recent launch party for Yoshiro Higai’s new photobook, 1994: The Path To Genesis. The respected lensman has put together a beautiful photobook chronicling the formative years before the birth of Gentemstick in 1998, when ‘Gentem’ founder Taro Tamai and friends were on a mission to explore new zones in Japan and abroad.

With the Gentemstick brand now synonymous with the Japanese ‘carving revolution’ that is influencing riding trends among pros and weekend warriors alike, Yoshiro Higai’s photos and evocative text give a fascinating insight into the very early years of that movement and the people who would come to shape it.

For anyone who likes Gentemstick shapes, snowboard history, or just nice photos of good old powder riding, this photobook would make a great addition to your coffee table collection.


Photographer Yoshiro Higai and his latest creation. Look out for more from him on Japan Grabs:

The book comes nicely packaged, of course – this is Japan:

Here’s a little taste of what’s inside:

Just look at those S-shaped tracks. Taro Tamai – finishing his turns properly since 1994:

Before Taro Tamai was shaping beautifully crafted Gentemstick boards, he was searching for new lines in unridden areas, like a pre-cursor to Jeremy Jones’ Deeper trilogy, riding in Alaska, Russia and Mongolia. The launch party had original prints decorating the walls from those trips featured in the book. Looking at the old photos was a bit like an old family album of powder shredding:

These guys aren’t new to the turning game. Taro Tamai (left) and Happo Banks shaping master and Gentemstick rider, Hayato ‘Bubbles’ Maruyama (right) have been leaving their signature on the powder for decades. This time they put pen to paper instead:


1994: The Path to Genesis is now available for purchase from Yoshiro Higai’s website here.

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