Three diverse booths represented the first handmade forays from Japan to NAHBS.
And all three gave the same enthusiastic answer, in translation, about how they discovered the show …
Yohei’s blog! Yohei Morita is a photographer representing the Japanese side of COG, a large-format fixed gear magazine published in the US by Peter DiAntoni of Milwaukee and distributed in Japan by Morito. COG translates portions of both paper and web editions into Japanese. The magazine conducted a studio photo project throughout the 5th NAHBS.
Morita has flown from Japan to attend all five NAHBS shows—and is a ubiquitously sociable photographer and reporter.
The overseas visitors flew home with a “best of” trophy
Cherubim won “Best Track Bicycle” honors. Shin-Ichi Konno is a second-generation builder who also included in his display a road bike with unique stainless steel “mono aero bar” along with a red mini-velo.
Kimori showed their line of Colossus truss-frame bikes, emphasizing full-suspension built around 20-inch wheels, plus adapters and converters for track, fixed and SS bikes.
CCP hosted a large staff for their line of progressive fashion apparel. The owner commissioned three vintage-styled bikes to be built for the show by Ikeda of Rew10Works, who was also in attendance.
In translated interviews, each of the Japanese companies said they thought the trip was well worth their while, adding that their wares were directly available to the US market via the web. They each also mentioned that NAHBS was clearly on the forefront of global independent bike culture.
Additionally, Italian builder Zullo brought along Japanese apprentice Masateru Yasuda as part of their show staff.
Recently retired top-ranked pro keirin racer Koh Annoura, now of Houston, Texas, attended show seminars with a view to learning frame-building and launching his own line of bikes.
Japanese media was also on the scene.
Videographer Teisuke Morimoto represented the new Japanese fixed gear magazine, Pedal Speed.
Takehiro Kikuchi was a freelance writer for the mainstream magazine Cycle Sport, Japan’s version of Bicycling.
words & images Jeff Potter, of OutYourBackDoor.com, with translation courtesy of Tim Potter