• Photography: Norio Kidera
  • Photography: Norio Kidera


, 2019/07/30

As the Pixies, “Where is My Mind?” blared on our Burmester sound system the fresh wind hit our faces at a high pitch and we sped towards ‘the end of the earth’, or Shiretoko as it’s known in the Ainu language.

For this ‘Drive’ issue featuring the ‘final frontier’ island of Hokkaido we went on a 2,000 km journey in search of ‘PAPERSKY-ish’ people in an effort to bring a ‘here’ and ‘where’ to the land of ‘nowhere’. Hokkaido is so vast and huge it’s also been given the name ‘Dekaido!’ (meaning extremely large).

Our guests and drivers for the issue are world-renowned artist Yoshitomo Nara and branding director Harumi Fukuda. Each has a love and connection for Hokkaido that gives us a new window into this ancient frontier.
Nara originally was born and raised in Aomori but he can feel his ‘past now’ as ‘now’ in Hokkaido. The air, architecture, people and nature of Hokkaido transport him back to his childhood days. Fukuda, on the other hand, was born in Hokkaido but has just recently began to reconnect with her childhood home. She’s discovering crafts and new taste to add to her worldly bag of arts and flavors.

As we drive deeper and deeper into Hokkaido and the nature becomes more exuberant we too seem to become more focused on the ‘now’ of things. It’s as if Hokkaido is grounding us away from our wandering thoughts and into a zone of concentration. The effect is a wholeness and feeling of fulfillment: the wheat bread taste better, the rice sweeter, the ice cream milkier and even the flowers look more beautiful.

A feeling of intense relaxation and concentration can be seen in the lives and details of the people we meet along our trip: The South to West 8 crews unique Tenkara based fashion, the modern Page wooden bear, the fabrics and folds of designer Takayuki Suzuki and Ryoko Takahashi; Noriko Ito’s alertness in the forest, Miho Tomita’s tactile cow paintings and Bikki Tsunazawa’s magical wooden sculptures.

So buckle up as we discover the ‘now’ and ‘here’ of Hokkaido via our meetups with some of the people truly living in the ‘now’ of things.
» PAPERSKY #60 HOKKAIDO | Drive Issue

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