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10 questions with Kenji

from Underdog Distribution Japan

Brief Introduction: Tell us about you and what you do. 

Kenji Tanaka,  will be 45 in February.  Not old enough to quit skateboarding

I run small distribution for rad skateboarding stuff. I’m  a father of two kids and a dog 

I have been skateboarding for 28 years and distributing skateboards for 22 years now


What’s skateboarding like in Japan compared to other countries & do the cops give you much hassle?

Skateboarding in big cities can be really harsh with cops and security guards giving you hassle but suburbs like I live is pretty mellow.   I hate cops and traffic 


What your favourite skate spot(s) in Japan and why? 

My local skatepark called Axis got pretty much everything you need to have fun. 

Vert ramp, big ass bowl,  small bowl,  tight transitions, banks and ledges. 

We also have shitty parking lot DIY which we built 10 years ago with friends.  its pretty shitty but fun.

Kenji 1.jpeg

Photo by Shinsaku Arakawa 

What period of skateboarding do you like the best?

I grew up watching old NHS and DLX videos so my favorite period can be 90s but I still enjoy watching new stuff as wellSkateboarding has, is and always will be the best thing in world so period doesn’t really matter


What is your most memorable skate photo? 

Crail slide at Shirahata (one of the oldest skatepark from early 80s in our town but it got demolished by town council 6 years ago)  I fought the law and law won.  Damn it . 


Photo by Nanashima 

What new projects are you currently working on?

My friend is building bowl in a bamboo woods in about an hour from my place so I have been helping him for couple months.  also I am working on a little farm to grow vegetables to feed my family 


Do you have any other interests outside skateboarding? 

Watching movies,  growing vegetables,  raising kids and dog,  hanging out with family and friends. Building stuff to skate. 


What’s your favourite music and what tune are currently listening to?

Punk and Reggae but I listen to Merciful Fate to get me hyped before skating 

Who are your favourite skaters & influences?

Drehoble, Speyer,  Cardiel, Phil Shao,  AP,  Karma, Adams, Hewitt, TG, Tom Knox ( old one, ha ) Lucero,  Chris Cope,  Nolan Johnson,  


Where did you hear about Slowgold Clothing Company?

Sam Becket,  


What is your most prized skate related possession?

Independent bat Fausto gave me long time ago  

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