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Nike SB Japan Diaries

  • clientNike SB
  • dateSeptember 28th 2021
  • roleCreative Agency and Production
  • DELIVERABLESDocumentary Film Production, Editorial Photography, Copywriting and Art Direction

Japan Diaries - the brainchild of director Karen Matsumoto, is an editorial documenting the growing representation of women in Tokyo's skate scene produced by monopo for Nike SB.

For the first time in history, skateboarding was recognized as an official category for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. This presented the perfect opportunity for Japan Diaries to gain maximum exposure by being released globally across @NikeSB @NikeWomens, @Nike and @NikeTokyo. The film chronicles Azusa “Nigo” Adachi, Sara Hirayama, Rio Maehata, and Ari Marie Angeles, four women in Tokyo who are breaking down "skater girl" stereotypes by upholding their own personal style and simply being themselves.

Azusa "Nigo" is also the founder of Skate Girls Snap, a platform to document the women she met in Tokyo’s evolving skate scene. In Japan Diaries, Karen wanted to capture Azusa’s passion for not only how she expresses herself as a skater, but also her passion to tell stories of the women forging new paths and unique styles within the sport and their community.

“Women who skate, not skater girls. Women who do things their way, regardless of what traditions or society expects.” - Azusa Nigo

Japan Diaries was created by Japanese female skaters in front and behind the lens. The full production was all female-led and made possible due to the close collaboration-come-friendship built between the 4 women on camera and those behind it.

Compiled from both the lens of the director and protagonist’s own footage from her Skate Girl Snap platform, the documentary has a Mixed Media look and feel that gave a real, raw mood to the real stories being told through different voices and lenses, literally and figuratively.

Karen Matsumoto

Creative Director, Filmmaker Karen Masumoto is a Japanese American director and Emmy-nominated editor born and raised in Los Angeles. She has directed in mediums from film, VR, to AR exploring impactful storytelling through technology and journalism. Proudly non- binary and diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, identity plays a huge part in their storytelling. “I utilized creativity as an outlet and tool to communicate hard feelings in my youth. Karen utilizes film not only as a tool but as a way to celebrate the uniqueness of others and to change the world’s approach to perceived weaknesses. ”Empowerment, authenticity, and celebration are key themes. I believe film is a universal language and a way to explore the human experience while further connecting our world.”

  • Director
    Karen Masumoto
  • Starring
    Azusa “Nigo” Adachi, Sara Hirayama, Rio Maehata, and Ari Marie Angeles
  • Creative Producer monopo
    Georgi Roberts
  • Line Producermonopo
    Yukiko Kubota
  • Art Director monopo
    Mei Kanamoto
  • Designer monopo
    Tran Minh Villageois
  • Copywriter (Japanese)monopo
    Toshika Kosako
  • Copywriter (English)
    Aya Apton
  • Production Assistant
    Elena Assenheimer
  • Editor
    Andy Nagashima
  • Editor
    Shane Lester
  • Colorist
    Mai Lasan
  • Composer
  • Online Editor
    Kohei Hashimoto
  • Director of PhotographyNobu Arakawa
  • Assistant CameraAnthony Rilocapro
  • B cam OperatorCallum Hasegawa
  • GafferArata Ichiji
  • Sound Recordist & MixerMika Watanabe
  • Photographer217..NINA
  • Assistant PhotographerHideaki Nagata
  • StylistAi Takahashi
  • DriverRyuta Doi
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