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BMX VIDEO PROJECT “JOH”. Director and Filmer interview.
Filmer: Ken Matsumoto(Matsuken)
Director: Daisuke Maja

Q1 What is the background of the Video project name “JOH” ?

Maja: We chose the name “JOH” as this Japanese character means “always”. We wanted to reflect the good-times we always had in our local spot in the town called Senjyu.

photo: Hikaru Funyu

The Logo was created by KoToPe san. He has also designed the logos for our T-shirts, and the stickers on my signature frame ACCORCROW(ALIVE INDUSTRY)


KaToPe san, is an artist and is “always” focused on his projects. He designs unique masterpieces. I am amazed with his work every time I go to his exhibitions.

Q2. Please introduce the project team

Daisuke Maja(BMX RIDER))JOH Project Director

Ken Matsumoto (aka Matsuken) (BMX RIDER)JOH Project manager, Filmer and editor

Reiji sasaki (SKATER)Filmer

Naoya Takahashi(BMX RIDER)Best condition, Went by the name Raymond during his childhood

Shota Higa(BMX RIDER)Prodigy from Okinawa

DJ MAS aka SENJU-FRESH! (DJ/Trackmaker) - Soundtrack creator

KaToPe (作家)- ARTWORK制作

Q3. Tell me how the project “JOH” started

Maja: I have spent a lot of time with the these people (project team), either riding, drinking, or at work.  We always talked about wanting to film clips. We started filming and for a while and realised we had quite a lot of footage, this is when we thought we should turn this into a video project. Forgot who initiated the project discussion but it was me or Matsuken. lol

Matsuken: At the beginning, we didn’t gather with the intention to film clips. We just gathered to ride and began filming clips we thought were good. Once we had a good amount of footage, I recall someone mentioning “Why don’t we make a DVD with the clips we have?” before or during work. lol

Q.4 What was the reason to create the DVD now and with these people?

Maja: We wanted to produce and release our DVD now, as we are living in the era where the environment is always changing. The situation & environment of the team members are also changing, but we know that we can always have a blast with this crew. I wanted to do a project with this crew. I was like “let’s do this”! 

Q.5 What is the reason to have the original soundtrack in this Video project?

Maja: I wanted to create something original, meaning I wanted to put together things that no-one has seen or heard before. I discussed with MAS about the project and he said it sounded fun and he accepted to create the soundtrack for us. I have always been blown away listening to his DJ/music. I sometimes forget where I am lol. You will know what I mean if you listen to the movie trailer in full blast.

He has released some new tracks  in 7inchVinyl, so be sure not to miss it!

Q6. What are your thoughts on the riders?

Maja: They are all fired up! They all have their own original style that is awesome. I am no different, but they all are unique and have fun stories. We are now towards the end of filming, so I am getting excited. I am supervising Naoya because he is a liability. lol

Q7. Tell me about an episode when you got excited during filming.

Matsuken: The handrail Maja did in a town called Roppongi. He had his eye on that handrail for some time, and we went to Roppongi by train just to film that handrail. We met up with Hikaru (Filmer) in Roppongi and biked to that spot. There were lots of people and cars around that area, people were back in the office after the COVID-19 lockdown was lifted.
We had 2 filmers and 1 rider at the spot, we didn’t have anyone looking out for security etc. so the situation wasn’t good. I was wondering if its even possible to attempt the handrail in these bad conditions. Maja san and I was both nervous. We were really focused and he pulled it off on the first go. It wasn’t something that could be pulled off by riding skills on its own, it was amazing. 

After this spot, I was motivated and was able to get some footage in a town call Shibuya on the same day. The 3 of had a few drinks at a riding spot in Shibuya which was also great.
There are many other amazing episodes, but this episode is particular memorable.

photo: Hikaru Funyu
Q8. From the directors’ point of view, what is the best part of the video.

Maja: The way Matsuken has structured the content. The speed and individual style of the riders/skaters sections, the mind-blowing artwork, and soundtracks that is integrated into this masterpiece!

Q9. How are you planning to release the DVD and soundtracks?

Matsuken: Planning to retail the movie via DVD and Soundtrack via CD (2 in 1 package). A lot of clips are free nowadays, but we wanted to sell something tangible. Back in the day, I remember being selective of if I should by parts for my bike or to buy a DVD. I remember well the DVDs that I bought in those situations. It’s not only the clips in the DVD, but where I bought the DVD and memories at the time. I want “JOH” to be the same.
When I was thinking about the quality, I thought of other media channels, but I thought DVD would work best. I am working on providing the best quality in the DVD format.

Q10. Any final messages?

We will be releasing the “JOH” on the 30th April’22. We will be posting unused clips on Instagram (@joh.project) till the release date. So be sure to check them out!

translater: Shoji Tanaka