Who is Gou Miyagi?
© Nobuo Iseki
Get as close as you're ever likely to be to finding out what makes the man also known as Dorabon tick in our exclusive Out Of Frame video profiling Japan’s enigmatic skateboarding pioneer.
Be sure to download the free Red Bull TV app and catch the skateboarding action on all your devices! Get the app here
Mystique is an interesting factor in skateboarding's minutely dissected and pored-over lore. If 411 Video Magazine proved anything, it was that rooming with the filmer might have got your same five tricks used from a couple of different tour stops, but people got bored of you real quick. Conversely, it seemed that the less coverage some people put out, the greater their whispered greatness would become. Counter-intuitive, somewhat: a funny old world, is it not?
Neil Blender is the leading light of skateboarding mystique. Later would come Brian Lotti, Guy Mariano, Tom Penny and Gino Iannucci, all of whom intrigued the faithful with their seeming disregard for the rules of the game.
Gou Miyagi entered skateboarding's collective consciousness courtesy of the Far Eastern Skate Network's seminal Overground Broadcasting video in 2008, a slow-burner announcing a Japanese entrance into skateboarding’s cultural landscape which has continued unabated ever since.
In turn, it was Dorabon’s appearance in Japanese gameshow Unbeatable Banzuke which had first sold skateboard pioneers Takahiro Morita and Chopper on his uniqueness, but it was only after arch-Japanophile owner of Heroin Skateboards Mark 'Fos' Foster released 2013's Video Nasty, featuring Gou's highly anticipated new part, that he really blew up.
The ability of the internet to reach skaters interested in leftfield aspects of the form over the heads of the media had caught up by that point (something which also greatly helped Polar Skateboards) and this section turned the reclusive Okinawa skater into a sensation within and without skateboarding, courtesy of one of the most forwarded clips in the history of digital skating.
However, heavy hangs that crown, and within just two years he would retire from professional skateboarding altogether. Skateboarding's anti-establishment credentials have been crafted by mavericks, non-conformists who pushed the culture in new directions.
So, just who is Gou Miyagi? What is his story, exactly? We set out to find out.
This, with some help from his friends, is his Out Of Frame.