Ikigai: The Shin Biyajima Story

Published on November 21, 2022

Captions provided by CCTubes – Captioning the Internet! Shin Biyajima, a Japanese snowboarder, shares the intimate story of how he found his Ikigai (生きがい) or “reason for being” through a lifetime of adoration and exploration of his mountainous backyard of Nagano, Japan. Joined by American snowboarder Travis Rice, Ikigai is an immersion into Shin’s life, Japanese mountain culture, and the similarities between two friends who despite being an ocean apart, grew up with two things in common; the mountain as a classroom and a deep affinity for board riding.


I was able to spend three years traveling and exploring the Japanese Alps with Shin Biyajima during the production of “The Fourth Phase” film. During that time I shared so many adventures and conversations with this new friend of mine. After our film released, I really wanted to capture a more authentic portrait of Shin and his process of living and riding as a Japanese snowboarder. I spent about six weeks over two years following Shin around his backyard in the Nagano Prefecture hiking, inquiring and immersing myself in Shin’s universe. Joined by film maker Justin Smith, we wanted to capture an intimate portrait of a lifestyle that is quite foreign compared to the norms of North America, yet still strangely similar to the principles that most snowboarders share around the love of the mountains. – Travis Rice


Directed By: Justin Taylor Smith
Created By: Travis Rice
Starring: Shin Biyajima & Travis Rice
Cinematography By: Justin Taylor Smith, Sean Aaron, Greg Wheeler, Hiroaki Yonekura
Editor: Justin Taylor Smith
Assistant Editor: Dylan Parr
Colorist: Scott Sterling
Sound: Erik Groysman
Post Supervisor: Ariel Zemlicka
Music Supervision: Lory Vincent
Music By: Blitzen Trapper, Young Magic, Sugar Candy Mountain

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