Part 6. New members join Team “KIZUNA”!

Meanwhile, three more members joined our team “KIZUNA”, the team aiming for world Championship in the Atacama Desert.

They were the media crew for team “KIZUNA”.

The young “Ino” and “Tomo” (Tomoko Mikanagi) from the film production company “augment5″, which had just started their activities worldwide.

Ino from augment5:


Tomoko Mikanagi (Tomo)


And Imaoka, who didn’t have media experience at all, but chose to join us anyways.


(left: Imaoka)

The three of them.

I met Ino, the media crew leader, only a month before.

It began through an online chat.

Ino: “Hello, Mr.Ono. It was nice meeting you the other day. By the way, you seem to participate in lots of interesting races. Please let me shoot your next race.”

Me: “Absolutely! Why don’t you come to Atacama Desert? We are aiming for World No.1 in the team race, which would be the first for a Japanese team. And we intend to run in costumes. It’s going to be so cool!”

Now, a film production usually decides a filming project when there is an expected buyer, like a TV program or a movie.

A mature and proper adult would make a judgment like that.


Ino: “I am not sure what to do with the film, but alright. I will go!”

He convinced another staff member, Tomo, to join him, and the media crew for team “KIZUNA” was born.

I was very excited because the films produced by augment5 were gaining a lot of attention worldwide.

(These people have so much talent and they’re so aggressive! I love them!)

But then the Atacama’s race office informed us that they needed to check whether the media crew could join since it was so last minute, and that 3 crew members would be required to rent a media crew car.

That was when I was having a conversation with Imaoka (Shin introduced him) about another topic.

Imaoka: “I am planning to race the Sahara Race next year, 2014.”

Me: “Great! By the way, although it’s just before the race and still pending, a media crew might be with us the whole time during the Atacama Race. And there’s one seat left.

Imaoka: “Really? I want to go too! I don’t have media experience, but I will help with anything. It will be good training for the Sahara next year too!”

Me: “Alright! I will contact Ino immediately!”

And that was how the Team “KIZUNA” media crew was born.

Ino, Tomo and Imaoka.

At this moment, Ino and Tomo  and the last media crew member to join, Imaoka, hadn’t even met each other.

But all three reserved the flight even before the race office had officially told us that the media crew could join.

(Oh my, something exciting is happening here!)

With this, team “KIZUNA” became a six-member team.

Racing crew: Shin the banana, Kuro the giraffe, Hiro the radish

Media crew: Ino, Tomo, Imaoka


(From back left, Kuro, Ino, Shin, (Kiyopi), Tomo, me. In the front, Imaoka. I will tell you about Kiyopi afterwards)

My party gets bigger as I travel.

Things were happening like a roll-playing game.

And everyone was serious about creating a film about a radish, a banana and a giraffe running through the desert to become world champions as a team. Everyone was serious about this crazy idea and to distribute this film around the world.

(The pressure and anxiety is increasing as more people join, but I gotta go through with this!)

Let’s just do it!

(Continue to Part 7)