Interview: Get to know 34 Miyon from Japan’s Dirty Pimp crew
If you're not familiar with Miyeong Yamaguchi aka @34miyon34 on Instagram–it’s time to change that. This Japanese rider has been steadily on the rise via a steady dose of clips in the many Dirty Pimp edits. In a crew that's loaded with style and has a deep bag of tricks, Miyon's riding stands out, a testament to her easy sensibility when landing hammers. Her snowboarding is influenced by proper Japanese street chops as well as the SoCal ethos of Bear Mountain, meaning that she’s got an arsenal of technical tricks and ultra relaxed style. It's her flawless frontboards, backlips, 270’s–not to mention her switch ups and revert tap outs–that landed her a spot in upcoming film, The Uninvited, in which Miyon will have the chance to turn any heads who haven't already been replaying her tricks online. Her riding is mental, she's an accomplished artist, and her first province-side part is about to drop. We thought it was high time we got to know the 34 Miyon much better, so we hit her up and she was kind enough to answer all our questions. Read below, tap follow on Instagram, and stay tuned for more from Miyeong. – Mary Walsh
You go by 34 Miyon in the Dirty Pimp edits and as @34miyon34 on Instagram. What does the 34 stand for?
In Japan, 3 sounds "mi" and 4 sounds "yon". These sounds perfectly fit my name, Miyeong, so that I use this number as my screenname.
Where are you from?
Fukuoka, Japan. It is a region where snow does not fall.
What sponsors do you ride for?
CAPiTA, DIMITO, DEELUXE, UNION,OAKLEY, STINKY SOCKS ,COAL, Dirty pimp, The Uninvited.
How old were you when you first snowboarded? Why did you start snowboarding?
I was 19 years old, and my friend from a college actually asked me to go to an indoor snowboarding slope in the summer break, since I had nothing to do. It was amazingly fun, so I moved to its neighborhood then commuted there 6 times in a week!
What is your home resort? What is it like?
Recently, I ride at Yuzawa area, Niigata, Japan. It is a deep-snow place and we are all able to enjoy powder-snowboarding in its peak season! I see a lot of ski resorts having a complete snowboarding park. Moreover, I see some street spots in the city as well.
How did Dirty Pimp start? How long have you guys been riding together?
The beginning of this crew started from Yutaro, a producer, saying that he wanted to make the best film crew ever in Japan. It has been 9 years of being together so far. We have 3 original members including me, since the beginning, and it seems we accept more younger generation in these days. It is so much fun to ride and hanging out with everyone though.
Everyone in Dirty Pimp has so much style. What influences your riding and style?
I think I got influenced by variety of things around me, such as a traditional Korean folk dance I used to learn when I was a little kid and some of the moves still show up sometimes. I also consciously improve the moves I don't really like on the film! After all, I think my style is piled up on those efforts and interests around me.
What was the first street spot that you hit?
Without clearing snow away from the stairs, I tried 50-50 on its 10m down rail. I think that was the first one I hit.
Which Japanese riders influence your snowboarding?
I respect Kazu Kokubo.
Which Western riders influence your snowboarding?
When I first watched Justin Bennee's riding on a screen, I thought it was really cool.
So many Western riders go to Japan in search of street spots. What makes spots in Japan so unique?
Honestly for me, I think Western countries have better street spots, but I guess that we are all attracted by its own exotic spots right? Whenever I see Western riders hit the spots in Japan with a creative and crazy ride, it amazes me so much!
Do you guys get busted at spots often or are Japanese police pretty understanding?
I don't think they understand us so much though. Haha, actually, on the contrary, local people who live around the spots get really mad at us and we only have 20% of successful persuasion so far.
What is your favorite type of spot to hit (rail, redirect, etc.)?
I like a simple down rail and small wall which I can show my style. At the same time, I think a background is also very important, such as dirty ghetto places and neutral and modern buildings I really like! I don't think I can hardly hit the latter one since people are watching.
What has been the spot you have battled most while filming?
I guess I have a lot, but If I must say the one then, it should be a triple down rail I hit last year. I really didn't want to do that since I was so scared, but at the same time I was invited to "The Uninvited", which means I had to focus on myself asking all my crew getting back to the van and kept riding on that rail till I made it. I actually didn't like the style of the first make, so I pushed myself until I made the second one I really liked.
How many summers have you been going to Mount Hood to snowboard? Was Hood the first place you snowboarded in North America?
It was the 3 time I visited the Mt. Hood. The first snowboard in North America was Bear!
What did you think of Bear?
Bear Mountain was the one I really wanted to visit for a long time. The first park film I watched on the internet was the edition of Bear Mountain, and it was astonishing so I strongly believed in myself going there in the future. It was really cool to go there with my Dirty Pimp crew together though. An amazing park and a delicious cheeseburger!!
If a snowboarder was going to visit your home mountain and town for the first time, what would you recommend they make sure to do/see while there?
First of all, they all must come here in the peak season and I recommend powder snow here. It should be a lot of fun I promise. After you snowboard a lot, then natural hot springs and delicious meals will make you feel better.
Favorite songs and artists to listen to when snowboarding?
I listen to the songs from some snowboarding films, and Hip-Hop music, sometimes Pop music.
How did you get involved with "The Uninvited"?
I met Jess 2 years ago when I visited Mt.Hood for the first time and introduced myself to she by showing my street film then she really liked it. Right after that, she asked me to join a part of "The Uninvited" project. I was so happy.
Did you spend last winter filming mostly in Japan for "The Uninvited" or did you travel to film, too?
I did spend last winter only filming in Japan for "The Uninvited". Honestly, before getting into that season, I was thinking that I wouldn't seriously do a street filming anymore, but after Jess asked me to join in "The Uninvited" then, I got fired up to do the street film for 2 more years!
Was it different filming for "The Uninvited" compared to filming for a Dirty Pimp movie?
I was moving around with my Dirty Pimp crew for "The Uninvited" for the whole time without changing any environment at all, but my feeling was totally different from any films. I strongly wanted to make all the cool girl riders in "The Uninvited" and people in the world feel amazed by my rides, so that I was able to face the risky and hard spots without any hesitation.
What other female riders are you currently stoked on?
I still remember the first time I watched the street films by Jess, Desiree, and Danyale. It was astonishing. Moreover, through this "The Uninvited" project, I was able to know the girl street riders more in the world and pretty much excited! I can't wait to see their rides in this year, too!
You are an illustrator, too. What do you like to draw?
I like cats. I like to paint and draw them realistically based on their pictures and also fancifully as well.
Where would you like your snowboarding to go this coming season and beyond?
I still keep going on the street ride, but I might not be able to do some risky parts since I want to get married soon! Beyond that, I want to be a rider who can impress people more and who has a steadfast style and out-of-the-box riding.
What qualities make up a great video part?
It is very important to have a skill and style for sure. More than that, I really like the film showing riders' characters and how to make parts. I almost forgot, yeah music has a large part of the film, too!
What are your plans for this winter?
Mainly, we are just going around filming as usual. I still need to practice more and would love to go to the park. Also, I kind of want to go to Bear Mountain since it's been a while.