55mph - Roots. Vol.01
A Search for Freedom
Two years ago, at the end of 2019, photographer Rowland ‘Rowly’ Kirishima and I set out on a motorcycle trip, starting in Portugal and making our way through Spain to Morocco in Africa. What sparked the idea for this trip was the 55mph series of publications put out by Yamaha Motor in the 1980s. With its “motorcycle utopia” concept, 55mph showcased motorcycle tours in various places around the world, with each issue detailing the thrills and experiences specific to each destination in wonderful travel articles complete with boldly arranged photos from the trips.
Rowly and I both read the articles from 55mph back when we just started riding motorcycles and were greatly influenced by them. Now that we’re both in our 50s, we decided that we wanted to go on a motorcycle trip like the ones we read about in 55mph when we were younger. The story of our trip was told in the reborn 55mph on the web and also as a book. ▶55mph - This is Africa! Chapter01
A Ride to Kochi to Return to Our Roots
In November, we decided to go out on tour again. As traveling overseas still remains difficult, we chose to keep this one domestic, thinking it would also be a good opportunity to take a fresh look at Japan. There were several places we wanted to go to, but ended up choosing Tosa in Kochi Prefecture. Rowly was born to a Scottish–American father and a Japanese mother, and he said his maternal ancestors were samurai who once lived in the area. Perhaps being in his 50s, I felt that tracing his roots may have held a special meaning for him. At the same time, Kochi was unexplored territory for me and it was also a place I had always wanted to go to.