In mid-April, 2007 - a Japanese film crew and a team of world-class windsurfers converged at Stable Road.  They came to capture in high-def video the action sequences for a new movie in the works, honoring the Japanese windsurfing hero, Natsuki Iijima, who passed away in 2006. Here are some photos from the film set.   Ho'okele 'anó á mau loa ma na lani, Natsuki.

 

Japanese shoot

natsukiiijima

Born on August 15th 1966, Natsuki Iijima was the only Japanese windsurfer to have competed in the PWA World Cup for 8 years.  A world-renowned professional windsurfer, Natsuki based himself in Maui and Guam - and was active all over the world, competing in an average of twenty competitions a year.  As well as collecting prizes at countless international competitions, Iijima was the winner of numerous Japanese national competitions. After moving to Guam in 1993, he started up a marine sports center, and devoted himself to the teaching of windsurfing.


In June 2002, Natsuki was diagnosed with liver cancer, and despite undergoing major surgery twice, as well as various forms of therapy, his condition worsened. After battling depression and panic attacks, with the support and encouragement of family and friends, he succeeded in overcoming these. He felt that he was “being allowed to live”, and found great inspiration and motivation to go on living through a passion for writing, which he discovered by chance just around this time. In June 2004, Iijima’s first novel, “Tengoku de kimi ni aetara” “If I see you in Heaven”, was published by Shinchosha, and has gone on to be praised highly as a masterpiece on life, death and love. He continued to work on a sequel.


Iijima then moved to Hawaii with his wife Hiroko and four children.  He died in 2006, at the age of 38. 


Coming in August 2007 is a film based on his true life story.  Actor Oosawa Tako plays Natsuki and Ito Misaki as Hiroko.


Apparently, Natsuki Iijima had dreamed of making a film about windsurfing.  According to the cast, Natsuki looked over them during production, providing scenes that were full of sunshine and wind.   When the production was over, the sun was gone as was the wind.


The film “Tengoku de Kimi ni Aetara” (If I See You in Heaven) will be released on August 25th in Japan.


Official film website: http://www.life-tenkimi.jp

Natsuki Iijima official website: http://natsuki.air-nifty.com

ProFile:NatsukiIijima

Photography by Robert Masters © 2007http://www.mastercommunication.com
StableRoadhttp://www.stableroad.com/

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