Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service
Spanish MotoGP rider on hand to watch skillful Japanese sword making.
Dani Pedrosa first wore the word ‘Samurai’ and a small cartoon on the back of his helmet for the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix.
Two years on and such was the popularity of the symbol that it remains there still for this weekend’s Japanese GP, the Spaniard even warranting the nickname ‘Baby Samurai’.
On the eve of the race, the 32-year-old travelled to a traditional maker of katana (or Samurai sword), Yoshindo Yoshibara, of which there are just 300 in the whole of Japan, the latest of his fun forays off the bike.
And Pedrosa said of the experience: “I was interested and looked up to the Samurai philosophy from a very young stage of my career.
“I didn’t really share that with anyone at first but the more I race the more I get questions like ‘what is your riding attitude based on’ and ‘what is your riding philosophy?’
“That’s when I started to tell that my whole riding is based on Samurai’s spirit. The design on my helmet was first supposed to be a one-time-only thing for that Japan GP race but fans loved it, and I decided to keep using it. It is so popular that they now have replica models too.”
Pedrosa, currently fourth in the championship standings with a win and seven other podium finishes, pored over the minute detail of the sword making.
He added: “Although I am from Spain, I have studied the process of making a Samurai sword through books and pictures. It was amazing to see the process and details it actually takes in person.”