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During the summer the western Pacific gives rise to some of the planet’s biggest storms. These Category 5 super typhoons eventually turn and track north taking the southern islands of Japan into their destructive path.

The swells they generate transform the outer reefs into shallow but seriously heaving slabs, as Kohl Christensen discovered on a storm chase with legendary photographer Kin Kimoto and a crew of Japan’s fearless chargers.

Kohl gets a close-up look at the country’s big-waves—and discovers that its samurai spirit and seafaring culture are very much alive and pumping.

“Kin invited me down to chase a couple of typhoons and I got to see a side of Japan that I don’t think most people know exist. The wave quality there is off the chart. It’s pretty impressive” Kohl said about the trip

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