Photography by Shinichi Fukae
Shin & Miyu Fukae celebrate after winning "Angler of the Year"
Own: 2012 Tiffin Phaeton and two chihuahuas
Profession: professional bass fisherman (Shin) & publicist (Miyu)
Competitive Philosophy: 10% skill, 90% mental game
Tournament Prep: rice, fried pork and blue shorts (plus Cheez-it® snacks, Shin’s official sponsor)
Heads turn when the red and orange Cheez-it SUV pulls into the Lazydays RV service area. Professional bass fisherman Shin Fukae and his wife and publicist Miyu (pronounced “mee-you”) emerge from the vehicle, carrying bags of organizational items to complete the move into their new motorhome. They greet fellow RVers with smiles and gracious hellos, then sit down at a picnic table and begin to share the story of their journey, explaining how they landed in a Tiffin with a Cheez-it sponsored SUV towing a matching boat.
Miyu holds her own on the water
Shin was born in Osaka, Japan. His dream of becoming a pro fisherman began while fishing on nearby lakes as a young boy. With quiet confidence and determination, he turned his dream into a reality. Considering his unwavering focus on fishing, it should come as no surprise that Shin met his future wife, Miyu, at the local bait shop. Miyu shares her husband’s passion for the sport, and often spends her downtime fishing — where it’s clear that she is a force to be reckoned with. Shortly after the couple met, they took advantage of a sponsored opportunity to move to the United States and compete against Shin’s idols in the FLW, America’s premier tournament-fishing organization.
The Fukaes arrived in America with very little English skills, and made their home in a 2004 Chevrolet® Express van. Each night they would sleep — arms by their sides — without room to turn; each day they were challenged with language barriers. But every moment on the water made it all worth the struggle. A few tournament wins brought attention, respect and more spacious living quarters in the form of a motorcoach.
Several years later, fishing continues to be their passion and primary focus. The couple now call America home, but visit Japan each year. Both have acquired impressive English-speaking skills, though Shin says Miyu has greater fluency because she has the opportunity to talk to people all day, while he is talking to the fish. That dedication has led to considerable success on the bass-fishing circuit, allowing the Fukaes to enjoy the rewards of Shin’s talents. And now, they end each day in a comfortable, queen-sized bed — with plenty of room to turn.
Shin holds up prize bass
Tell us what is unique about your RV journey at Story Keeper. StoryKeeper@lazydays.com
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