Builders & Celebrities » Aki Sakamoto

Portraits & Lifestyle

AKI SAKAMOTO - Aki Sakamoto has had a passion for Harley-Davidson motorcycles since he was a young boy growing up in Fukuoka, Japan. He eventually came to the USA to follow his passion by attending the Motorcycle Mechanic Institute, where after 3-years, he graduated in 1999. Aki then returned back to Japan, but this didn’t last long as his destiny seemed to be in the United States. He came back and worked for Jesse James at West Coast Choppers for a number of years before eventually opening his own shop, Hog Killers, in 2009.

I met Aki in those years but didn’t have the opportunity to shoot one of his custom bikes in the studio until 2012 when I photographed his custom 1968 HD XLCH named Rainbow as well as the love machine "Glory Hole” he built for Yuriko Takeda. Since then, Aki has returned to my studio and also built a bike for my Naked Truth Sturgis exhibition in 2014. We also had an amazing trip together when I joined Aki to visit bike shops in Japan after Mooneyes that December. It was so great spending this time together, sharing hotels, learning from him about Japanese culture and ways, getting to be better friends and of course his introductions to so many Japanese builders. Visit Aki’s Hogkillers website at