When I departed on my return trip to Japan this Summer, I did so with the goal of reconnecting with friends and colleagues after the two years of travel restrictions. For 5 straight weeks I travelled around the country by car, train, and plane, all with the simple objective of ‘catching up’.
At the beginning of my road trip to Mie Prefecture, I decided to make a detour down to the Izu Peninsula to visit my good friend Ando. Ando operates Auto Rescue Izu, a wrecker/tow service in Shizuoka. Over the past 2 years he had built a new shop to house and work on his personal cars.
Late in the month of May, Summer has started to show its true colors in Japan. With temperatures already pushing well into the 30’s, it’s time we say farewell to the cold mornings at the circuit, and face the cold reality that we won’t be racing anytime soon.
1990’s motoring in Japan, for a few people, has recently increased in popularity, becoming somewhat of an abstract study into a very unique culture. A lot of what we see today, especially in drifting, is an amalgamation of trends and lifestyle cues from that era; things that we aren’t necessarily privy to (unless of course you were a teenager in Tokyo in 1995). Yuji Hasunuma, owner of Pro Shop Wave, was a prominent figure in the peak times of ‘hashiriya‘; a time where the older generation today, was growing up and exploring the world of motorsports. Despite the change in trends, Yuji and his shop is still around today in Kanagawa, and as a ‘tip of the hat’ to the age his generation loved, he began the Bari Dori Heaven events.
This year, the collective minds behind Final Bout set out to unite a country over the sport of drifting; instilling in the nation a certain set of qualities they feel are necessary for the sport to thrive with it’s Japanese roots intact. Each carefully selected location of the Special Stage events provided their own unique characteristics in both venue and demographics that helped define what drifting is in each corner of the nation. Uncovering, and highlighting these places allowed others to experience different parts of the country, both first and second hand, that we wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to. I think this alone is reason enough to undertake a project as massive as Final Bout has been in 2016. This time the crew headed to Canaan Motor Club in central New Hampshire to host the third, and final stage of the trio of special events.
Car Modify Wonder had several cars on hand to introduce their somewhat new lineup of Glare aero parts, and as usual, they did not disappoint. It’s refreshing to see a truly unique and creative offering, especially for older chassis’. It’s a stark contrast from what we’ve recently been used to seeing; which is more or less a cookie cutter approach to exterior styling (I don’t need to say anymore than that for you to catch my drift). Check out the shots below and let me know what you think.
The flip side of all this is, naturally, what’s going on now. The grassroots drift scene in Japan is as alive as it ever was and events like BariDoriTen do a great job of catering to both generations. It’s true that nowadays many of the younger people jump straight into car ownership, they still have a working knowledge of their predecessors. There’s no discrimination between age here, which makes for an event where some can relive their youth while others are experiencing it in the present.
It’s always memorable to meet new people (most of the time anyway), especially if you’re a fan of their work or if you share the same interests. It’s even more memorable, however, if there is something attached to that meeting that makes it stand out among the many other encounters we experience. In this case, in my meeting of Damon and Tony, that memorable event came in the form of a Shawano, Wisconsin Sheriff.
When I left off the first post, I had just got done making my rounds in the pit, getting acquainted with a few people, and generally just getting a lay of the land. It was my first time at US Air and really wasn’t familiar with any of the track layout. After Mico introduced me to Nick from Touge Factory, I was able to get a media pass and head out to the infield to start getting some shots of the open practice session that was going on.
Being on an airplane nearly every week for the last year has somewhat numbed me to the miracle of flight. Commercial airlines have figuratively made the world a much smaller, and more obtainable place. The opportunity of creating new relationships and experiences are increased exponentially because of our ability to understand flight. As I travel for work quite frequently, I often have to step back and view the act existentially as to remind myself of what I’ve been able to accomplish with the help of those winged metal tubes. Arriving home Thursday after a 4 day stint in Tucson, Arizona, I had one day to catch up on work, and gather my camera gear, as I had made the decision to make my way Northeast on Friday night.
Mobara invites from Team Yamada. Lots of good street teams out this day.
So, yeah. This will probably go down as the most random post of 2015 NDF, but I figured I’d combine the two as we didn’t spend that much time at either. The same day that HKS held their Premium Day event, our friends at Tension reserved the Fuji drift track and held their own ‘Premium Day’ so to speak. While the guys in Tension are all super nice, they have a somewhat sketchy history, so I’m glad Sekinei is good friends with them. They’ve always support NDF and I couldn’t be more stoked about it.
So during the lunch break on the Speedway side, Sekinei and I meandered over to Fuji’s drift track to say hi and snap some photos.
There’s something to be said about those who go against the grain. Those who have a need to create the outlandish, to disregard outside opinion, and to construct their true vision. They are the ones who will be remembered long after they’re gone, and the ones whose ideas will eventually be cherished. Go Nakamura is one such person, and he happens to be the owner of G-Corporation – and what you see before you is, in fact, his dream Silvia.
I think, for the sake of variety, that I’m going to switch gears a bit this week. While there is much more time attack coverage to share with you (not sure that I’ll ever have a shortage of that), I do have quite a bit of files in the NDF archive that have been collecting dust. Case in point, earlier this winter I visited Go-san at G-Corporation in Chiba and in his somewhat large driveway sat this beautiful red Silvia.
For a good sixteen years now, the Miyagawa brothers have been designing body panels for a wide variety of cars under the Garage Mak name. Creative to say the least, they are able to envision […]
I had messaged Nakamura-san a few weeks back in hopes I could catch him one evening to shoot the new G Corp demo car. Sekinei and I had dropped by one afternoon on the […]
Well, we’ve reached the fifth and final installment of the coverage for this year’s Winter Cafe. I’d like to again thank everyone who came out and I hope you all had a really good time. […]
We’ll pick up installment 4 of the Winter Cafe coverage by taking a stroll on the lower level of the PA. A lot of cars gathered here after the parking spots inside filled up, […]
Last week the CSG boys and a couple friends rented out the Nishi course at Ebisu for some testing. Mainly so Hara-san could test out the new HKS transmission […]
The last time I talked to Steve in person was at Autocon back in…April, I believe? Anyway, for the 30 or so minutes we chatted, he had mentioned wanting to put his 15″ Watanabes that […]
It’s safe to say, especially now that it has passed, that Final Bout was one of, if not, the most anticipated event stateside of 2014; not only because of who was attending, but mostly […]
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t follow Formula Drift here in the States in the loosest sense… My good friend Karl competes in FD, and the extent of my knowledge is […]
You know that saying ‘opposites attract’? Well, there is no better tangible proof than this pair here. Back when I pitched Baki’s S15 to Import Tuner at the beginning of the year, I […]
小山哲さんのZ32 This weekend at Fuji Speedway, the All Japan Z Meeting took place. This event is the largest Z meeting in the country, and is held annually at Fuji. This year, Satoru Koyama, the […]
Ran into this super clean R33 at Fuji last month. I didn’t get to see it on track, but it sure looked good sitting in the lot. It’s funny because I’ve reached a point […]
Continuing on with Hyper Meeting coverage, we’ll head out to the circuit where some of the time attack and races were taking place. HKS’s R35 GT1000 was on hand putting in a couple hot […]
I’m so behind on coverage of pretty much every event in Japan it’s killing me. Hyper Meeting, still have the last of the HKS Premium Day coverage (which is long overdue), several drift events […]
Throwing it back to last year when Jay and I stopped by Kunny’z to say hi to Kuniaki-san and Masahiko-san, seen here rocking the Uggs. I had met Kunny-san awhile back briefly, but had […]
This past weekend Mr. Satsuei was at Tsukuba Circuit to get coverage of Hyper Meeting 2014; an event that offers an extremely wide variety of popular cars, shops and a few events in both […]
I mentioned on our Instagram account (@naritadogfight) that Sekinei was at Tsukuba this past weekend covering Hyper Meeting 2014. I initially wanted to post up a bunch of shots from the event but honestly […]
A few months ago I flew up to Nor-Cal to visit some friends and to attend a drift thingy put together by Club Drift; you can see it here. The first one was a […]
Team Yamada is a team…kind of. Well, maybe the word ‘group’ would better fit the description. Team Yamada is a group who organize じゃんけん (Janken) events in Japan. Janken, if you’re unfamiliar with the […]
OK, so one day a few weeks ago, Sekinei, Matt and I headed to Mobara the morning that I was supposed to be on a flight back to America. I’m not sure what the deal […]
Came across this Kazama equipped Chaser at Mobara during a Team Yamada event earlier in the year. I’m not sure if it was still the 1J in there, or if the owner swapped to […]
This weekend I decided to take a little trip up to the Bay area to hang out with a few friends. I’m pretty lucky in the sense that pretty much anywhere I travel to now […]
Last weekend at Mobara, the drift team Perfect Style made a pretty solid appearance for the open event. I was pretty excited to see such a solid turn out, it really speaks to the […]
Caught this really cool R32 sedan at Mobara a week or so ago at the Team Yamada event. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised that it was owned and driven by […]
At the Team Yamada drift event at Mobara Circuit this past weekend, the old D1 Pro Shop Wave JZX100 made an appearance and put in a couple practice runs. It was quick to […]
Fuji’s drift course typically has a wide variety of course at any given event. On this day though, this particular 86 caught my eye. There are a few things about it that appeal to me. […]
I first saw this car when my friend Teddy posted a few pictures of it in our Facebook group page. I inquired about it pretty quickly and he mentioned it was a friend of […]