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West To East: Japan's New Breed of Reverse Influenced Car Culture

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Published on 01 Nov 2019 / In Today Reality

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In this episode, we are heading to a secret, invite-only meet up that is literally straight out of Tokyo Drift. In fact, this underground scene that is directly and heavily inspired by the movie and more generally, reverse influenced by American JDM car culture. Its a fascinating case study of where life literally immitated art.

This is a meet called, fittingly, Back to the Furious. It harkens back to the street culture of the early 00s where gaudy bodykits underglow and nos ruled the day.

In special gatherings like this around Tokyo, you’ll see an incredible variety of rides, from fully tuned liberty walk R35 GTRs to Lamborghini Aventadors to the real stars of the show, the most ricer rides you’ll ever see.

To have the chance to be here in Japan, filming these cars which look like they came straight out of Need For Speed Underground, it feels like Ive come full circle in a way. My 14 year old self would lose his mind if he knew that one day, 32 year old me would be in Japan, chasing these real life hot wheels cars in my own childhood dream car - my own Subaru Impreza wrx sti.

I feel truly blessed to be able to document this glimpse into this aspect of Japanese car culture and its fun to connect the dots and see that this is a sub-culture that is as much about showing respect for the original scene as it is about self expression and the search for one’s identity in the very rigid Japanese society. Its this merging of east and west, and the back and forth feedback loop thats one of the most fascinating aspects of this sub culture, which itself, is a unique lens into Japanese culture as a whole.

I hope you enjoyed this video. Let me know what you thought in the comments below!

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