I recently just read a post about the closing of the Initial D series which you can read here. I’m sure you guys recall that one of my other hobbies is cars, I haven’t really been too crazy on cars in awhile, actually I finally JUST drove my own car in a little over 2 months. Cars to me is another extension of a person’s personality. People pour their mind, body, and soul into this one vehicle so that vehicle at the end of the long build will also be able to have a little bit of life into the car itself. Some of you may think “It’s just a car, as long as it gets me from point A to point B then I’m fine with it.” But to car enthusiast it’s another gateway to look into their soul and to see how their mind works. It’s not just dumping money into a pit or anything along the lines of that. It’s being able to say that you created something with your own bare hands and mind that in the first place you didn’t think could possibly happen. And that to me is worth every blood and sweat drop you ever produced.
You can tell a lot about a car enthusiast by the way their car is setup. Some drivers are into the “Hella Flush” look where your car is extremely low to the ground and your suspension setup is excessively cambered to the point where you think to yourself “how do they drive their car like that?” Some owners go as far as doing “demon camber” to give them extra cool points.
And other drivers like the track setup where the car may feature reinforced bars and stiffer suspension with light wheels to tackle on the corners of the race track. But not a majority of those cars always keep their looks to the race tracks. Some drivers daily their race track inspired on the streets. I don’t mind it too much but neither do I condone reckless driving. Which I’m sure a bunch of the older guys already know that but there are still the younger folks who still like to push the buttons of their cars and traffic to test the limits of the cars.
In japan, there’s also another style that’s never really been mentioned of until the recent years; Kanjozoku. Kanjozoku isn’t necassarily a style but rather a way of life. These drivers will drive on the freeways of Tokyo through rain, sleet, snow, etc. just to feed the speed demon within them. No, these freeways aren’t closed to only racers, these are public freeways.
You may have actually driven on the Kanjo yourself if you’ve played games such as the Tokyo Extreme Racer series or Wangan Midnight and Maximum Tuning. I had no clue that these were even real freeways in my teen years that I was racing wanderers on, along with the “Rolling Guy” team among many other racing teams in the video game.
Tokyo Extreme Racer had me more than happy whenever I would start up my PS2 and get to the freeways with my Nissan S15 at the time (in game of course). I would play this game for maybe 4 hours a day because of just how good it felt to escape reality and be in my own world where I was able to control what happened. If I lost a race, I wouldn’t back down I’d go right back at it just to see if it was just a fluke. Yes, I’ll admit sometimes you had to play dirty and crash the NPC into the wall just to win the race. I can’t be the only one that did it though! haha.
But back to the Kanjo racers, there’s a number of things that I admire about these drivers. Maybe it’s the way that they stay true to the Japanese roots and stick with the honda civics. Most of the time when I watch an interview with a Kanjo racer they always make it seem to be like cars are truly living and breathing creatures waiting for someone to let them out of the cage so they can be where they were made to be, on the road.
I might touch more on this in a later post but until then, hopefully you enjoyed this very brief introduction to the Kanjozoku!