Author Archives: Ben Hsu

NIHON LIFE: Japan proposes changes for easier expressway navigation by foreigners

Japan’s expressways are famously difficult to navigate. Most are named for the far-away places they head to and are difficult for non-native Japanese speakers to remember. That may all change, the Ministry of Transport is proposes an alphanumeric system to help us gaijin not get … Continue reading

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PIXELATED: Scoot Scoot‘s Motocompo gymkhana will drive you insane

Okay, so Scoot Scoot isn’t a driving game per se, but any time a Honda Motocompo is the star vehicle consider our interest piqued. The premise is simple. Pilot the folding bike from the back of a Honda City around a richly colored parking … Continue reading

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NEWS: Bosozoku magazine Champ Road suspends publication

It was announced on September 5 in Japan that Champ Road, the last bosozoku tuning magazine, is suspending publication. The so-called “Bad Boy Bible” has been in print for 29 years, showcasing the bikes, cars, and fashion of Japan’s rebel youth. The November 2016 … Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? Ridley Scott Super Bowl 300ZX

In 1990 Nissan debuted the Z32 with what was likely one of the most expensive car commercials ever commissioned at the time. They hired the most famous Hollywood sci-fi director in the world, Ridley Scott (of Blade Runner, Alien, and Black Rain fame), aired … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The age old battle of Skyline vs Rotary

Skyline vs Rotary. It’s one of the oldest rivalries in Japanese motorsports, ever since Mazda snatched the Skyline’s widely expected 50th touring car victory in 1972. The folks at Best Motoring have recreated the battle, with tributes to the works Hakosuka GT-R and Savanna … Continue reading

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JCCS Preview: Nissan 2017 GT-R NISMO debut, Matchbox Hakosuka giveaway

After a strong showing in 2015, Nissan will be back at the Japanese Classic Car Show this year in a big way. First off, they’ll be showing what is arguably the crowning jewel of its American collection, the BRE Datsun 510 raced by John … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your most prized JNC part?

If you have an old Japanese car, it’s not difficult to find yourself with a garage full of old Japanese parts, too. Even weird stuff like a 350mm Hitman steering wheel. What’s your most prized JNC part? What say you, dear reader? As … Continue reading

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Happy National Dog Day from JNC

Wow. Such design. So convertible. Much JDM. Many happy.

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VIDEO: The UK’s most famous Honda Civic restorer

“Mad about Honda” is the way one UK man describes his love for the early Civics, so much so that he’s built an entire community around the preservation of early UK-market examples. 

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NEWS: Miata from Louisiana flood rescue video will be restored for free

In a heartwarming story of generosity, heroism, and what love for a car can accomplish, a Miata seemingly ruined in the recent Louisiana flood will be brought back to life by enthusiasts. 

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QotW: What’s the best Japanese car name?

Yes, we all know about the Suzuki Every Joy Pop and the Hino Dolphin Dump, but we’re not talking about “oh look how weird and crazy those Japanese are” type car names today. We’re talking cool names that instantly evokes … Continue reading

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NEWS: Mazda announces 1,000 Launch Edition MX-5 RF Miatas

There have been many limited edition Miatas. Here’s one more. Mazda has announced that the first 1,000 examples of the 2017 MX-5 RF will be exclusive Launch Edition models. As with the soft-top ND Miata Launch Edition, the RF will feature a few bits that you … Continue reading

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NEWS: Subaru 360 recognized as part of Japan’s cultural legacy

The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers has certified the Subaru 360 as part of the the nation’s “Mechanical Engineering Heritage.” It is only the second car in the organization’s 119-year history that an automobile has received this honor. So what … Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: The hakosuka Skyline GT-R at its absolute peak

By the end of 1971 racing season, the Skyline GT-R was barreling towards its highly anticipated 50th victory in Japan’s hotly contested touring car races. The GT-R had enjoyed three years of domination but, as history knows, the planning for that much publicized 50th win would all … Continue reading

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QotW: Which JNC was the one that got away?

Life with cars is cruel as it is in dating. Sometimes, you just don’t know you how good you have it until it’s gone. Or, maybe those are the lucky ones, because they actually had some time with their soul … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Behind the scenes at Toyota’s Calty design studio

We all know that cars are designed, but what is “design,” exactly? A new video released by Toyota aims to answer that question via a history and tour of their Calty design studio. Toyota was the first Japanese automaker to open … Continue reading

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Happy Mountain Day from JNC

Happy Mountain Day from JNC! If you’ve never heard of Mountain Day, a national holiday in Japan, don’t feel bad. Over a third of actual Japanese people have no idea it exists either. To be fair, it’s a new holiday — so new, … Continue reading

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PIXELATED: A Datsun Cherry stars in the most realistic car simulator ever created

Forget Sega GT. Forget Forza. Forget Gran Turismo. Though we haven’t even played it yet, we’re beyond certain that the most realistic car simulator ever created is My Summer Car, a Finnish game where you restore an E10 Datsun Cherry one frustrating part at a time. 

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VIDEO: Corolla Matsuri 2016 goes all-out 80s on VHS tape

By now you’re all familiar with the typical drift video — dramatic hi-def footage of heat waves coming off of the tarmac, wheels being mounted, zipties being zipped, and cars sliding in slow-mo to the beat of electronica. This is … Continue reading

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NIHON LIFE: Get free tea when you climb into a Suntory taxi

Today is National Taxi Day in Japan, a date chosen to commemorate the start of the country’s first cab service in 1912. As it happens, this month Suntory is making Japan’s notoriously hospitable taxis even more so, by giving passengers a complementary … Continue reading

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