Category Archives: kei

This Kenmeri Skyline does not look o-kei

Japan is a place where space to park for your car is at a premium. Compared to most driving populations, Japan is full of visible feats of Jedi parking, where cars are squeezed with millimetric precision into the smallest parking … Continue reading

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KEI HERO: Mazda R360 Coupé

Of all the mainstream carmakers, Mazda puts the most stock into the driving experience and the sportiness of their vehicles. However, this is not just a recent occurrence. Mazda’s had drivers’ cars in their blood since their first post-war passenger car. Let’s take … Continue reading

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KEI HERO: Suzuki Alto Works

Poor America. We don’t even know how bad we have it. In the States, we think of hatchbacks as puny, minimally equipped tin cans that people buy because they can’t afford something better. Elsewhere in the world and especially in Japan, not only are … Continue reading

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Kei Hero: Subaru 360 Young SS

The Subaru 360 gets a lot of praise as being the first massively successful car in the Japanese market, as important as the VW Beetle was for Germany and the Model T was for the US. That is great and well deserved recognition, … Continue reading

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GRAND TOURING: Tohoku, Part 02

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the twin disasters — a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and devastating tsunami — that struck Japan off the coast of Tohoku in 2011. In remembrance, we are re-running a series of stories that relate to the event’s aftermath. This … Continue reading

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EVENTS: Naniwa Swap Meet

Among the items on our Japan bucket list was checking out a real swap meet. Turns out, automotive-themed ones are not terribly common there, but we were fortunate enough to have Osaka’s Naniwa Swap Meet coincide with our stay. 

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NEWS: Nissan 360, Part 03 – Driving Insane Stuff

Thus far our Nissan 360 coverage has focused on your rare but predictable classic and race cars. However, the global Nissan empire is built on stuff sold in reaches of the world you can’t even find on a map. So every four … Continue reading

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ART CORNER: Build a classic Honda N360 and life-sized N-One kei car out of paper

Those familiar with Japanese culture have likely encountered the art of papercraft. You may have even built a paper car or truck yourself. But we know you’re secretly wondering what would happen if some insane origami craftsmen built an entire full-size car … Continue reading

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VIDEO: UNUSUAL DRIFT! Sideways and Stoppies with Kei Trucks

Okay, so there’s nothing nostalgic about a Suzuki Carry. However, we fully approve of modifying your company kei truck with a Suzuki Every turbo, a Cappuccino rear end, and a Silvia(!) coilover setup for the express purposes of drifting said company truck. It’s undiluted sunshine … Continue reading

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Happy Mother’s Day from JNC!

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GRAND TOURING: Shio no Michi, the Salt Road — Part 01

Having not been away in a few weeks, we decided to take a Monday off and spend three days exploring Nagano Prefecture and some of the less traveled valleys near the Northern Alps. Using our usual form of taking the main … Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2013 JCCA New Year Meeting, Part 02

In Part 01 of our 2013 New Year Meeting coverage, our photogs arrived on the scene in Odaiba, Tokyo. Nihon steel was shot, the swap meets was perused, and legends of Japanese motoring were admired. We see no reason not … Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2013 JCCA New Year Meeting, Part 01

It’s a winter wonderland in Tokyo, but the blinding whiteness did not come from new-fallen snow. Instead, it emanated from the gleaming shiro paint jobs of rows upon rows of kyuusha. Two of JNC‘s intrepid photographers recently braved Japan’s icy … Continue reading

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NEXT VERSION: Test driving the 2013 Honda N-One kei car

We love it when automakers dip into their bag o’ heritage for a little inspiration. Such is the case with the Honda N-One kei car. It is, sadly, not sold outside Japan. Guest writer David Lovett, however, is in Japan, and … Continue reading

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Wednesday Wall: Mazda watercolors by Miki Nakajima

The Mazda Japan Facebook page has been posting a series of beautiful watercolor paintings by Mazda designer Miki Nakajima. Subjects range from the 1950 Mazda PB-type three-wheeler to the 1970 RX-500 concept to modern favorites like the MX-5. See the … Continue reading

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QotW: What should Suzuki USA have done differently?

Alas, Suzuki, we hardly knew ye. This statement rings especially true in the wake of the Suzuki’s departure from US shores last week, because as JNC reader Tyler pointed out, many of their best cars were not sold here under the … Continue reading

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Honda Celebrates 30 Years of US-built Accords

Here’s your daily dose of history. November 1, 1982 was the day when the first US-built Honda rolled off the assembly line in Marysville, Ohio. The first car to emerge from the newly constructed plant three decades ago was a … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the coolest kei car?

Seeing some excellent examples of kei jidosha on the way back from Nagano last week got our brains churning. These uniquely Japanese micro machines are what put the island nation on the road and have been around for over 50 … Continue reading

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Early Japanese classics among top emerging collectibles says Hagerty

With all the automotive madness whipped up by the Arizona auctions week, let’s take a look at how it affects the nostalgic car scene. First, collector car insurance company Hagerty issued a press release identifying three “segments represent[ing] a group … Continue reading

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Subaru celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Sambar

It’s not fast, luxurious or particularly sexy, but the Subaru Sambar is a key part of Japan’s automotive history and one of its first kei trucks. If you’ve ever set foot in Japan you’ll know these little breadboxes are everywhere, … Continue reading

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