I drive Japanese cars. That doesn't mean that I'm into the Japanese culture any more or less than I'm into any other culture...
What you say is valid.
I began studying the Japanese language in order to deal with the resources written in Japanese, and then to communicate with the enthusiasts and experts from the country that made the cars I work on.
My studies of Japanese began as the demographic of Japanese language class students transitioned from business majors to anime fans. The teachers had not yet abandoned covering topics of etiquette and tradition in dealing with Japanese business contacts, in favor of teaching the current cartoon slang.
In dealing with Japanese car enthusiasts, I have learned that it is very important to understand and participate in the codified Japanese cultural system of bribes and kickbacks. "Giri" and "On", obligation and owing a favor. Understanding that no one does a favor unless they think you are in the position to repay a favor. Building social debt and using the system to advantage.
These things are just as beneficial for getting a ride around Suzuka Circuit or press passes to Fuji Speedway as they are in arranging for the purchase and freight of a set of Watanabe racing wheels, or JDM factory option Recaro racing seats from Yahoo Japan Auctions or Up Garage.