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Bippu – VIP style. Normally plied to long wheel base, luxury sedans VIP style is characterised by extremely low cars with an aggressive stance and wide, high end wheels with large polished dish.

Boro-Boro – Worn out or old. Commonly used to refer to aging or damaged drift cars and missiles that have been resigned to practice only use.

Bosozoku – A youth culture, renowned for recklessness and disrespect for the law, centred on attention-grabbing custom motorcycles and cars. Translated as ‘violent running tribe’, bosozoku can be found revving their engines and riding/driving around in groups in some of the most uniquely modified vehicles.

Choku dori – Swaying, or pendulum drift. Choku dori is often performed on straight sections of tarmac. The car sways from side to side as the driver manipulates the throttle to retain control of the car.

Deppa – Chin spoiler.

Dori – Drifting. It’s not the quickest way through the turn, but it is the most exciting.

Dorikin – Drift King. A title most commonly used to refer to Keiichi Tsuchiya, a man vital in bringing drifting to popular culture. Tsuchiya’s motorsport finesse was refined as an illegal street racer. He competed in JTCC, Le Mans, NASCAR and open wheel racing series. The video above, produced in 1987 and known as ‘Pluspy’ demonstrates Tsuchiya’s skill and affinity for the AE86.

Dorisha – Drift car.

Hipari tyre – Stretching a small width tyre onto a wider rim, creating a rounded sidewall appearance. Stretched tyres assist tuners to clear their fenders and fit wider, lower off-set wheels. Great for show, bad for everything else.

Hakosuka – ‘Boxy Skyline’. The ultimate car for many JDM dreamers is the KPGC10 Skyline, the first coupe iteration of the venerable Nissan Skyline , equipped with the legendary S20 straight six.

Hashiriya – Street Racer.

Ichigo – An S15 Silvia front end conversion on an earlier model car – often referred to as a strawberry face. Other common front end swaps are Sil80, where an S13 coupe front end is swapped onto a 180SX, or the opposite, a Onevia, where the pop-up front end is fitted to the coupe.

Hachiroku – Toyota AE86, or more recently, the Toyota 86.

Itasha – Sometimes inappropriate but always entertaining, Itasha cars are wrapped with images of characters from manga or anime. ‘Painful car’ is the direct translation, and some of the more explicit designs probably indicate why that’s the case.

Kenmeri – C110 Skyline (in Australia, Datsun 240K). The nickname comes from the Japanese advertising campaign for the car, which featured a young couple named Ken and Mary enjoying the Japanese countryside in their Skyline.

Kyusha – Classic Japanese cars modified in a racing style with period-correct aero and wheels.

Matsuri – The Japanese word for festival, this is a word best preceded by ‘Drift’, with drift matsuri in Japan and around the world seeing full weekends of unlimited grass roots drifting on race tracks.

Oni-kyan – Extreme negative camber (literally ‘demon camber’) is an aesthetic rather than performance modification that has its roots in drifting. The impractical but attention-grabbing look soon found its way to the VIP and stance scenes as a means of lowering chassis while accommodating wider, lower offset wheel and tyre combinations.

Otaku – Geek.

Shakotan – Cars created to get as low to the ground as possible. Minimal aero, small wheels and negative camber are all devices used in concert with highly customised suspension to achieve this.

Takeyari pipes – Exhaust extensions that extend high above and around the car and are slash cut. Commonly seen on Bosozoku and Zokusha cars.

Touge – Winding, narrow mountain passes that push driver and car to their limit. The scene of the battles most well-known from the Initial-D series where street racers plied their mechanical and steering abilities against one another on mountain roads in Gunma prefecture.

Tsuiso – Two cars drifting in tandem, one chasing the other. In competition drifting, drivers alternate leading and chasing laps, sticking tightly to the other’s door.

Tsurikawa – Hang or grab rings, stolen from trains and attached to the tow hooks and sometimes the interiors of cars attempting a Bosozoku style. A symbol of counter culture, Tsurikawa have been stylised, and are available in more eclectic shapes like hearts and stars.

Tsuna/Fusa knots – Popular with the VIP Style crowd, the origin of these thick windshields is in Japanese religious temples and ceremonies. The Tsuna is a symbol of protection, the Fusa a symbol of good fortune.

Wangan – The Bayshore route of the Shuto Expressway in Tokyo. Made infamous by the exclusive Wangan Mid Night street racing club, the 70km stretch has played host to extreme high speed battles, becoming a cult road in enthusiast culture. Wangan Midnight, Shukutou Battle Series, Midnight Club, Megalopolis Expressway Trial and Wangan Full Throttle are just a few of the games, series and films that have spawned from Wangan racing culture.

Wakaba leaf – The beginner driver’s symbol that must be worn on Japanese driver’s cars in the first year that they obtain a driver’s licence.

Zero-Yon – Drag racing over the quarter mile in sanctioned race track events, or otherwise.

Zokusha – Kids who drive cars created in a semi-functional racing style. Loud exhausts, big chin lip spoilers, sharknose converted hoods, large fender extensions, racing mirrors, factory spoilers reversed to diffusers and small diameter deep dish rims.


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