To see a Kaido Racer meeting in our own backyard has left me jittering with excitement for the last few days. I’ve managed to make it through blue Monday and drudge through the workweek purely based on what my late Saturday night (and early Sunday morning) was like.
But before I get too carried away, let’s do our best to answer the question that I hope provides all of us with a foothold to really begin to break down the intricacies of what was presented last Saturday.
What is a Kaido Racer?
Shortly after the allied occupation of Japan the automotive industry rapidly expanded and Japan very quickly grew into being one of the world’s largest vehicle producing nations. For the first time in the country’s history vehicles became accessible and slowly became a natural part of everyday life for the Japanese public.
Through this rapid change that quickly provided the Japanese with the freedom that only mobility could provide, a handful of new subcultures were born. Within these subcultures is where we find the deep roots of Kaido Racer culture.
Kaido Racer is an exceptionally broad term that covers many different subcultures of cars within the already niche subculture itself. For the most part with Kaido Racers what you will see is historic race car-inspired modifications such as small diameter wide wheels, extremely low ride height, front chin spoilers and rear slit spoilers, custom bodywork, race team stickers, extended exhausts and large over-fenders/flares.
An important distinction to make right away is that despite being mislabeled as this frequently, Kaido Racers are not Bosozoku cars.
Bosozoku, or “violent running tribe,” is another broad Japanese subculture that revolves around youth and young adult-led gangs based on speed, excitement, gang violence, disturbing the peace and extensive customization of motorcycles or cars. The roots of Bosozoku, similarly to Kaido Racers, can be traced right back to post-war Japan. In a stark combination of young Japanese citizens returning from the war and not being able to manage the diametrically opposed lifestyle, they were now facing in addition to the influx of westernized media and culture the Bosozoku was formed in an effort to replace the excitement they were missing and mirror the influences of American greaser and motorcycle culture.
While some similarities can definitely be seen and there may have been some mixing between the Bosozoku and Kaido Racer cultures, they are not synonyms and should not be mixed. People definitely do take this stuff seriously and are on an endless search for finding the right balance between protecting the subculture’s intricacies by gatekeeping with tact as well as keeping the door open just enough that the culture (and the passion for the culture doesn’t die out.
For the Vancouver automotive world, Reid and Keith have been fanning the flame of Kaido Racer culture for the last few years. From building countless inspiring cars to travelling Japan and North America in efforts to get deeper intertwined with the exciting subculture they have learned plenty, educated others a ton and have become major proponents of keeping the style alive.
What’s important to me is that I do not come across in this article pretending as if I have it all figured out, because I certainly do not and I probably never fully will. However, that doesn’t stop me from being hungry to learn about this exciting culture. I am still very much learning about Kaido Racers alongside mountains of other subcultures in Japanese history that have caught my interest. The best advice I have is to read articles, avoid hype media, and surround yourself with people that are just as hungry as you. Even people like Keith and Reid are humble enough to admit that they are still learning just as much as the rest of us, that’s worth processing for a second.
When we heard that they were planning to host a New Year Touring event, similar to what has been observed for a long time in Japan and the last few years in Los Angeles, we were very eager to join. The route was set, the date was finalized and all of the last-minute hard work was underway for everyone to get their cars ready for what was promising to be one of the most exciting nights of the year.
Keith and Reid set out to put together their 200SX specifically for this event as well as prepare one of Reid’s Cressidas for Brian and Willy from Gentsuki house to drive as they were coming up from the States to visit.
Over at Printing Yes! Michael was working like the absolute legend that he is to prepare half a dozen liveries for the newly formed Team Sexy Cowboys who were eager to announce their formation at the touring. Ben and Nelson came over from the island and linked with Lance, Cage, Adam, Josh, Jamie, Colin and others to put in the work for the days leading up to the event.
As for the event itself, I will let the after movie do the speaking because I genuinely don’t believe that typing words onto a blog would do it the justice it deserves.
Enjoy the video, enjoy low car style.
Build a Kaido Racer.
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4 thoughts on “New Year Touring | After Movie.”
I thought this video is absolutely Phenomenal… good group of ppl… great looking cars… makes me wanna go back to my younger days and rebuild 1976 2door hatch hondamatic