The Real Life Initial D On Display

Before I close out the coverage of my visit to the Yokota Museum, I want to share a few photos of one the most interesting displays in the entire place. I’m gonna go ahead and guess that most of you guys are familiar with Initial D, the Japanese manga and anime series which is set primarily in Gunma Prefecture. While the characters and events in the racing-themed story are fictional, the locations are not.

It’s not just the mountain passes that are real either. The town where Takumi Fujiwara lives and the tofu shop his family runs are also based on actual locations. The store, originally called ‘Fujinoya Tofu Shop’ was located in the town of Shibukawa, just a short distance away from the Yokota Museum.

As Initial D grew in popularity many fans of the series would travel to Shibukawa to see the shop for themselves. It was even used as a set for the Chinese-made Initial D live action film released in 2005, with the exterior sign changed to match that of the store in the manga. Unfortunately, in 2006 the tofu shop closed down and not long after that the entire building was demolished as part of city construction project. It was the end of an era.

Or was it? It turns out the family preserved the original store front, and last year it was restored and put on display as part of an Initial D exhibit at the Yokota Museum. It was the perfect way to sustain the memory of the legendary little tofu shop, and to share some local Gunma lore with visitors to the museum.

It’s not just the facade that’s been restored, but some of the items that were actually used inside the shop.

Could these be the most famous tofu kitchen tools on the planet?

In addition to the items preserved from the shop, there’s other Initial D artifacts on display. Diecast AE86s, 4A-GE cam covers, comic books and more.

There’s even ‘Initial D Original Wine’, which can be purchased in the museum’s gift shop.

Of course the exhibit would not be complete without an AE86. This Trueno was built to authentically recreate the Fujiwara Tofu Shop delivery car – the real star of the Initial D series.

The car was restored by the AE86 specialists at Carland in Kyoto, and it has all the correct details of the Initial D car. Wheels, color, interior, etc.

Although I am a bit disappointed that I never got to see the Fujiwara Tofu Shop as it once stood, it’s fantastic that the Yokota Museum has this little slice of Japanese car culture on display for all to see.

Mike Garrett
mike@dev.speedhunters.com
Instagram : speedhunters_mike


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41 comments
Starringme
Starringme

Is this exhibit a permanent one in Yokata Museum?

DaveYamato
DaveYamato

funny to read this after actually visiting the Haruna (Akina) Yama (mountain). As an avid fan from 2001 I remember the excitement when I arrived at the top of the mountain and drove to Haruna lake; did my first anniversary there, matter of fact. That place has a mysterious aura after reading the books. I believe that although the books are waning with interest and long-since should have concluded the 'Prefecture Conquest', Shigeno has made himself a timeless classsic for the ages equally, if not stronger than Toriyama and Dragon Ball.

Thanks for the post.

LouisYio
LouisYio

So does it have a TRD high-revving racing engine inside of it?

inclan9PL
inclan9PL

@aleguan jajajajajajaja museo y todo k tienw la mierda serie jajajajajaja k pasada jajajaja

AndrewChiang
AndrewChiang

The things I would do to have an Initial D AE86 replica...

Chrixz
Chrixz

Awesome love the display, also I think Initial D is one of the coolest animes ever joined by Wangan Midnight. Also for the fans of Initial D who didn't know jet the anime got continued where now at 10 episodes in stage 5, and it is beter than ever the storyline and cars are intense!

ylee
ylee

it has USDM bumpers?

AminoK
AminoK

 That's soo funny i just started watching the cartoons on Netflix.

AaronVenable
AaronVenable

Did you pick up some of that wine, Mike? I bet if you looked around that store long enough, you could find some salty old tofu-man that would help you drink it ;)

fallguy27
fallguy27

That is really cool , gotta get to Japan someday and the list of places too visit if i get there just keeps getting longer thanks to this website!

 

K's
K's

Wow cool! 

I saw the shop in i think 2008, when i was going to kusatsu, it looked like crap aha. Don't worry about not seeing it mike better initial d related stuff in gunma

 

jcali
jcali

Wow that is so cool that they made the effort of preserving this gem! Great feature!

AmirIzham
AmirIzham

Life imitating art that imitated life, or is it the other way around? Hehehe. This is beyond cool.

Ant86
Ant86

This is amazing great post.

junx_healy
junx_healy

that car would fetch quite the pretty penny if it goes to auction. 

Option86
Option86

Are you kidding me?!? Ugh, this is on a whole other level of awesome. Japanese presentation... What can you say??

jzx81
jzx81

Nice to see this preserved.

(I heard about the shop getting demolished a few years ago).

Nikhil_P
Nikhil_P

man i need to start watching this again!! the best cartoon/anime ever!!

Charles Montgomery III
Charles Montgomery III

Did anyone notice the DVD cover for stage 5 on display next to the steering wheel? I DID!!!

Diddy
Diddy

There should be a little paper cup of water on display.

MartinBrandan
MartinBrandan

Brilliant! How cool of them to preserve it like that :D

Mike Garrett
Mike Garrett moderator

 @K's Yeah, I need to head back with a car sometime and check out some the roads!

Mike Garrett
Mike Garrett moderator

 @jzx81 Yep. Heard about it as well, and was surprised to see it at the museum!

Mike Garrett
Mike Garrett moderator

 @Nikhil_P I still haven't had a chance to watch any of the fifth stage stuff.

Mike Garrett
Mike Garrett moderator

There may have well been. I couldn't see the inside that well, but it wouldn't surprise me!

john
john

...in the cupholder

 


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