A Few Hours With The Morohoshi Family
Into The Night

For all the exposure that Morohoshi-san has received across the web, in magazines, on TV shows and even video games, we haven’t spent that much time with him here on Speedhunters.

Back in 2015, I worked closely with the Lamborghini rebel himself when it came to coordinating his Need for Speed debut and also visited his Fighting Star shop in the heart of Tokyo, but I never really checked out one of the regular late-night meet ups with his group of like-minded, supercar-owning friends.

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For a while there Morohoshi was everywhere, and although he and his ever-evolving collection of Lambos still enjoy some limelight, now seemed like the right time to have a night out with this group of cool car guys. They might not be into what others are into, and their unique customization style may not make sense to some, but they’re a part of Japanese car culture that’s impossible to ignore.

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A recent Sunday night, it finally happened. Morohishi had messaged me, mentioning that he and some of his guys would be stopping by Shibaura Parking Area on the way back from a big charity event in Saitama, and that I should come down for a look. So that’s what Ron and I did.

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Morohoshi and his crew are one of a few Lamborghini-centric groups around the Tokyo area, and the first to do what they do. And what may that be? Well, aside from dressing their prohibitively expensive Bulls up with custom bodykits, Swarovski crystals and untold multi-colored LEDs, they try to spread the supercar word.

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That ‘word’ is all about sharing their love and passion for these cars with everyone, allowing people to get up close and appreciate not only the brand, but also the unique ways in which they attempt to diversify from each other.

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And believe me, they take this very seriously. The guys are continuously attempting to out-LED each other, or come up with new wraps and other ideas for maximum impact. It’s all done with a typical Japanese sense of respect and camaraderie, but as Morohoshi has always told me, having fun is the most important thing.

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I often get asked why it is that this is a thing, and also why we give space to it. Sure, there is speed involved as these guys like to gun it through tunnels and down straight stretches of highways, but mainly it’s just so Japan. It somehow fits; you almost expect to see this coming out of a country that has made so many bizarre things its calling card.

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It’s a take on that underlying need to stand out and be remembered, the product of an oppressed society which is always pushed to confirm and abide by the rules.

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At night, around Tokyo’s highways and parking areas those rules don’t matter. It’s a breather, a way to vent, and at the same time feel part of a club with a real sense of belonging.

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It’s also as visual as it gets. In fact, as these cars drove in I baptized them Italian UFOs, which is exactly what the low-slung shapes with under-glow and pulsating beams of lights pouring out of every panel gap looked like.

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These guys have taken auxiliary lighting and done wild and crazy things with it.

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From illuminating engine bays to attempting to make a car look like it’s just spent the day visiting the exclusion zone in Fukushima.

Another Facet Of Japanese Car Culture
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Being in the presence of these cars is akin to witnessing something straight out of a manga.

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The surprise of the night was this Huracán Performante that showed up in all its yellow glory.

Paddy will be making us all very jealous with an upcoming review of one he drove in Italy, but in the meantime I’ll be coming up with ideas and story angles so that I can also borrow one here in Japan. Maybe I can follow Morohoshi and his crew around for a night and see what they get up to? I’m sure Lamborghini Japan would appreciate that sort of coverage!

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The owner of this car also has a McLaren P1 to play around with, so that might make this his runabout. It certainly doesn’t take away from the fact that this is one of the most driver-focused street cars to have ever come out of Sant’Agata Bolognese.

Video For Added Effect
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I’m glad I finally had the chance to see these cars out in the open at night, but more so that I was able to capture this scene.

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Lights and crazy wraps do make for wonderful images, but I was secretly going back to the Performante throughout the night and giving it dirty looks.

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A big high-five followed by a very long Japanese bow goes out to Morohoshi for bringing this little group of cars together for us. These guys had a very long day at their event out of the city, but were cool enough to let Ron and I spend some time with their cars.

Now it’s time to hit play on Ron’s short video above; something I think captures the atmosphere of the night rather well.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

Video by Ron Celestine
Instagram: celestinephotography

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33 comments

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1
Chris Colouryum

Because why the fuck not.

Author2
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Well that's their approach :)

3
Chris Colouryum

It's the best approach. May not be to my taste - but love their zero fucks attitude.

4

Respect his dedication.
-Bows

5

Morohoshi strikes me as the kind of guy who, if someone were to ask him "Why did you do this to your car?", he would reply, "Why not?"
That kind of mentality is why I love Japanese car culture. The Japanese don't modify their cars to intentionally divide opinions, they modify their cars because they want something that suits their tastes, and I respect that.

6

It is immediately apparent imo. Reminds me of those Gatebil mutants. The cars are built to be fkn rad and not to divide opinions. So, it's really about the driver/builder. A lot of instigators make F-you cars, and they are essentially trolls not people who don't care about opinions.

7

"The cars are built to be fkn rad" <- This! Right on John

Author8
Dino Dalle Carbonare

That's just it, it comes out of a culture where a person's uniqueness isn't instantly criticized and knocked because it doesn't confirm with establishes styles. It's this that allow people to go off on their own tangents. The last thing they care about is being liked, they do it for themselves, that's enough of a satisfaction

9

Certainly, we are all free to do whatever we want. But, doesn't that also mean that we are free to not like what other people are doing? The real question, is why do some people need so much social reinforcement? If they are truly happy, and proud of their creation, the ultimately it doesn't matter what other people think. Right?

10

not that these guys give a fuck about what others think of their rides...butt i digg em

11

I freakin love these things. I remember seeing a video online and looking really strangely at it lol. The Godfather theme tho... kinda lost me there lol.
Are there other crews emulating this style, or is it just one really exclusive club?

12

Hey John, there is the Anija team that is very much in the same vein. They use Paganis though.

Author13
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Well yes and no. Anija is another club and they don't "use" Pagani, the guy that set it up happens to have 1 Zonda which he customized. The other guys have "regular" supercars

14

I was under the impression that they were a Pagani crew but stand corrected. Thank you Sir.
Separate question: why do they seem to have a preference for number “7”? Thanks in advance.

15

Guessing number 7 might have to do with Casino games and Jackpots. They all correlate with the number 7 too which in turn also means $$$.

Just a guess though.

Author16
Dino Dalle Carbonare

yes it's good luck

17

Lol "regular" supercars.

18

Funny how as kids, when we play our car racing video games, these cars are the sort of mods we do to our virtual garage because we wanted to stand out, be flashy and look cool. Now that we're older, there are so much prejudice and hate. Have we lost our 'young-at-heart' spirit?

Comments like 'but each to their own', 'because japan' and 'I'm entitled to my opinions' are often used to hide & justify one's lack of understanding & respect for a certain style they dislike.

Author19
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I don't get that. It's like people need to feel accepted. How sad is that? Accomplishing a car in your own personal style or whatever you like doing should be satisfaction enough. It's just a culture thing, the western world has always used hate as an easy and shared reaction to something that challenges their understanding of what is good or bad...or in this case different. Yet they emulate the weirder shit from Japan. I think they just need to belong, they need to associate with something that's defined and recognized, anything else is crap and you're a dick for doing it. Japan has no such attitude, if people don't like something they keep it to themselves, they don't broadcast it to others

20

Certainly, we are all free to do whatever we want. But, doesn't that also mean that we are free to not like what other people are doing? The real question, is why do some people need so much social reinforcement? If they are truly happy, and proud of their creation, then ultimately it doesn't matter what other people think. Right?

21

So if I understand correctly, you have some kind of "hang-up" with the "western world"? Are all of us "westerners" so full of the hate, frustration and fear of the "different" as you ascribe to us? You're prose have become more and more sophomoric, opinionated and intolerant of any reader that dares critique them. You sir are what we in the "western world" call a snowflake and it seems the "eastern world" has become your safe space. Now, please, go forth and write more about plastic flares and cars festooned in LED splendor!

Author22
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Should I be country specific? Sure I generalized but it seems the hate comes from the West... We see it in the comments here all the time. Up to you what you want to believe, hate and praise ;)

23

Once again "Dino" - Your writing shows a kind of "naïveté".

"Up to you what you want to believe, hate and praise" What does that even mean. I choose to praise craft, talent, thought, and purpose. You seem to hate. (The wester world it seems.) Why on earth would a supposed "journalist" choose to alienate a great majority of his readership by painting part of the world as hate-filled? Think before you write. F Scott Fitzgerald (he's from the wester world) once said that one should write because they have something to say and not because they want to say something. There's a difference and there will be some point in your career when you realize this. People will not always agree with your tastes, they will not always agree with what you write but that's what makes the world interesting. You use the word "culture" too somehow "protect" your point of view. Eastern culture, western culture....it doesn't matter. We all live on the same planet. Go out and see more of it.

24

This response seems like a complete non-sequitir to me. Where is this coming from? The observation that more Western custom builders and car guys are scene purists than in the East seems at face value to be generally accurate. The fact that more negative comments about outlandish builds come from the US & EU than from elsewhere is also something I can generally see in the comments on SH myself. Why get angry with somebody for making those observations? All Dino's saying (and I agree by the way) is that the way the car scene in the West often seems to stifle rather than encourage individual creativity is a bit of a downer sometimes.

I'm building a couple of cars at the moment myself, and they're all just sort of things I wanted to do. One of them's essentially a restoration, although the car isn't really old enough to call it that- putting the vehicle mostly back to stock form. One's a track car that I'm building purely to have fun driving. And one is just a car I have wanted to build since I was a kid. I didn't give a damn about what the rest of the car scene thought when I was twelve, and I still don't now. I'm building that car for one person and one person only- me. What others think... Well, honestly I don't even really care if everyone's completely indifferent. It's easy to say "I don't care if you hate it" because if someone hates it they'll still remember it, you know? To hate something you still have to care, to a degree.

25

I think a lot of it is that a lot of US car culture came out of the drag & road racers in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Sure, that produced some pretty goony looking cars, but it was all in the pursuit of speed. Meanwhile, when customizing a car for purely visual purposes, taste and subtlety were valued qualities (unless your name was George Barris, I guess). But now we're just being constantly bombarded with Japanese and Japan-inspired car culture through the internet, and that means we'll be seeing builds that are ugly just to stick out, or that, assuming they even have any engine modifications, won't be able to put their power down because of too much camber and/or not enough room for the suspension to do its job. To us, these are sideways to everything normal. That's why you get that reaction.

26

My only contention over most of these 'mods' is that they sacrifice function for form. Personally, I would rather see a beautiful AND fast car. I think it is the combination of both, that truly makes a car stand out. And, obviously, not every single automotive enthusiast is going to perfectly hit the nail on the head with their build. Not to mention, every single person has a different style, and a different method by which they build their creation.

While, I can understand that many people are getting sick of all the negative, and critical opinions, that doesn't mean that the person criticizing is doing it without reason. More often than not, the criticism are often based on very valid perspectives.

I've criticized a lot of cars up here, and more often than not, I hate a build, rather than love it. But, I am always very consistent in my criticism, and it's not fake. Because, the cars that I love represent my ideal vehicle, and unfortunately, those vehicles are not a dime a dozen. Those vehicles go above and beyond, precisely because they set a bar, that is higher than the rest. And, fortunately, some people do meet, or exceed those expectations. And, rare as it may be, I never fail to congratulate someone who has built something truly exceptional.

The problem, IMHO, is that we seem to believe that this honor can be applied liberally. I'm sensing that there is some degree of entitlement from 'the car community' just because an enthusiast bought a supercar and decked it out with custom livery and equipment.

To me, there is zero redeeming qualities in a car build that focuses on looking like a tacky theme park ride. But, to each his own; and, different strokes for different folks. But, please, don't ask me to pretend I like it. That's just too much to ask for.

27

I have never understood the association of "normal" with "good."

28
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

One question Dino: I'm curious about how friendly Morohoshi is. Is he the chill kind of guy who is more than happy to have pictures of him and his car taken should one bump into him on the streets?

Author29
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Supre cool guy. Genuinely friendly

30

We all have to see it like this:
limited budget guys go for old cheap cars, Kei, hot hatches,.... and modify them
Guys with little more buget to spend go for sports cars and modify them
Guys able to buy supercars and ARE carguys will modify their rides.

The supercar is a CAR, the problem is the owners (sure exclude some owners who love to keep it stock but enjoy their rides).

31

Well...can't get any more japanese then this I guess.

32

The only thing I hate about these cars are the wheels. Only in Japan...

33
Ernest McCann

Super unique builder. Fugly cars though. I think most car guys have the 0 fucks attitude...that's why we mod our cars..

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