Stance Nation Hits Japan
The nation of stance

Japan has the most diverse carscape on the planet. It’s seriously incredible the variety of taste people have and enjoy, and if that doesn’t make for the most interesting car culture we’re currently experiencing, I really don’t know what does. Yesterday it was once again a style-oriented event that I headed out to Fuji Speedway to cover, Japan and its low-riding brigade welcoming Stance Nation to their country for the very first time. Somewhere in the region of 700 cars showed up, one of the biggest gatherings we have ever been to in the land of the rising sun…


… and one that perfectly represented each scene within the movement, if you can call it that.


It was very much a place where the operative word was fusion, where East meets West and where ideas collide to create an ever-evolving push to create something new.


Even if a lot of the cars that made the drive across the country – like this Top Style Japan Lexus LS from Hiroshima – are familiar ones, you can rest assured their owners strive to keep a momentum going when it comes to making sure there are always new changes or upgrades happening.


Take this crazy stanced Z4 for example. Not long ago I was down in Osaka shooting it for a feature I still have to run, and at that time it was green on gold Meisters with a black interior and now… well look at it!


As if the welcoming sight of blue skies throughout the day weren’t enough to keep all these guys smiling at Fuji Speedway’s P7 parking lot, the clear view of Mt. Fuji’s freshly snow-covered cone was a very welcome cherry on the top.


What better way to enjoy some of the most extreme creations Japan has to offer, like this metallic pink S15 Silvia on M1R Mesiters sporting the sort of onikyan that would have the haters hating all the way. The fresh take on color coordination with contrasting silver detailing on the front lip spoiler and side mirrors – not to mention the yellow headlights – redefined aggression.


I was very happy to see a huge VIP presence at Stance Nation Japan G Edition, where G stands for Geibunsha, the publishing house responsible for titles such as VIP Car, Nostalgic Speed and Custom Car to name a few. They teamed up with Elvis Skender, the mind behind Stance Nation and the owner of a rather cool Lexus LS we recently shot in Vegas, and helped bring the show to Japan.


So it wasn’t a surprise to see some of the most opinion-challenging rides with the either-love-it-or-hate-it extreme negative camber as is perfectly demonstrated here by this Crown Majesta.


Cars like the Avex Y33 embrace the oldschool bippu style of keeping things clean and simple but at the same time merge it all with modern day touches… and yep, you’ve guessed, bucketfuls of onikyan.


Seeing cars like the new-gen Crown already fully customized was so cool to see, making that curious grille look almost acceptable!

Miura at it again

One car I literally rushed to see was Miura’s latest creation. It seems that not a show goes by that our friend from TRA Kyoto doesn’t comes up with something new. His unrelenting pace is first off commendable and I still find it crazy that everything he touches literally turns to gold. The best way I can describe the E36 he built for Sarto Racing is probably ‘opinion splitting’, his trademark overfenders transforming the old convertible that’s been sitting in his shop for years into the most hotly talked about car of the last few days (thanks to the power of the interwebs!).


I took a good look at it, from that flat extended front splitter…


… to the two-piece front fender flares…


… and of course the works-look rears that swallow up the reverse-lip BBS mesh and Yokohama Neova combo it rides on.


Oh and of course a ducktail rear spoiler and diffuser section finishes things up superbly well at the back. A drop-top like no other.


Next to it at the Rocket Bunny stand was the V2 86 wearing a fresh coat of pastel baby blue and a few additional touches that include front and rear canards. This is the same car I featured last month, in case you were wondering.


My love for wagons has recently made me notice how damn cool the new Mazda Atenza is. Its almost Maserati-like lines easily make it the prettiest luggage-hauler currently offered in the JDM market, far better looking that the SUV-like new-gen Legacy. Of course when dropped on bags and with the right set of wheels, the effect is really highlighted.


While somewhat overshadowed in numbers by other type of cars, there were still some pretty sweet old school rides to check out…


… from privately owned cars like this works style two-tone S-san-maru…


… to a couple of cool Skylines that Rocky Auto and Star Road brought out.


If you’re not a Nissan kind of guy, then it was hard not be stopped on your tracks by this A20 Celica GTV representing the vintage side of things to perfection. Check out the old school Yokohama racing tires!


I’ve been seeing so many images of the 326 Power TT floating around, and finally I got to see it up close. There have been a lot of Euro cars being approached in a JDM sort of way and I have to say it’s hard not to like. This slammed Audi joined a few other Hiroshima-style cars which I’ll touch on in the second part of the coverage.

Challenge your opinions

It was so cool to see just how most of these cars had travelled up to FSW from the furthest corners of the country…


… giving a very complete and authentic take to the gathering; an accurate representation of what is currently happening in Japan in this controversial scene that seems to be all the rage now.


See just how many styles you can spot in this pic!


With the show spanning from 11am to 4pm there was literally not enough time to really check out everything in detail. As I made my way down one line-up of cars…


… it was literally impossible to fight the urge to cross over onto another line if you happen to spot a vehicle that really grabbed your attention. The sheer quality of it all however is what defines these sort of events and more to the point the quality these Japanese cars ooze. Owners take so much pride in their cars; the meticulous attention to detail and the drive to come up with something unique or different from the norm is what sets them all apart. Take a look at the way the tailpipe has been routed out on this USDM Civic sedan for example.


Shock! A car representing function over form! Oh the horror! Jokes aside, this SW20 was very cool and one car that successfully attempted to add a few touches of style to the obvious time attack look it was built to represent.


Here is another example of the ever-growing Euro presence in this scene, represented beautifully by this E46 M3…


… and this dumped Mini convertible.


I loved how this old Honda Inspire looked with those bippu-style fender flares and aggressive negative camber. The choice of Work Meisters gave it a definite sportier feel…


… much like this red Soarer on white Emotions at the ismart display area.


Yokohama-based VIP shop Sessions was at the event too with some cool cars that included this nice Aristo, a platform they have much experience in tuning and transforming into an attention-grabbing ride.


I’ll end this first post here, with an image of a car that was easily my favorite Celsior at the event. It’s not so much its smoothness and cleanly executed fender extensions that set it apart but the fact that it achieved its on-the-ground stance without the use of air suspension, sitting with all its bodywork right on the asphalt, the sounds of scraping plastic and metal boldly making a statement. Craziest thing is the car was driven 200 miles up from Nagoya and then back down again! Back soon with more!



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I don't know what I'm more envious of... the diverse car scene or what seems like Japan's silky smooth roads that allow people to get this wild.


No van coverage?


K's BPA Celsior is one of the best executed onikyan rides out there. Between the ridiculous fact he rides static, and the amount of work done to achieve that ride height really show how far these guys will go to get that look. So much style, and not a single fuck given about what everyone thinks. This is what oni kyan is about, so gangsta!


I need a wallpaper of that first image, but cannot find a way to get it! Halp!


CP9A Will The roads here are REALLY not that great.  Sure, highways are nice and perhaps that is all people use to get from home to events.  But, normal roads are just normal roads and there are plenty of crap ones here.


@Substate Run cursor over the pic and select Download Wallpaper :)


TomKimmell Precisely. If you are going to do it, do it properly!


NolanBjorn I'll throw a few into the next part.  Just, way, way, way too much stuff!!! :)


roryfjohnston CP9A Will Yeah they are nice in city centres but in average they are, well, just average.


got any more photos of the mr2? my brother has a few of them and needs motivation to wrench on them


Great pictures...I hope somebody posts a video of the entrance gate. Onikyan reminds me of James Bond's Lotus Esprit entering the waters.


So good! Must get back to Japan for a car event dedicated trip.....seeing amazingly cool cars with a backdrop like Fuji would be so cool! I love the diversity in Japans car scene, and the fact everyone just seems to appreciate everything.


i hope theres a part 2.. theres no way you can cover all that in one post. thanks speedhunters_dino !


Right on about the new Legacy. I can't say as a driver how the new models perform, but they all (every single model) look like they were designed by Art Instutute grads from Detroit, Michigan. Since when does Subaru use the motto, "bigger and blockier is better". Probably since apparently that's what it means to sell a popular sedan in the US. Sorry.

I do like the Mazda pictured. I share your love of wagons and my friends think I'm a hipster because of my own.  I want an 06  Leggy wagon.


@kstyle I wanna c more too!


I'm not a big fan of devil camber, but that silver (or green?) M3 was definitely nice.


The Good

l'll admit I'm one of the people on this site who's grown jaded toward Miura's kits, but GODDAMN THAT BMW.  I want one now.
Atenza Wagon goes oh-so-hard, but the stickerbomb accents make me sad.  I'd laugh at that guy for falling victim to such a corny trend, but he was probably laughing at my dumb ass when I was spending $$$$ on bone-stock "JDM" parts back in the day.  I guess we're even. 
When the camber is within a normal range, the Japanese are un-fuckwithable in terms of VIP.  Demon camber looks like I stepped on my kids' RC car walking through the house in the middle of the night.
That Honda Inspire (Acura Vigor) was a nice surprise.  I forgot those even existed.
The Bad

I'm backhanding the first kid I see with his exhaust coming out the side of his Civic.  Leave that shit for that ONE Japanese guy. 
That Subaru looks like hot dook.  Paint is shitty and his front bumper looks like a NOPI kit.  I'm mad you couldn't find an RX-7 to take a pic of instead.  
Based on what I've seen so far, this was not one of Japan's better shows in terms of quality.  Then again, that is my main critique of the "Stance" movement in general. 
The Ugly
Not a SINGLE RX-7 Dino?  What the hell?


The BMW was cool, however those cheap headlights on the car were blasphemous. 1 Piece headlights on an E36, gotta be from sonar/ebay


Now dont get me wrong, I love the FR-S/BRZ/GT86 and would love to own one but man alive they are insanely common now... I see about 2-3 on an average day and the "OOOOH" factor is quickly fading. V1 Rocket bunny FR-S', still rad as hell but far too common now, its been beaten to hell.
That car Muira slapped together isnt bad but its just looks a bit too rushed. I get the signature over fenders and resurrecting an old car but it doesnt quite fit the bill for me... Still nice cars though


speedhunters_dino Or wait for the page to load.


feature on the infinity on the intro page please. i'd love to see one in another color.. those lines and that stance ....


JjCruz speedhunters_dino yea where are the parking lot photos lol


d_rav JjCruz speedhunters_dino YES, PARKING LOT PHOTOS!


d_rav I plan to focus more on VIP rides next year, they are all so damn photogenic!


TyPetersen That's why you need to fit crash body kits to stand out :)


johnygezony I'll ask him but I think the stock ones were really in bad shape so he probably had to source some replacements quickly


Simply P I'll throw in some RX7 shots in the next part for you ;)


johnbezt Agree on the Legacy, and yes it was styled that way to appeal more to the US. Mind you they are selling pretty well in Japan...


JjCruz d_rav speedhunters_dino haha, I could literally post 10 entires from this, but it would get too repetitive so I'll post up another mix of rides so you guys get the idea. oh and yeah, the parking lot pix haha


koko san Thanks!


RichieTipsyKariuki Yes I do :)


apex_DNA speedhunters_dino lol


Lookin' forward to the Z4 feature. I freakin love the Mt. Fuji background scenery!

PS: still waiting for the R32 Skyline Rocket Bunny.


Please fit that TRA Kyoto kit to a E36 Coupe with M-tech aero package...


I love ALL of these cars. Thanks Dino!


Is that a modified e46 m3 bumper on the inspire? Also, is that a legend or tl for us in the usdm, looks like a mix.


Car of the post for me? That S30 Z... wow wow wow wow wow. I can just picture that screaming around old Fuji speedway to the soundtrack of an L6 on triples. Yum.


speedhunters_dino roryfjohnston CP9A Will I'd love to see how an average road in Japan compares to an average road in the UK. Remember I bent a forged wheel over here!


Yeah, I definitely knew you really like the red soarer! I saw you waiting for like 5 minutes, waiting for everyone to move out so you could get the shot of it.


SuzyWallace speedhunters_dino roryfjohnston CP9A Will Don't even get me started about the roads in Belgium....


I much preferred the D/L/K S15 when it was green and ran one of haraguchi's 326 kits. I think all that has changed on it is a new kit and different body colour, but the accents are the same


HimSuper Haha you saw me. That's what I spend half my time doing, waiting for wandering souls to drift out of frame... lol


SnoozinRichy It was definitely a good one, reminded me of the Liberty Walk one I featured last year and the bronze looked stunning on it


StevenGaab Well spotted, it certainly looks like it doesn't it


Taryn Croucher :)


MariusEngenSkinnes I still think Miura-san should do a kit like that for the Subary Legacy, give us wagon guys something cool to do with our haulers lol


AlexGut Hehe, yeah when is that going to come!!


LorenzoBataille SuzyWallace speedhunters_dino roryfjohnston CP9A Will They are probably above average then haha


speedhunters_dino MariusEngenSkinnes Im a wagon guy, with a E36. Hehe. But since it's already made for a convertible, why not try to fit it on a E36 Coupe? :) Also, I think Miura-san has made a kit for the E91?


I like the part when you said everything Miura touches literally turns to gold, and then when you used literally another 50 times after that....c'mon now.


Wow, TRA got a hold of an e36.... The good: you can definitely fit wider rubber than most e36 overfenders, or in this case wider wheels w/ extreme offset. The bad: ebay one piece headlights, shaved moldings (if you look closely, it looks like a botched job), poor alignment of the kit with the body lines (molding lines aren't even close), and the odd looking notch for the gas door. I'm a fan of some of Miura's other work, but not on this application.


wheatgod TyPetersen  
 Oh I see unimaginable amounts of modern muscle cars too lol. Theres a bunch of money in this town so maybe im spoiled... Or maybe im just bias to my old bmw lol
Either way its great to see people driving cars that arent just a bunch of econo boxes
Eh  I guess, it definitely grabs your attention thats for sure. I think its the bias inside of me that wants to see it flared out to a boxy looking touring car lol

Pete the perfect pilot

Agree about the mazda wagon, BUT it needs a rota moat for it be seriously cool. C'mon mazda build it!


Wow some crazy cars! Always enjoy the VIP stuff, nice one Dino!


Sorry but the camber on most of these good cars is just sickening. Air ride or not, you'll NEVER see me go like that.


Sam Oliver Thanks Sam!


Pete the perfect pilot Haha that would indeed be awesome.  But they first need to built and RX7 and then think about the other cars lol


Oh my, that orange Celica! So bad ass!


speedhunters_dino apex_DNA I actually meant the amazing picture of the black Infiniti :) have resorted to using the white Mazda 6 wagon pic, amazing bloody wheels!


kphillips9936 and thats why people will never talk about you. Some people are too afraid of criticism, its the people who push the limits who get recognized, not the sheep.


CSAlltrac Wheel/tire combo really did it :)


MariusEngenSkinnes speedhunters_dino Or a wagon... ;)


@speedhunter_ryan kphillips9936 Was never looking for feedback in the first place,  just voicing my opinion is all. 
Calm down.


When are you going to talk to Nissan to have a full feature of the IDx's?
Let them please make something that looks as much as possible like these to conquer the GT86 and BRZ!!!


Feature on the Mazda Atenza? It looks fantastic!


speedhunters_dino HimSuper #SpeedhuntersProblems


speedhunters_dino MariusEngenSkinnes Get Miura-san to send me one ;-P


RoK1981 It's definitely something I want to do!


Feature on that SW20?!?!?!?!


HeatherSabin not available in the US. =( DARN U MAZDA USA!!!!!!!!!


HeatherSabin oops i meant in wagon form. =/ the new 6 is very attractive. i cant wait to see the mazdaspeed 6 version.


These cars look like they need a lot of repairs....