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To the core drift enthusiasts to the mild enthusiasts, Drift Tengoku magazine is the first of its kind in the entire world!
By Ryusuke Kawasaki
|Ryusuke Kawasaki, aka Doriten Kawasaki, is known for his efforts in informing all of Japan and the whole world about the sport of drifting. Being a chief editor of the leading drifting magazine, he puts himself in the similar stand point of his readers to perfect his drifting skills. His vehicle of choice is a BNR32 that emits a fine tuned sound of a RB26.|
| Isn't Drift Tengoku incredible?? We are the only drift specific publication in the entire world! There are other magazines popping up here and there because of the popularity of D1 in the recent years, but we are still the only magazine solely dedicated to drifting that puts out a fresh mag every month! In February of 2006, we are at our 81st issue. I still can't believe that we’re still going strong...
When Drift Tengoku was born 9 years ago, the company's intentions were to first produce a different type of a motor sport magazine, 4 issues a year. The year after that, the magazine turned into a bimonthly publication and yet, the year following that, a monthly magazine was released. This magazine was finally accepted as a genre noteworthy in the automobile tuning industry.
First, a lot of concerns of running out of content material and ideas were discussed. Compared to the other magazines that had a variety of content materials to choose from such as drag racing, grip racing and spocon class, as well as many automobiles types from FF, AWD, or MR configurations, we were very limited. 90% of the cars that are featured in our magazine are FR. That means no Lancer Evolutions, Imprezas or even GT-Rs. We only have old vehicle platforms to work with, and the content availability was and still is troublesome.
However, it turns out that we never ran out of contents. It's not that we are great at creating material, but there were a great number of people who drifted that had unique characteristics. In other words, Drift Tengoku doesn't produce our readers, the readers produce Drift Tengoku. What we do is we find the drifters with interesting characteristics and make them appealing to the readers. Although there are many drifting competitions popping up for us to cover, there are many nightly illegal street drift gatherings. Generally, everyone tends to be more interested in these gatherings?Because the fact that we frequently cover these types of events, the fear of becoming marked for involvement in these gatherings are another problem. People often ask us, "Aren't you afraid of being prosecuted for participating in these illegal activities?". Honestly, we have been contacted by the police once about a year after the establishment of our magazine. That time, the Tokyo drifting scene was booming with people, eventually leading to closure.
The Drift Tengoku demo car was a hit every where it went!The Drift Tengoku demo car sported its trademark pink and white paint job. Today, they have a Cefiro and Chaser that can be seen competing at events. This photo is from December of 2003, where the vehicle was snagged for inspection by the local authorities.
|Police: Who's the person in charge of the bulletin board section of the magazine?
DT: Uhhhh…. That would be me.
Police: You know the xxxxxxx drifting spot?
That road is going to be closed at nights. I was wondering if you can announce this closure in your magazine.
DT: Who, me? Why do we have to do that?
Police: I know what you guys do. I know you promote these activities and take pictures. It's okay though, since you guys are just doing your job. I understand that there are lots of cool cars and you want to document the gatherings. We are just doing our job too, so help us.
DT: Oh, I didn't know that you knew about our involvement…. I understand. What should I write in there? Is there going to be any problems if I put the exact location down?
Police: That's fine; just make it an announcement from the local police department. This is an important piece of information to your readers anyways…
On the next issue of or magazine, we put a small segment of "a friendly reminder from your local police department". There are other incidents as well. When we were taking pictures of a famous parking lot where all the drifters and street racers gathered, a policeman came our way. There were many racers around too. Everyone fled the parking lot so fast, leaving the Drift Tengoku staff members alone at the scene. We fled into a vehicle holding our breath, hoping that we don't get busted for anything. The cop walked towards us and stood by the car. He gestured us to open the window. We quickly hid our cameras. We wondered if we were going to get busted for promoting illegal street racing activities and have or footage taken away. Hesitantly opening the window, the cop spoke to us.
He said "Good evening, there's lots of thugs around here so please be careful. Are you tourists? Everything is okay now." We were caught by surprise.
Well, there you have it. The Drift Tengoku staff members are dedicated individuals bringing the drifters contents from the core every month. The September issue of 2007 will be our 100th issue, I wonder if we will survive until then??!!
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