Inside Japan’s Secretive ‘No Good Racing’ Kanjozoku Street Racing Team

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History, lineage, and respect keep the Kanjozoku street racers part of Japan’s culture.

Japan’s street racing scene has evolved from a cult following to a thing of legends. High-speed runs around the loop highways of Tokyo have been in the daydreams of many JDM enthusiasts for years, but their history is largely obscured. In this video, from YouTube channel Drift Hunter Albo, we get an up close and exclusive look at one member, Daichi, of No Good Racing who’s keeping the tradition alive.

Kanjozoku groups were formed in connection with the Bosozoku hooligan biker gangs who also raced highways and fought for local turf. When it was time to switch to 4 wheels, each “tribe” had its own style, and the tribe of No Good Racing was one group that raced Hondas exclusively. As it stands now, there’s four core members of No Good Racing, but occasionally others will join in and form as much as a dozen highway racers.

Kanjozoku civic honda japan no good racing

Hooligan traditions of the Bosozoku carried over to the Civics and the pace would carry over too. Disregard for other’s safety was the only way the Kanjozoku racers could claim superiority, and they would even antagonize anyone who dared to interfere with the ongoing races. Daichi says “racers would go all out, and actually battle with the police.”

As time went on, traditions change, and even the cars did as well. After all, No Good Racing started with the Honda Civic because they were inexpensive. No Good Racing still uses Honda Civics, per tradition, and their modifications are now centered around safety rather than out and out performance.

 

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Kanjosoku racing isn’t what it used to be, however.  There’s now 1000+ horsepower Supras, Ferraris and Lamborghinis to contend with. Still, tradition gets handed down, and the Kanjozoku racers were known for their courage on the C1 loop highway, which horsepower can’t mask.

Kanjozoku civic honda japan no good racing

“Our generation doesn’t provoke the police as much as before. Back in the day, yes, but these days not as much,” says Daichi. In a way that is to keep the tradition alive, as they still to this day drive the loop highways around Osaka. But the rules of the races have changed. New rules pay specific attention to other drivers, where there races are open and will continue right up to the point where they encounter traffic. These un-written safety rules allow those highway runs to still happen, but with police crackdowns at a minimum.

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites for Internet Brands, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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