Thursday, August 31, 2006


We just starting selling Best Motoring apparel in our Best Motoring Store from August. It has been a pleasant surprise to us that these shirts are selling so well. We should have done this a long time ago.

By they way, if you've bought a shirt from us, we'd love to see photos of you wearing the t-shirt. Send a jpeg photo to we'll choose a couple winners and send out other free stuff we have laying around the office. I knew we had a Keiichi Tsuchiya autographed Drift Bible somewhere...

BMIのアパレルを8月からBest Motoring Store で販売開始しました。以外や以外、結構これが売れています。もっと早く始めればよかったかなと思うほど。やっぱりBest Motoringのブランドはかなり認知されていますね。根強いファンがいると本当に認識させられます。ありがたいです。

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Barrio 305

Interesting article on Barrio 305 on Ad Age

バリオ305とはオンラインMTVのラテン版といったところアメリカでこのようなニッチ市場のコンテンツサイトとSNSが一緒になったサービスが多く出てきています。バリオ305はBright Coveのホワイトレーベルのビデオ配信システムを利用してオリジナル番組を配信しています。今後このようなニッチ市場向けコンテンツがマーケターの目に留まります。バリオ305はFALKENタイヤのラテン市場向け広告代理店に抜擢されたそうです。

Monday, August 28, 2006


One of the best things about Japan is the onsen. The hot springs(onse) of Japan is definitely one of the favorite past times here. I can't think of any other country that likes to bathe so much. There are onsen's everywhere all across Japan.
Last week I went to a Best Motoring shoot in Fukushima prefecture. I did not realize until I got there but it was the same onsen town we used to come stay for football camp during my college days. Oh those memories...


Dake Onsen has declared themeselves the Nikoniko Republic. It was like this 15 years ago too.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Deal with Yahoo! Autos!

Zigzag Asia just signed a deal with Yahoo! Autos! This is a big step for us since the intro segment of the Drift Bible will be shown on Yahoo! Autos Customs. Viewers will be able to see parts of the video and if you want more can click to go to the Best Motoring EC Store or starting from September.

We are also the first content provider from Japan.

Yahoo!Autos Custom Drift Bible video

先週米国のYahoo! Autosと提携契約を締結しました! 日本企業としては初めてです!
結構時間がかかりましたが、やっと実現できました。これは非常に我社にとって鍵となりうる提携です。先ずは我々がアメリカで発行する人気DVD、「Drift Bible」の第一チャプターをYahoo!Autosで動画配信されます。そこには引き続きDVDを買いたい人のためのECストアへのリンクが張ってあります。
また、来月にはGT Channelへ誘導するリンクも貼られます。このような提携をどんどん仕掛けていく予定です。

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Oceans Men's Magazine

There's a new magazine in Japan that went on sale from February this year. A bunch of guys from a famous Japanese magazine called LEON spun off and started up a magazine called OCEANS.

The concept of LEON these days is "choi waru". Choiwaru means a little bad. There are so many men in Japan that dream to be sleezy James Bonds, cheat on their wifes and sleep with women 20 years younger than them. I guess the magazine sells because the word choi waru is now a popular slang here.

The magazine OCEANS on the other hand went the completely opposite direction. The concept is Luxury and Love or something like that. The family man that wants to live a fashionable life.
I've seen both magazines and find it hard to see the market for both magazines regarding readership and advertisers but that's just me.

Here is my dog Payton in OCEANS magazine that just came out on August 24. I'm just jealous that he got the gig instead of me...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Post Landing Smoke Scare

Ken Takahashi who works with me at our Torrance office told me they had to evacuate the plane after arriving in Long Beach on Monday August 21. White smoke appeared from underneath the plane and the passenger had to jump out of the emergency shoots and doors.

See the video here: Passenger Interview Ken Takahashi

Obviously everyone looks pretty shaken up after the traumatic experience.

Jingu Fireworks

Last week was the Jungu Fireworks near our home. We had a small party on the roof top.

Mac Narahara hugging my dog. Dog trying to get away.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


A good friend of mine Ranah Edelin is the CEO of a company called SingShot.

SingShot is an online talent platform centered on singing / karaoke. Basically, if you have a PC or Mac, a broadband connection, and a microphone, you can record your own version of popular songs (SingShot provides the music and the lyrics) that can then be saved on the site and listened to, rated, and commented on by the world. There are already thousands of great recordings on the site.

Time Magazine listed SingShot as one of the Top 50 Coolest Sites of 2006!

They are like the Youtube of Karaoke. You can grab codes from posts and stick them on your site like this. this is a funny recording I grabbed of some guy singing Beat It/Michael Jackson...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Power Outage in Tokyo but avoids sour milk

1.4 Million house holds lost their electricty this morning in Tokyo.

It happened this morning 8/14(Mon) around Tokyo, Chiba prefecture and Kanagawa prefecture. The trains stopped, the subways stopped and traffic lights all went out. The power was back up in 3 hours.
The reasoning for this was some guy transfering a crain on the river forgot to lower the 33 meter crain and cut a power line. This power line was 16 meters from the water level.

For some strange reason, the area where I live in Shibuya was completely unaffectived. My A/C was working and the traffic lights were all fine. I was actually watching CNN about the plane that had to return back to London because of an unidentified cell phone, so I didn't know about it for a while.

When I heard about the power outage I was relieve to know it was caused by a careless mistake and not a terrorist attack. Also it's good that we got the power back in a few hours. I remember the New York power loss a few years ago took about 4 days to get back up. With this heat, that would be torture...

Friday, August 11, 2006

Big Mac Index

The 2006 Big Mac Index was conducted by the UBS group and Tokyo was ranked top on the list. Basically the average working time of 10 minutes in the capital of Japan can buy you the Big Mac. The longest was Colombia's Bogota where you have to work for 97 minutest to buy you one.

This survey is conducted every 3 years within 70 cities around the world. The Big Mac can be bought all over the world and the price difference is very minimal thus they use it as the standard to measure service costs and wage.
The price of the Big Mac has stayed at 280yen since 1995 in Japan.

The average was 35 minutes. After Tokyo was LA(11mins), Chicago and Miami(12mins) and New York(13mins).
More on the Big Mac Index

I think everyone has some sort of story or relationship with McDonald's. Mine definitely has to be my encounter with Den Fujita the founder and former president of McDonald's Japan. Den-san was a self made entrepreneur who brought McDonald's to Japan in 1971. McDonald's Japan now has close to 4000 restaurants in Japan and grosses about $4Billion each year. It is without a doubt the largest restaurant group in Japan.

How did I get to meet Den Fujita?

More later...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tokyo Summer Sky

It's been really hot and humid in Tokyo lately. But yesterday the sky turned pink and orange. Absolutely beautiful. Then a hurricane hit the Kanto area last night. There's always a twist..

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Monday, August 07, 2006

Meta4Group HFW Dinner

We had a Hungry For Words team dinner last week. Hungry for Words is the company I serve as a director. The parent company Meta4 Group just raised some funds for expansion so we are excited to enter a next stage for the company.
That's me sitting in the front with the glasses and to my right is Meta4 Group CEO Dominic Penaloza.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Japan VS USA Drift Off DVD on Sale

We released our latest DVD earlier this week. This one is a really exciting DVD because it features a good mix of content from Japan and the US. The main Drift Off segment is an interesting segment on drifting. Expecially when you can see the world's top drvers take out a stock MX-5 and turn it sideways. You can see the techniques and differences of each driver. It was fun as hell shooting this as you can sometimes see me in the corner of the shot having a good time. I know you will like it too.

I just read in the September '06 issue of Super Street an interview of Rhys. They ask him 10 questions and the last question was, "Who would you like to challenge on the touge?". Rhys answers,
"Keiichi "Big Talk" Tsuchiya"!
I could not help but crack up. Wouldn't that be a touge battle to remember? Pikes Peak Hill expert and Japanese touge king. Check out the DVD and you'll get why Rhys thinks KT is Big Talk. : )

We also got to check out a little car called the Solstice which Sammy from Road and Track brought. Masa and I got to drive this car around a while and we honestly thought it was pretty lousy. But wait until you see what Keiichi had to say about it. A reminder why we're not on the show and he is...

We flew back to Japan for the M5 Mercy bit. See it take on the Skyline GT-R.

Life in the Fast Lane with Orido and Taniguchi was a big bash. Basically we stuck around them while they tore up rubber all over the place. In many'll see.

Japan VS USA Drift Off DVD on Sale

Japan VS USA Drift Off DVD just released at the beginning of August. The main segment is the battle between 2005 D1 Champion Yasuyuki Kazama VS Rhys Millen and Ken Gushi. But they battle it out in a STOCK MX-5. Anyone can drift a "drift car" so we put them on the track with a normal MX-5 straight from Mazda.

Ken Gushi having a good time.

Rhys "Mad Skillz" Millen

Kazama taking the challenge of the two Americans. A comparison between Kazama and Ken Gushi from behind the wheel.

Road & Track International Editor Sam Mitani wanted to convince Keiichi that the Solstice was worthy of being featured in BMI. Find out what KT had to say about the American roadster.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Driving Force

Funny "Rabbit" Commercial

There are so many automotive related shows out there. How's this one? I haven't seen it yet.