Thursday, February 22, 2007

The King and I

One of the interesting things about the Drift King is that he really doesn't give a shit what other people say and think about him. You hang out with him long enough and you will see that he pretty much bows to no one. Well ok, he's Japanese so he'll do a courtesy bow here and there but he'll never do anything or say anything he doesn't want to.
You become a super star and it looks like you have a big fargin ego. Well the big fargin ego that the DK has is pretty much well deserved. Drifting would have never become this big around the world if the man did not exist. Tire companies would not have made so much money if there wasn't driftinng. He single handedly raised the premium on 1986 Corolla Levins. He basically founded D1. Taught the world how to drift. Can I stop now?
I heard a funny story recently that he was not chosen as a committee member for the Japan Car of the Year award. The voting people said he wasn't established enough or what not and didn't want to let him in. Basically they wanted to shut him up because the committee was afraid of him going off on how bad some of the cars were. The sponsors of the Awards are, yes the car makers. They didn't want him ragging on certain cars freely like he does in Best Motoring. BM is an independent media so he is allowed to say what ever the hell he wants.
The story gets better. After he was not voted in, he went public with how the committee is corrupt and how bs the way things are run. That sparked some serious flames here and there in the Japanese car media segment. Like I said, the DK doesn't give a whole lot about what others say and think.
There are ofcourse conscequences to things like this and sometimes as a guy who works close to him wishes if he could be a tad bit more "diplomatic" but he isn't about to change his ways. That's why he's the king...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ok so we finally got onto myspace. URL is
We've been asked many times why we are not on myspace. We knew it was something we had to do but just putting it off. Now that I made a GT Channel myspace, I can't get enough of it. I like doing things good if we are going to do it. I actually have/had another myspace account but I have like 3 friends and I was soon bored of doing anything with it. I put more time into posting comments on this blog.
Our GTchannel myspace as of today has 5 people including Tom who you get for free...I've sent out some invites to some friends I know on myspace so we'll see who becomes my friends.
So if you are reading this and have a myspace account be my friend!

I'm still not sure how everything works but I somehow figured out how to redesign my background and get rid of annoying ads that seem to pop up sometimes when you use free coding services. They sneak in funky links and their own ads sometimes. I got rid of those. The myspace profile page is cluttered as it is. Some people say that the cluttered chaotic interface is what makes myspace, myspace. Well what ever it is I like my info clean and sorted as much as possible. Maybe I'm old. Who knows. But it looks like you ain't nobody if you're not on myspace so here it goes.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

My Article in Modified Mag Feb 2007

There is an article I wrote in the February issue of Modified Mag about the Touge Showdown.
By the way our next DVD will be American Touge 3. It's scheduled for release at mid March. An announcement is coming up pretty soon about a new distribution deal which allows us to concentrate more on production and marketing. We are planning on releasing at least 4 DVDs this year on a quarterly basis. Look out here we come!

Visit to HKS USA

I visited HKS USA this week. HKS has been a great partner for us for a while now. We've worked very closely with them when Nob Taniguchi comes to the US since we like to feature him in our videos.
We've worked with HKS for the XDL show and GT Live in Phoenix. In our last DVD Best Motoring International Japan VS USA Drift Off we included a HKS CDROM product catalog. This year we will be working with them for various projects.

Here's a video of Nob Taniguchi, Dai and Lisa at the Tokyo Auto Salon.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Cold California

The day we arrived to LA it snowed in Malibu. It has rained almost 5 times in the 4 weeks we have been here. I don't know how the weather is usually around here but it's not as sunny and warm as I imagined. I guess this cold is pretty rare because after we moved in we found out that the heater in our house was beyond repair.
Here in these photos the workers are taking the AC unit off the roof and putting a new one on top. The surprising thing was that the old unit was probably about 30 years old and the new unit was just as big and looked exactly like the old one! Cars have become smaller, radios and music players have become smaller, phones have evolved to be smaller, TVs are thinner. Now why haven't the air conditioner units become smaller? How about the performance?
I hope this new unit delivers more power for the buck. Shouldn't they be more efficient too, just like the other devices that we surround ourselves with?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


WRC Subaru Time Attack on the Touge

I always love it when we have special guests on the touge. It's great to see different genres of motorsports interact.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Setting up the pad

Inside Sony Studios in Culver City

Taku stuffed in the back seat with the flat screen

One of the first things you need in your house is a TV. Especially when you are in the business of selling DVDs. So after we got our new place we headed off to get a TV. You can see we barely fit it in the rental car with our friend Taku in the back seat.
Getting cable here in the US takes so much time. My mistake EVERYTHING here takes so much time.
We still don't have a land line because we are still waiting for the guy to come hook up the house. That was after being put on hold for about an hour to get through to someone. Doing this for cable, electricity and internet can get pretty old. I'm glad we're almost finished with everything...
Starting your life from scratch in a new place can be pretty challenging. I grew up here so I can speak the language but I have not spent any of my adult life living here. Which means no credit. No credit in the US means you get no credit card and no record of any financial status. Basically a baby.
Sometimes you really feel like you were born yesterday. I was just telling some friends of mine today that the people at the grocery store looked at me as I was seriously challenged when I asked them what in earth was "cash back" when I used my new debit card to pay.
In Japan we don't have this. You always have to go to the ATM to retrieve cash. Never at the same time you buy something. I was just trying to pay and they are asking me if I want "cash back". I never gave any cash so why would I want "cash back"? It's more like "cash withdrawl" right? The cashier lady was "so you want cash back or what?".
I was so scared by her glaring at me I was like, "no, no I don't want any cash, thank you and I'm sorry". She would have climbed over the counter to kick my ass if I asked another stupid question about how to use the darn debit card.
Anyway we're getting used to this. Lesson one, just use cash if in doubt.

Searching for Director of Internet Strategy and Online Operations

We are seeking to hire the following:

The Director of Internet Strategy and Online Operations will manage the web presentation of Zigzag Asia websites. Director will be responsible for managing a team of content producers and coordinating other related disciplines. Will set work production schedules with the production team for ongoing production, as well as new projects implementation.
He/she will be responsible for:
1. Developing strategy for the site and overseeing all aspects of goal implementations.
2. Managing website development and day-to-day operations to support superior viewer experience and to incorporate new features and offerings.
3. Serve as a single point of contact with development team (internal or contract) to ensure all tasks are clearly defined and are completed according to schedule.
4. Identifying opportunities for leveraging the website in pursuit of other key objectives including cross-promotion of new products
5. Identifying and executing strategic partnerships to acquire compelling content, features, and online tools that support the website strategy.
6. Update management on the status of all projects especially when there are slowdowns or bottlenecks.
7. Tracking and analyzing site traffic to understand customers' usage patterns and trends and assessing ongoing competitive analysis of high-speed Web sites, content and emerging technologies to continually inform the content strategy and foresee new trends.
8. Building and leading a cohesive, professional staff to support strategy and operational goals
• 5+ years experience managing an online portal with responsibilities including overall portal strategy development, content acquisition, and website development
• Strong knowledge of Website production technologies including HTML, databases and XML if possible, video encoding, extensive contacts in the online space and in depth experience monitoring and evaluating industry trends
• Solid management experience and track record in motivating and building strong teams.
• Strong communications skills and ability to build working relations across all levels of an organization.

Send resumes to

Saturday, February 10, 2007

PRIMEDIA Acquires Modified Automotive Group

NEW YORK, NY —February 8, 2007—PRIMEDIA Inc. (NYSE: PRM), America's leading targeted media company, today announced that its Enthusiast Media Segment acquired Toronto-based VerticalScope Inc.’s Modified Automotive Group (MAG), publisher of Modified Magazine, Modified Luxury & Exotics Magazine, Modified Mustangs Magazine, and their related event partnerships and websites. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The Modified Automotive Group has been an outstanding growth company. PRIMEDIA, as a strategic buyer, is ideally positioned to leverage Modified’s assets for growth into the future primarily by cross-selling with PRIMEDIA’s existing brands, and realizing numerous economies of scale, particularly in the areas of sales, production, distribution, and direct mail,” said Steve Parr, President of PRIMEDIA Enthusiast Media.

MAG was founded in July 2002, with the premiere issue of Modified Magazine, a performance magazine for sport compact and import car enthusiasts. MAG has delivered strong revenue growth in each year of its existence. The Modified brand is well known and highly respected by both marketers and enthusiasts.

Modified Luxury & Exotics Magazine was launched in November, 2004, and caters primarily to the high-end market. Modified Mustangs, launched in October 2005, skews toward a younger demographic. All three MAG publications complement PRIMEDIA’s existing assets and broaden PRIMEDIA’s addressable market.

“In addition to the synergies we expect to realize, we intend to expand Modified’s online presence, begin to generate licensing revenue using Modified’s strong brands, and benefit from Modified’s event partnerships,” Parr added.

VerticalScope was represented in the sale by DeSilva & Phillips, LLC.

北米チューニング雑誌出版社のモディファイド社が大手出版社のプライメディアに買収されたというニュースが2日前に発表されました。プライメディアはnasdaqに上場している大手雑誌出版社。特定趣向の中堅雑誌を何誌も持っているトップ10に入る雑誌出版社です。自動車雑誌で有名なのはMotortrendですね。チューニング雑誌で有名なのはSuper StreetやSports compact car。とにかく業界を代表するメディア会社です。
このモディファイド、本社はなんとカナダにあります。チューナー系の情報発信はほとんどアメリカ西海岸なのに。でも一番驚くのはこのモディファイの社長のRob Laidlawはなんと若干25歳。びっくりです。

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Pacific Coast Highway

Life in LA started 2 weeks ago. We finally found a place in Marina Del Rey.
I can get to the office in about 20 minutes going South on the 405. I can also cruise down Pacific Coast Highway. Now that I've found a house, I have to find a car! Still thinking about what to get...

トーランスのオフィスの近くを探しましたが、結局マリーナデルレイにしました。事務所までは高速を使えば20分でいけます。高速を使わない場合はこのPacific Coast Highway通称PCHを南に下っていきます。このPCHはここカリフォルニアの代表的な街道で良く映画などでも登場します。

Toyota Camry has been named 2007 Motor Trend Car of the Year

The all-new Toyota Camry has been named 2007 Motor Trend Car of the Year. Launched in spring 2006, the new Camry offers a major redesign for the 2007 model year.
Check Out GT Channel for the full story:

Me at the Motor Trend office this past week in LA.