What seems like light years ago (even though it was only 2012) I had the pleasure of shooting Rupz MkII. It was before any real shakotan cars had appeared in New Zealand, especially more classic-oriented ones. There was plenty of sacked 180s, but the old J-tin was still pretty rare. This MkII had all the right aspects, old school, squat, hippari-stretch, and the boso handle scraping the pavement. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was to be one of those cars that as a photographer I just couldn’t forget.
Tag Archives: Shakotan
In a country steeped in tradition, culture, and obedience, characters such as Wataru Kato would surely go against the grain and be seen as ‘very much outside the box’. Despite the colourful jeans, gold shoes and larger than life personality, he is about as traditional as it comes with his automotive tuning. He is well known for creating crazy European supercars with a Japanese twist, but he cut his teeth on classic j-tin icons such as the fairlady, hakosuka, and kenmeri. One of his latest creations is a wild, yet traditional Kenmeri that embraces the traditional roots of shakotan but for an unknown reason just feels like a fresh twist on an old favourite.
Artists continually endeavor to make a statement, lukewarm creations and fitting in for many means certain death. For Mitsuru Haraguchi sticking to his guns, and constantly striving to create his own vision of what a car should be, has not only earned him a reputation, but praise as one of Japan’s most colourful automotive creators with a vision unlike any other.
After an awesome day out getting up to my eyeballs in scale model goods it was back into the car scene, and a tuner that I have briefly met, but haven’t had the chance to shoot properly. As always being in Japan, it meant jumping on a train and heading for the middle of nowhere.
Rules were made to be broken, and boundaries are there to be pushed is a common thought among many J-side tuners. Internet forums rage with the argument of form vs function. Anyone who isn’t interested in broadening their horizons then continue on to another post as this is not going to float your boat.