Journal: Is This The First Japanese Drifting Video Ever Made?

Is This The First Japanese Drifting Video Ever Made?

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
October 14, 2015
11 comments

It’s difficult to trace a line through history back to a single artifact, but I can at least say that Keiichi Tsuchiya’s illegal street racing film, known as Pluspy, arrived before a lot of other things that help define my generation of “Millennial” enthusiasts.

Tsuchiya himself honed his skills doing deliveries for the family metal shop, and was very much an “everyman” driver as his racing career began in 1977. I’m not sure what compelled him to strap a camera to a Toyota AE86 and head through a touge (mountain road) at breakneck speed, but the resulting 1987 video release, Pluspy, got him suspended from racing and helped spark an incredible chain of events.

After Pluspy, he served as the inspiration for the main character in the Initial D manga. He was a consultant and star in the (initially banned) Megalopolis Expressway Trial films, was the title of one of the very first—and most influential racing video games—Shutok? Battle ’94 Keiichi Tsuchiya Drift King, and was a longtime host of the Japanese VHS car magazine Best Motoring. Founder of the world’s first drifting championship, too.

These things matter, because they’ve influenced everything from how car magazines look to what angles cameras use when video taping cars—even in slow-motion. Sure, cameras have been strapped to vehicles for years, but Tsuchiya’s projects featured some of the first “professional amateur” footage of cars, even graphic overlays and picture-in-picture footage of the pedal box.

And between all of this, he was able to continue as a legitimate racer, finding time to race in Nascar, SuperGT, and for both Honda’s NSX GT2 and Toyota’s GT-One Le Mans efforts. So if you’re ever wondering who the modern master of showboating for the cameras is, why “pedal cams” look so awesome, or why the Ford Focus RS has a “Drift” mode, there’s a good chance you’re not many degrees of separation from the name Tsuchiya.

Image Sources: carview.co.jpblogimg.jpknowledge-works.co.jpsinaimg.cncollection-hall.seesaa.netamazon.comkingofeurope.net

Join the Conversation
Related

Leave a Reply

11 Comments on "Is This The First Japanese Drifting Video Ever Made?"

avatar
Photo and Image Files
 
 
 
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
GardenPT
GardenPT

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
Sorry to be the grey haired grump amongst the bunch but … … If Tsuchiyasan is the man responsible for the rise of ‘ Drifting ‘ .. not to mention a whole host of other ills that have begotten motorsports ..turning it into spectacle rather than sport for the benefit of the ADD Dyslexic Hummingbird generation .. Well then … in that case we now know exactly who to blame for the current travesty posing as motorsport … from F1 .. to WEC .. to WRC and right on down to the club level .. not to mention the mass… Read more »
JB21
JB21
Well, Guitar man, I agree with you, actually. For the most part, anyway. When we were doing this back in the 80s and 90s, I don’t think we even thought of it as a sport or anything. To us, it was just what happened when we drove fast on the narrow Japanese mountain passes, eventually cars started to slide, so we just learned to control it, that’s what we did. Tuchiya was a legend among us, but there were many. Every touge had the master. I grew up near where Satoru Nakajima grew up, and I drove the same roads… Read more »
Max Acree
Max Acree

“was the title of one of the very first—and most influential racing video games—Shutok? Battle ’94 Keiichi Tsuchiya Drift King”

In what universe were racing video games not coming out prior to 1994? Night Driver, the actual most influential racing game (the first attempt to represent 3d driving in games), came out in 1976…

JB21
JB21

I sincerely wish that it’s better known, but he didn’t come across the name Drift King because of his Touge video. In one race, he overtook many cars by drifting through every corner to win the race. He was finding the faster way around a track by drifting and carrying more speed through corners than others, and that’s how he became to be called Drift King, it wasn’t about showboating.

jolocho
jolocho

The version I’ve heard is that he would block/shake off other racers in the corners by drifting. Hell if I can find any footage of the races where he got the title.

Emerson Fittipaldi wrote in his book that the fastest way around a corner was by a bit of sliding, referring specifically to street based cars with radial tires.

JB21
JB21

One of the magazine cover reads “Eat shit, auto-trans!” I approve.

Kaz Nam
Kaz Nam

This Video has 2 titles. ??? / ???2 [The TOUGE / The TOUGE2]. Touge means a pass of mountain.

wpDiscuz