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Inside the Intense World of Japan's Underground Drifting

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You are not watching an episode of anime Initial D. This isn't a video game! Here's a look at underground drifting in Gunma Prefecture, Japan.

Albo Agunday, who filmed this video, tells Kotaku:

The way it worked this night is that some cars would line up and go one or two or three at a time, but a car or someone would usually stay back and stand on the side of the road. I think typically they have spotters holding one walkie talkie, and then another one in the cars, but a few times a random car snuck through and was almost hit!! It was really intense and properly dangerous.

I also learned about this interesting gentleman's agreement—if you crash your car into another drifter's car (even parked I think), then you both split the repair cost right down the middle - no matter whose fault it was.

While I was riding inside, my driver friend was having a pleasant conversation with me about how he's no good at English and wants to get better—all while we are travelling sideways around a corner (you can see it in the video at around 00:55..he gets to around 130km/h right before blind hairpin turn). At this point, he turns to me and says "Sorry, I can't go flat out because the roads are really icy tonight." My jaw dropped. Just incredible skill.

This guy is like a real life Takumi from Initial D (except he drives an s15). He is one of the the nicest, most soft-spoken Japanese guys I've ever met. From the outside, everyone thinks his car is either a demon or a god as it pitches angles around 90 degree bends that shouldn't physically be possible.

Underground Drifting in Japan (REAL INITIAL D) [L7frost@YouTube]

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.


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