Home > Newsworthy > NEWSWORTHY> Farewell, Atsushi Kuroi

NEWSWORTHY> Farewell, Atsushi Kuroi

I awoke this morning to the buzz of my iPhone, and struggled to wipe my sleep-deprived eyes so that I could read what was on the screen. Apparently, the text messages were from my friends Stephen and Mayumi, who regrettably informed me of bad news that was delivered via email from D1 driver Kazuya Bai in Osaka.

Last night, D1GP driver Atsushi Kuroi from legendary Osaka drift team Tinker had a deadly accident while he was riding his motorcycle. Although there aren’t too many details known about the accident, Kuroi san’s kohai (apprentice) Kazuya Bai says that Kuroi’s thigh was apparently injured from the accident, and even though the hospital staff worked diligently to stabilize him, Kuroi san’s wounds were too severe, and he passed away within four hours of arriving at the hospital.

Everyone in the Japanese drifting industry is obviously saddened and shocked by this news, and most likely we’ll see some sort of memorial ceremony for Kuroi san at the next  D1GP round in Japan.

Atsushi Kuroi was well known in the drifting community as one of the Kansai region’s best drivers. He came from a rough and tumble background… some insider rumors say that he was previously involved in illegal gang activity when he was younger, but left that lifestyle to pursue drifting, and eventually became one of the top drifters in Japan.

I remember meeting and hanging out with Kuroi san several times throughout the years… but the first time, it was because Kazuhiro Tanaka from Team Orange/Rough World fame conned me into talking to Kuroi san in Japanese, using a bullhorn that I brought to Irwindale D1.

The reason I say Tanaka conned me is… I didn’t realize it at the time, but Tanaka basically tricked me into saying some choice words to Kuroi san in Japanese… “damare Kuroi! kurosuzo bokeh!” Tanaka made me practice my pronunciation a couple times, then had me yell it over the bullhorn at Kuroi san as he was walking by the Team Orange pit area.

Everyone who was walking with Kuroi san turned around and looked at me, with eyes bulging, like “WTF it’s time to kick this guy’s ass, let’s go!” but then (luckily for me) they saw Tanaka standing behind me laughing his ass off… which made them stop, roll their eyes and bust up laughing, shaking their heads at the stupidity of Tanaka the prankster.

Later on, I asked Kumakubo, “WTF did Tanaka make me say?” and repeated the words to Kumakubo. The leader of Team Orange started busting up laughing too, shaking his head… it means, “Shut up, I’m gonna kill you, fucker!” OMG. (Stupid Tanaka! What an IDIOT!!! LOL) Sorry about that, Kuroi san!

Still shaking his head, Kumakubo explained with a smile, (in Japanese) “Tanaka is always doing funny stuff… but chotto be careful, Antonio. Kuroi san is a little bit dangerous,” hinting at some of Kuroi san’s past. Damn, lucky for me, I didn’t get dealt with. Stupid Tanaka!

Maybe it’s fitting after all that Kuroi san was rumored to be a former gangster in Osaka. The way he drove his S13 Onevia was always gangster as f*ck; with supreme amounts of angle, big smoke, and aggressive transitions that always looked cool as hell.

No wonder all the Osaka Bay Area (futou) drifters respect and admire the infamous members of Kuroi’s legendary steet drifting team, Tinker.

In the style department, Kuroi has one of the best looking S13s in the D1 series in my opinion. I used to always shake my head and say, “why can’t privateer S13 owners just clone the S13s built by Kuroi, Fukuda, Koguchi, Naoto Suenaga, Hiraoka, and others… then all the S13s at American drifting events would look a lot more stylish and inspiring.”

I’ll close this photo gallery with a photo of Kuroi san leading Youichi Imamura through the turns at Sugo Raceway. The drifting community as a whole is saddened by the loss of one of its legends. Godspeed Kuroi san. Farewell, friend.


:: Antonio Alvendia

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40 Responses

  1. Mayu

    Thank you for writing this article, Antonio! It’s too sad to believe that he is gone, but he will be remembered in our memories forever! May his soul rest in peace!

  2. Pingback : RIP Atsushi Kuroi « Otoko no Yonmai

  3. This is a terrible tragedy and a little bit of a graphic explanation of what might of happen, Atsushi was a great driver and will be missed may honor and respect be with his family at their time of loss

  4. This is a terrible tragedy and a little bit of a graphic explanation of what might of happen, Atsushi was a great driver and will be missed may honor and respect be with his family at their time of loss.

  5. deadpirate

    R.I.P. Kuroi. it was a pleasure meeting him at RBWDC and im sad that i wont get to experience him driving any more. D1GP 2005 and D1GP 2006 will ALWAYS stay in my head with how hard and insane he drove

  6. Pingback : R.I.P Atsushi Kuroi! | Ove Harlem - The WebSite

  7. I will miss you in the next seson!as more i read the more deprest i did gett.
    this is a tragedy that we all wiil salote whit honer. for you famila,frend’s, and the loved one’s!

    we will ALL miss you Atsushi.

    Regards the norwegian drift fan’s!

  8. afroslide

    i can’t say how sad i am .. the dude was a monster man .. we will blow up some tire for you senpai .. dori for ever man .

  9. James

    Antonio- I truly respect the history and “real stories” that you share though your blog. Sure, anyone interested in the import scene could write absolutely anything about it but you blend such meaningful, invaluable self-experiences into your blog posts that simply cannot be replicated by just any import tuning aficionado. You actually knew Kuroi san on a personal level and were able to reflect this in your post which I, as a viewer, truly appreciate. Kuroi was the very first D1 driver I ever laid eyes upon, and just like you watching dorikin’s AE86 in option 41, Kuroi’s insane angle, speed and smoke from his 26′ onevia has been permanently burnt into my mind. This is an absolute tragedy to lose such a talented driver and personality.

    Kuroi-San, you will be missed. Rest in peace.

  10. Narita

    Hi.I`m from Japan.I appriciate your farewell to Kuroi-san. However I think you should be more respectful to his family,friends and Kuroi-san himself because in Japan everybody is still avoiding getting into details out of respect. This is nothing personal but please have more common sense if this is a professional site. To follow his wishes his family will even have a private funeral. I hope you can understand this.

  11. @Narita san: Hello, I’m sorry if you feel I offended any of Kuroi san’s family by posting this story.

    This was written as an homage, with respect to Kuroi san. I felt that with a loss like this, the entire drifting community should pay respects to one of its fallen heroes. I’m not the only one who wrote something about this. Even before I posted photos and wrote the story, tons of other websites and internet forums all over the internet had already posted the story… but I wanted to write something because I knew him personally, and we all respect him a lot.

    I’m not sure which details you are referring to? About hurting his leg? The email about Kuroi san’s death came straight from Kazuya Bai, his close friend.

    Gomen nasai.

  12. i cant believe what im reading
    this saddened me greatly
    my heart goes out to the family who have lost a great man
    Kuroi san was 1 of the best if not the best drivers of all time
    i hope they are going to put his car somewhere as a mark of respect and not let it be sold so someone could make shed loads of money from it
    Kuroi san family must be feeling so much pain at the momment
    i wish them all the best and sorry to hear of your loss
    uk drifter

  13. Hi Antonio,
    Just to let you know I have a Koffice seat for sale.
    In my collection I have 5 Koffice steering wheel, 2 Koffice shiftknob,
    and a MitoNato AE86 rear wing(the wing on Ida’s AE86).
    Keep up the good work,


  14. Jdsim

    RIP KUROI. I’m deeply saddened and shocked by your death. You are one of the best D1 drivers I’ve ever seen and i’m always amazed by your insane angle and smoke which are insanely insane….

  15. Pingback : Kuroi’s Memorial Display | ProjektDaze




  17. team_shuriken

    RIP Atsushi Kuroi!
    Also seen on JDM Insider 3 Kansai Adventure. A great lost for the drift scene and his family & close friends. We never forget you!

    Kazu is still working at Westco Osaka?

    Drifter from Switzerland

  18. Pingback : Rest in peace, Atsushi Kuroi. | A Day in the Life

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