Posts Tagged ‘Ken Miyoshi’

GALLERY> Nisei Showoff Vs Infamous Long Beach

This past weekend, there were tons of automotive events happening, so those of us located in Southern California faced a dilemma - should we go to Nisei Showoff or Infamous?!

The tried and true Import Showoff event thrown by legendary import carshow promoter Ken Miyoshi during Downtown LA's annual Nisei Week Festival in Little Tokyo is always a good time. Everyone knows that Nisei Showoff symbolizes the best of the best - the highest standard in modified import cars, with attendance by the OG crews that used to run the streets of Los Angeles when the sport compact scene was just beginning to blow up. The whole vibe at Nisei Showoff feels a bit nostalgic, to be honest. Can it be that it was all so simple then? Good cars and good friends in a relaxed atmosphere, surrounded by good Japanese restaurants and boutique shops in Little Tokyo.

However, some young car enthusiasts don't care about memory lane nostalgia or waxing poetic about the good old days. For this rapidly growing new generation of frame-scraping tire stretchers, the newly conceptualized Infamous show was thrown as a collaboration between the Fatlace and Canibeat Crews at the Queen Mary in Long Beach.

It's obvious that MotorMavens connects to both scenes and both types of automotive taste, so those who follow @MOTORMAVENS on Instagram and Twitter already know that we decided to hit both shows. Here's a quick gallery of images from both events!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Scenes from Nisei Showoff 2011

This past weekend, all the core enthusiasts in Southern California's Japanese car scene gathered once again on the intersection of First Street and Alameda in the Little Tokyo area of Downtown LA for the annual Nisei Showoff celebration. The event was super fun as always - when I showed up at the event, it felt like a big block party with several friends all gathered around different cars, admiring the immaculate engine bays, or trying to figure out new wheel sizing and/or suspension setups.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula D Long Beach Experience Pt.2

Okay... you've waited long enough! I've been sick the past few days so it's been rough, but I've finally managed to go through thousands of photos that we shot at Formula Drift's 2011 season opener on the Streets of Long Beach. I know everyone wants to see the photos, so without further delay, let's begin! Through the lenses of the MotorMavens sharpshooters, this is the Formula Drift Long Beach experience, Part Two!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula Drift Las Vegas Highlights

When it comes to Formula D Las Vegas, what can I say that hasn't been already mentioned? It was hot. Damn hot. Too hot to be outside without air conditioning. I don't understand how Las Vegas locals can handle the incredible heat over there, but they say they're just used to it now. Getting used to it is one thing... but I wonder if they like it though?

Just like the gypsy camps in the days of old, this year's Las Vegas round of Formula Drift brought thieves out of the woodwork. I was really surprised to find out that former Formula D judge (and current Tanaka Racing Corvette driver) Alex Pfeiffer's helmet was stolen. I suppose someone was a fan of Alex's Hawaiian print helmet, which had the traditional Hawaiian plumeria flowers painted on one side. The only question I have about that is... Okay, thieves. Now that you have Alex's helmet, what the hell are you going to do with it?   Read more...

COVERAGE> Nisei Showoff Returns To Little Tokyo

I'm sure many will agree with me when I say that I'm glad that the City of Los Angeles didn't complete its bulldozing and reconstruction project surrounding Downtown LA's newly built Alameda Street train station... this allowed Ken Miyoshi and his Import Showoff crew to continue their tradition of throwing the Nisei Showoff in the heart of Little Tokyo. According to Ken, this year marked the 10 Year Anniversary of the Nisei Showoff, which always took place in conjunction with the historic Nisei Week Festival in Little Tokyo, celebrating the culture of second generation Japanese living in the United States.

This year, there were a ton of new cars that made their debut at the show, and several regulars that received makeovers. According to Ken Miyoshi, one of the things that has always separated Nisei Showoff from the other carshows is the face that Showoff has a really qualified panel of carshow judges who really have expertise in the automotive aftermarket. Nisei Showoff's judges include people who have a background of working with companies like HKS, Blitz, Toyota, and places like that. This may be a major differentiation factor to some people, but to me, it's completely different.

Nisei Showoff just has a particular vibe to it. It starts early in the morning, in the exciting hustle and bustle of the competitor load-in, as the cars form ridiculously long lines, jamming up the streets of Little Tokyo as they wait for the show staff to let them in the gate and park at their assigned spaces. It continues throughout the day, as the noontime sun heats up the entire place, and you get to bump into old friends and catch up on the things that are going on in everyone's busy lives. For me, the excitement continues on to the late afternoon too, as I complete my rounds through the show and stop by the cars that catch my eye, making new friends and checking out all the subtle things that everyone has done to their cars. Probably the most fun thing about Nisei Showoff (for me at least) is the fact that Ken Miyoshi has asked me to be the official emcee for the awards ceremony. I've been doing this for the past three (or four?) years now... and that part is really fun, because you get to see what the owners of the cars look like, as they come up and receive their trophy at the stage.   Read more...

OH SNAP> Post Up Your Nisei Showoff Photos!

Maureen Chen Nisei Showoff 2010 Little Tokyo Downtown Los Angeles Japantown Car Show 1970 Honda N600

I met a whole TON of people today at the 10 year Anniversary of Nisei Showoff in Downtown LA’s Little Tokyo! Most people were taking photos, whether they were with DSLRs, point&shoot cameras, cameraphones, and even disposable film cameras.

This is the section of the site where I’d love to invite YOU to post up your photos on MotorMavens! We want to see what photos you came up with, whether you think they’re photographically amazing or not. We just want you to show us your favorite cars (and scenes) from Nisei Showoff 2010!

We’ll let Ken Miyoshi from Import Showoff pick the best photo gallery from Nisei Showoff, and the winner will receive a special prize from ShowoffCafe/MotorMavens! (more…)


VIDEO> Offset is Everything at Nisei


Nisei+Showoff+Grande+Finale

Most Motor Mavens readers have been following Antonio’s photos and stories from Nisei Showoff, so we’ve decided to release a video of the event as well! We really wanted to highlight something that impressed us at the show – the fact that so many of these great cars are stepping up their game with aggressive offset and negative camber!

Forget the trophies – for us, the super slammed cars with the best wheels, stance, engine mods and paint jobs were the stars of the show. Nisei Showoff wasn’t about the models (although there were a few that showed up, haha); it was about the hottest street cars. Events like this are becoming more and more rare. We feel privileged that we were there to support Ken Miyoshi on his last Nisei Showoff, because of the great feeling that this show produced. Props to Ken and the Mainstream Productions crew for bringing us an awesome day of street cars and good friends in the middle of Little Tokyo.

We hop you enjoy the video, and don’t forget to leave comments!

:: Travis Hodges

More 2009 Nisei Showoff on MOTORMAVENS


COVERAGE> Honda Offset Kings at Nisei, Vol.1

I know, I know. Some of you have been dying to see our next installment of Nisei Week coverage, but it's been hard to sit down and organize my photos because I've been so slammed with meetings over the past few days. It's true, Motor Mavens was a grassroots effort that was started by a few close friends, but we are working night and day to bring you new content, broaden our reach and let everyone know about the site. We need help! We're growing at such an alarming rate, it's honestly quite overwhelming... if anyone is down to help the cause, please hit us up at motormavens(at)gmail.com!

But back to our unfinished story about Nisei Showoff, perhaps the thing that most impressed and surprised me was the sheer number of good offset Hondas that made their way to Little Tokyo to represent. These aggressive offset, slammed Hondas are dope as hell. In my opinion, these cars inject new enthusiasm and excitement to the Honda scene, and the Japanese car scene in Southern California overall. Hopefully the days of FR guys hating on Hondas and FF drivers are gone... I personally have nothing but respect for these guys. Their style is fresh and innovative, and all I can say is... it's about freakin time! The Southern Cali Honda guys have now joined the aggressive offset movement, and hopefully the path has now been paved for the rest of the country... please take notes, kids!

Regarding the above photo, make a decision. The stance or the girl, which one would you choose?   Read more...

COVERAGE> Nisei Showoff Grand Finale, Part 1

I know that many people have been waiting for our coverage of this weekend's Nisei Showoff carshow, which made its final show in Downtown LA/Little Tokyo. Since I knew I'd run into a ton of old friends at the show, I knew that it would be smart to come to the show early; that was a very good decision. Travis brought his Canon DSLR and his video camera to help capture the event too, since we knew that it would be hard for me to make my way around the whole show, in between saying hello to all our old school friends that come out the woodwork just for the Nisei Showoff. For some reason, some of these guys don't go to Formula D events or Just Drift events, but they always make it to Nisei. So for many of us, Nisei Showoff is a time for us to reconnect and chill with good friends who we don't have the pleasure of seeing all the time, due to the busy work and travel schedules that we all have.

I was happy to see several media outlets at the event covering the show as well; I'm hoping that all the magazines and websites out there run coverage of the show. Super Street Magazine and Project Car Magazine both had a strong showing at Nisei, with booths and a build-off competition of the magazine editors' personally owned cars. I also saw people from Import Tuner, Japanese Nostalgic Car, Urbanracer, Auto Otaku/Speedhunters, DSport, even an ex-Jtuned guy and several other media outlets out there to support and shoot photos of Nisei Showoff. Make sure to check out their coverage of the show as well.

For any other media outlets who weren't able to make it to the show, but still want to run coverage of the event, please contact us at motormavens(at)gmail.com and we will supply you with photos for free, just to help out our friend Ken Miyoshi who runs the show.

While it may seem to some outsiders that we've been hyping this event quite a lot, it's only because Nisei Showoff really is a big deal to those of us who go there with our friends and family every year - it's a tradition that we've all kept up for the past nine years.

In fact, the very first time I ever put my own AE86 in a carshow was at Nisei Showoff in 2000 - the first ever Showoff event in Little Tokyo. That year, I linked up with several of my other AE86 friends and old school Toyota heads, and we lined our cars up all in a row, parallel to 2nd Street in Little Tokyo. We all thought it was so cool to be in a carshow in that area, since we would always hang out in Little Tokyo after work. My friends and I were always there, whether we were buying Japanese drifting magazines at Kinokuniya Bookstore; renting Japanese car videos at J-Wave; getting ramen at Orochon or Daikokuya; buying Japanese market limited sneakers at the shoe store inside Japanese Village Plaza; or of course, getting drinks at Oiwake.   Read more...