They learned its style. They recreated it on a skidpad. They played it in driving sims. But NorCal’s Drift Team Animal Style had never physically gone to Meihan, the tiny track in Japan that gave the world the backwards entry and has become legendary in the Internet Era of drifting. This past year, they shipped their cars over and made the pilgrimage.
“What’s cool is that usually people go to Japan to rent cars or by cars and bring ‘em back to the United States,” videographer Will Roegge of Keep Drifting Fun explains at the start of the video with fellow shooter Brandon Kado. “These guys are shipping their U.S. cars to Japan to go drive.”
“We’re flipping the equation,” Kado continues. “And now we’re headed to Japan.”
It is an interesting flip of how drifting has spread out from Japan to now, even in a very small way, echoing back to it. America hosts many Japanese drivers. Noaki Nakamura is a grassroots hero and has come over a few times now and Kazuya Taguchi, a speed parts shop employee turned pro, competes in Formula Drift, to name two examples. Formula Drift has been running its own drifting series in Japan for a few years now, even.
Animal Style was going over to run Super D Japan, an event based out of the U.S. that saw huge turnout for its Japanese running, drawing drivers from all over the country to little Meihan and its wall-to-wall first corner, the one that made seemingly physics-defying backwards entries so well known.
And again, it’s interesting to see Japanese style reflected back onto itself through an American lens. It’s starting to look like a style of its own, bouncing across the Pacific. There’s only more of this to come.