Competitive drifting came to America in 2003, and everyone always knew that it had happened in Japan for longer than that. As you can see here, a whole lot longer.
The two main early organizations to host a competitive drift event in Japan were both magazines. One was Battle Magazine, reasonably well known for having just come back, and the other was Car Boy. Its first comps were in mid ‘80s, but this is the oldest event I’ve seen footage of, showing a retrospective of Max Orido’s career, competing in 1990. Orido is a legend in drifting, his red Supra being one of the most iconic cars in the history of the sport.
You get to see him win an event with one arm pumping out of the window, which goes to show that, at its heart, drifting is about style. If you don’t do it with style, you might as well have not done it at all.