It happens. No matter how much you plan and research then plan and research then plan some more before you finally pull the trigger on a purchase, it is still possible to have a regret over a part choice. Often times it does not happen before the part has even made its way onto the vehicle. This has happened to me, I think. I researched mirrors for the Z for a few months and I decided on the VeilSide VIII Aero Mirrors. I wanted something different and I liked the sleek, simple design. That has not changed. I do like these mirrors a lot. The main reason I am second-guessing myself is that, contradicting my initial impressions of the two sets of mirrors, I actually think the Craft Square mirrors will flow with my build theme more so than the VeilSide mirrors. I did not originally want to do Craft Square because I feel like that is the default for aftermarket mirrors. A lot of people choose these mirrors. But I suppose there is a reason for that. A nice shot of a Craft Square TC-N1 (long neck) by Jason Hoang of LifewithJson.com...
Here is a set of the short-neck TC-F mirrors on an INGS+1 kitted Z33...
A couple weeks ago a longtime reader of the blog (and the owner of Medusa, a sick RWB Porsche) sent me an email in which he asked me for my mailing address. About a week later I received these:
I already have one stuck on the back of my iPhone 6 Plus... Much appreciated, sir. A truly passionate JDM enthusiast, please check out JM's online store at Stickars.bigcartel.com. Support! Oh, and a shot of his ride…
I came across a blog post yesterday entitled "We're Killing Automotive Media." I will be honest and
preface what I am about to write by stating that I have never read anything
published on this blog until yesterday, main reason being, quite simply, that the
name of the blog is not one that particularly draws me in. (I am not going to
link the article. If you are that curious, you can Google the blog post.)
The post focuses on the
ease with which bloggers and online publishers can develop a following and how
those individuals lack passion and, ultimately, harm the truly passionate
content crusaders of the automotive publishing industry.
I read and re-read the post three or four times, as well as the blog post that
it links. I have to say, I found myself perplexed. I found myself perplexed by
the glaring hypocrisy present not only in the content of the article, but in
perusing this particular blog's website. I was also a bit confused because I found
myself questioning myself and JDMphasis.
The author of this post calls out "micro bloggers,""talent-less
hacks," non-photographers, and "content-stealers" urging his
readers not to follow, link, LIKE, or click on their web or social media pages.
Perhaps this blogger is
painting all bloggers/page administrators with a broad brush. Perhaps I am a
bit paranoid in considering that I may be lumped into this group of
irresponsible, uncreative, and uninspired contributors to the purported death
of automotive media. In fact, there is a
good chance I am. However, in reading this blog post multiple times, I
believe this an ideal opportunity to describe JDMphasis
as I see it.
am not a writer.As much as I would love to
write for a living, I do not. I have a degree in English Language and
Literature, but I am not a writer. Writing does not pay my bills. In fact, I
started JDMphasis almost 6 years ago on
the advice of a couple people who work in the industry. I still maintain
friendships with both of these people. One of these guys is the man behind
I remember, as a teenager, reading a column in a Japanese tuning magazine
entitled ‘The Real JDM.’ I was hooked. Then, a couple years later, after it
could no longer be found on the pages of Modified magazine, I started following
the electronic means of distributing this information: the blog. This lasted a
few years. Fast-forwarding… When I finished undergrad, I started working in an office. I did not
particularly love my job, but it was a job. I knew I was lucky to have one. One
night, while browsing the blog, I remember being like, “What the hell… Why
not?” I decided to shoot an email to the author of all those cool articles and blog posts about
the industry I love. I spent some time over the course of a few nights drafting
what I thought was a coherent, thorough, and all-encompassing message to the
founder of a business that seemed to me to be the best place of employment on
earth, a veritable JDM parts heaven.
My goal with the email was not only to convey my passion for the industry and
to express that I shared the same ideals that he preached on a regular basis of
‘Representing the Real,’ but I also wished to see if he might be willing to
provide me some professional advice on how I might be able to break into such a
small, tight-knit industry. The love of literature and writing, as well as a passion
for the Japanese tuning industry, I thought it only natural to seek out a
“dream job” in writing about Japanese automotive parts. Who better to query
than a person who has excelled in both of those spheres?
I hit that ‘Send’ button and, frankly, did not expect a reply. I figured this
person had far too much on his plate and not enough time in his day to respond
to my gushing inquiries.
I was wrong.
It was a matter of hours and I had a lengthy response in my inbox. I was
overwhelmed to have received such a thoughtful and appreciative answer to my
message. After a few emails back and forth, I had developed a friendship that
has remained quite strong to this day. Well before inviting me out to the
Bulletproof Automotive facility in Hawthorne, California a few years ago, Ben
asked me to write a few posts for ‘The Real JDM’ at that time. I did and,
ultimately, I started JDMphasis.
My goal for this blog, as outlined from the very first post, is to chronicle
my own builds, share my experiences, and my opinions. I believe I have remained
true to that goal over the past six years. As I stressed above, I actually
doubt that I am one of the culprits guilty of “killing automotive media”
referred to by the author of the post of that stance blog. If I am, this post
shall serve as my rebuttal.
To the same end that I am
not a writer, I am not a photographer. I suppose I may be one of the few
automotive bloggers out there who is not a self-proclaimed photographer. I own
a camera. I own a phone with a camera and, yet, I am not a photographer. I have
a “nine-to-five” that commands my time for 50+ hours a week and provides me a
bi-weekly paycheck and health insurance. I am not a photographer traveling from venue to venue snapping pictures of cars to share on
the internet. As exciting as that would be, I have a job and taking pictures is not it. The vast majority of
photographic content featured on this blog and the affiliated JDMphasis: Innovation over Imitation Facebook page is
not my own. To those people who take issue with re-posting something I have discovered
somewhere else, I apologize. I do not claim it as my own and I certainly do not
go to any length of effort to thwart due credit. I have never knowingly denied
or begrudged credit to a photographer (or writer).
Additionally, I do not have
advertisements anywhere on the blog. I do not profit from pageviews or clicks.
I blog and post random pictures of Japanese cars for no other reason than
because I enjoy it. I would like to think I am doing a miniscule part in
advancing a message of encouragement. Encouragement and acknowledgement of
those enthusiasts who refuse to cut corners with their builds. I write about
supporting the pioneers of the industry by buying authentic parts because I
believe in it, not because I wish to make enemies with every keyboard warrior
rocking Shine or AIT aero and/or Rota or Varrstoen wheels. (If anything, I lose LIKEs when I post about buying real… HA.)
Over the years I have had a few different stickers/decals made for the blog. I
can remember posting one message on the blog and linking the site's PayPal address. I asked
for donations in exchange for decals. I received a few from different
readers/followers of the blog ranging from $2 to $10. I made
less than $50 in those donations and I sent out a bunch of decals. Needless to
say, I have spent close to 20x that amount in having the stickers made. My
point in relating this information is to make it clear that this blog is not
about putting money in my pocket. I love when I get a request for decals from a
reader and I am happy to send some free of charge.
This little blog of mine is about reaching people in a way more substantial
than someone sharing a random picture I have reposted. On a few separate
occasions, I have received pictures of cars in different parts of the country featuring
JDMphasis decals on their windows. That is
pretty awesome for me. I wrote a blog post a few weeks ago that was shared by an
employee of Varis. Varis! One of the
best aero companies in the world. Maybe, to some, that is not an accomplishment
worthy of note. To me, however, that is rewarding. And humbling. And just plain
cool. I have friends on Facebook that I have never met in person. I “know” them
through blogging and a shared interest and passion in Japanese cars and parts. That is
special. That is what JDMphasis
is about for me.
JDMphasis is not an enterprise. It is not
about piling up LIKEs, followers, views, clicks, or money. It is not a means to an end.