'Kanjozoku' is a term used in reference to a particular sub-culture of automotive reference here in Osaka-Fu, Japan.
Since the late seventies, and like many groups in other countries, the teenagers and young adults of society looked to rebel against the 'stay in your lane' type of life, and looked to ways to show their own form of 'F**k you' to the powers that be.
Through various avenues such as motorcycle gangs (Bosozoku), or other similar nefarious groups, these people found their way into the very interesting world of the automotive sector - specifically street racing, and the modifications there of for those very same cars. To understand this further we should head back further to 1964 and the construction of the 'LOOP ROUTE.
In 1964 the LOOP ROUTE (環状線, Kanjo-sen) received the first part of it's construction. Little did the Hanshin Expressway Company know that it would go on to become one of Japan's most notorious street racing landmarks.
The Route in it's largest clockwise segment runs for a total of 10.3 KM (6.4 mi) and is accessible by many of the entrance toll booths, as well as some of the other well known sections of expressway such as the Sakai Route, and Osakako Route.
The route forms a complete loop that travels only in a clockwise direction around central Osaka, passing through the wards of Cho-ku, Kita-ku, Naniwa-ku, and Nishi-ku.
When people speak of the 'Kanjozoku' they often picture the Honda Civic, most notably the EF9, EG6, and EK4/9 platforms.
In the earlier periods of Kanjozoku history, other cars such at the Toyota Starlet, Izusu Gemini, Nissan Pulsar were all used by their respective owners and to represent the teams they were affiliated with.
But it was the Honda Civic that resonated with them the most. It was a platform that was agile, reliable, affordable. Whilst not being a car capable of beating some of the top speed runs that others would go on to do on the Bayshore Route - the Civic was a prime candidate for performing and outperforming on the smaller LOOP ROUTE with it's sharp interchanges and features.
The owners gathered inspiration from the those in the motorsport world as the 'Honda One Make' series was thriving at places like Suzuka Circuit. Liveries that would appear on track were making their way over the Civics being used on the street. Other well known liveries from other race series would also appear on those same cars, with many of the cars changing their designs often as not to be recognized by the authorities and perhaps tie them to any antics that perhaps had been carried out on previous occasion.
Since the late seventies there have been many, many teams to have either ran on the LOOP, or claimed to of have. Some of those teams still exist to this day, whilst others have been engrained into the asphalt of the LOOP itself and faded into local folklore so to speak.
To look at some of the established names we can speak of NO GOOD RACING, formed in 1985 and that uses their ever so tongue in cheek motto of 'Bye Bye Police' - a pretty self explanatory statement of their intentions should they be met by any form of resistance by local law enforcement. The first senior of NO GOOD RACING (like all of us) that when racing in his earlier years was 'No Good', and it became a sort of running joke that stuck and became the teams name. Of course as the group would go on to become one of - if not the most - well known group the name took of other meanings, but we can leave that to your imagination.
How about TEMPLE RACING, formed in 1978 in the Higashi-Sumiyoshi area of Osaka (That's right, teams had a home turf so to speak, so being careful and respectful in another area of the city would mean avoiding confrontation - either from another team, or again the red siren crew). The team name derives from the character Simon Temple from the English TV series called 'The Saint', a popular character of the teams Senior at that time.
Other names such as WHARP RACING, formed in 1982 are well seen across social media as the current group of players attend such tracks such as Central Circuit in Hyogo-Prefecture, or again Suzuka Circuit over in Mie-Prefecture. But that's not to say that they don't appear in the night time of the city in any one place, the resonation of B-Series engines coming and disappearing in a flash.
To provide just a glimpse of how many teams there are/were - some names you can memorize are:
No Good Racing, Temple Racing, Wharp Racing, Late Riser, Lawbreak, Checker, Topgun Racing, Magunamu Racing, Boro Racing, Crafty, Dust, Fairness, Fantasy, Fine, Formation, Gachapin Racing, Get Wild Racing, Hampty, Joker Racing, Kaiser, Loop, Loose Racing, Lupin, Mercury, Mario Racing, Night, No Side, Pandemic, Panic Racing, Pinocchio Racing, Racing Team Across, Randam Racing, Road Star, Scramble, Seven Road, Stride, Terro Racing, No Punk, Donald Racing, Vivid, Storm Racing, Limitation, Pop Racing, and many, many more....