Roughsmoke visited Supermade for a day with Takanori Yoshida
On a sunny Monday morning the team are heading out south-bound from Osaka on the way to a day with Takanori Yoshida - Proffesional drifter and CEO of famous Japanese aero brand 'Supermade'.
We had been shooting messages back and forth for a week or two to find a suitable time for our team and Yoshida-Sama to meet up, the chance came on a relatively quiet day for both groups so with camera bag and some new Roughsmoke stickers in a pack ready to hand over to our new friends we ventured over to the first of our meeting places for the day.
The Supermade garage was our first stop of the day and we turned into the street of it's location only but to see Yoshida-Sans daily Silvia S15 heading towards us in the opposite direction and we both promptly turned into the allocated parking area to start our meet.
The workspace of which of which the teams works out of is vast considering when you pit it against many of the other tuner shops and garages that others survive in throughout Japan - space is premium - and there's plenty of it here. Various S-Chassis and other runners were spaced out around the confinds of the premises including an S15 that had the engine stripped and is set to be the next competition car for the team with an RB swap to allow a higher range of potential upgrades to hopefully push Yoshida-san towards potential podiums.
We pondered over the solutions for the new Silvia project as well as taking in some sounds and history of the current FD car - The Nissan C33 Laurel.
We chatted throughout the morning and talked with some of the other mechanics before our host suggested we all head over to Yoshida-Sans private garage.
A short drive across town and we find ourselves following into a small host of private units. The rollers go up and we are presented with a custom airlift, small office, and everything that Yoshida should need to get away from it all. The stereo goes on and the sounds of The Beatles fill the air as we grab a coffee and sit down for a long chat with copious amounts of cigarettes, memrobilia and an abundance of the old school favourite - 'Battle Magazine'. Check out a few snaps of our day and and some of the questions we ran by our host in the sections below.
"Needless to say the model was wearing less than what could be published in the magazine"
"The electric clipping point system takes the personality out of the drifting.."
Interview with Takanori Yoshida.
Roughsmoke: Thank you very much for speaking to Roughsmoke today Yoshida-san so the Roughsmokers out there get to know a little more about you and what goes on at Supermade.
Yoshida-san: Thank you very much, I'm really happy your team could come here and be with us today!.
Roughsmoke: Supermade itself - Tell us about the name?
Yoshida-san: (laughs) Well Super can mean many of one of one thing like ''That's a Super amount'' and of course quality made goods, so it really means us producing many high quality goods that we can make to sell to our customers around the world!
Roughsmoke: Ah I understand, and with those same customers around the world, you've just got your facebook launched to help people around the world buy Supermade goods!.
Yoshida-san: Yes - we want our items to be delivered direct to our customers around the world, so our English speaking staff can be sent a message via the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/supermadeexcitingcarproject/) and we can assist in goods being sent directly to them.
Roughsmoke: And from a certain viewpoint of Supermade's history this is to also combat copies of your items?
Yoshida-san: Yes - when a particluar drift series was running in the USA a number of years back, we saw one of our kits had been copied without any authourisation so from that point we stopped working with a ceratin few individuals and decided we would continue making our goods only as before here in Japan, and deal with our customers direct. We have no authorised seller outside of Japan, so if anyone should see our items being advertised from anything other than our website or FB page, then it is highly likely it is a copy and the fitting and quality will likely be poor and they would need to spend much more than they would have buying direct from us to get it altered to fit.
Roughsmoke: Yes the copyright issue is one hurting many Japanese companies, such a shame. Talking of the USA - they bought over the Formula Drift series to Japan, and you have been competing. How are you finding it?
Yoshida-san: It is fun but a lot different to the Japanese drift series I have been used to in the past. I have been running in my C33 Laurel as it is also really fun, but it is now up for sale as we are wanting to build a new project so that we may be able to compete more with the competition and also may be in time that we could compete abroad.
Roughsmoke: You speak of the differences in competition. How hard has it been to adapt to the difference in rules, such as electric monitored clipping zones, the judging style, and how the run itself takes place?
Yoshida-san: Wow there is so much to cover. The clipping points should just be part of the track but definately not computer monitored. Drifting is about style and putting it all on show so there should be a certain level of flexibility allowed so you can express this. Some guys are going in at really big angles but being hit hard on points and the computer nails them on points, I can't say I am a fan and hope that it may change back to the standard format of personal judging. The judging in itself is okay and the judges do a good job in explaining their decisions. In terms of the run itself, it is also very different to the way the Japanese set out with and then changed by our international friends. In Japan people may have seen one car drift whilst the follow car drives straight and hard on the door, this means the follow car has the chance to get the same initiation time when then coming down the main straight and into the first of the judged corners with both at the highest speed possible and then a smooth controlled run in the one or two corners that follow. The judges in the morning such as Tsuchiya-san when doing D1 back in the day and also in Drift Muscle explain every characteristic of the course and what will lead a car to win or lose. International competitions need someone of that caliber to highlight these same points in that way and then also fed out via the commentators so that international fans know the expectations as all they see is the follow car hard on the door but still losing as he made wheel corrections when at speed they can't see that. This is one example but there are many things that make the difference.
Roughsmoke: You have competed in many different competitions over the years from Formula Drift as we just mentioned to more of the regular ones such as D1. What competition was the most favourite you have done battle in?
Yoshida-san: (laughs) Definately the 'Battle Magazine Cup'. For those that don't know 'Battle Magazine was a publication in Japan that was so in tune with the culture and it's people and it was always fun to be involved with them. The competition was tight, but really really fun. Everyone had barbecues going in the pits, the atmosphere was relaxed but the judging and the whole way everything was run was just so on point. I had some great battles and good memories of victories in that competition!
Roughsmoke: Yes! Battle Magazine - we've many many copies in the Roughsmoke office to read, and Supermade was always well represented in those. Any other magazines or publications that were fun to work with?
Yoshida-san: Everyone has always been great to work with. We had one magazine that asked as us for a car shoot and we agreed. The people had arranged a model to be in the shoot also and had her doing various poses, but as the shoot went on they wanted me to do more like hold her up in the air. Then they got her doing more risque poses on the car with less and less material to cover up shall we say.. This was the tone for more car shoots they worked on - Needless to say the magazine didn't stay in publication too long after this. So yes there have been some very fun and random memories along the way so far.
Roughsmoke: Some good times for sure. Coming back to the now, what are the plans for Supermade at present? Competition such as the forth coming Kansai-All-Stars, Drift Muscle, products?
Yoshida-san: We have some new products that we are working on. For the S-Chassis platform we have some new headlight cover air ducting, and we are also working on a new line of goods for a platform of car we haven't worked with before. It is all top-secret at the moment, but hopefully we'll be able to share more soon! For competition we are looking to continue in Formula Drift Japan, and hopefully we'll be looking to get some seat time in international competition in the future.
Our team would like to extended our gratitude and thanks to Yoshida-Sama and the Supermade team for making us feel welcome and for the day we got to hang out. You'll always have our support!
Visit: www.super-made.com and also their new international Faceballs page for sales: https://www.facebook.com/supermadeexcitingcarproject
LIKE THIS FEATURE?
If you liked this feature, or if you have any other ideas of what you may wish to see on the site then get in contact with Roughsmoke via the channels below!