The underground Kanjozoku street car culture and racer in Osaka, Japan, is mysterious and legendary. The word "Kanjo" means "small to largest"; this may reflect that the car itself, especially the Honda Civic, has been pushed to its limit. The origin of Kanjozoku is still relatively unknown, but it is thought to have started about three years ago.
For a long time, Honda fans have been racing on elevated highways in Osaka, Japan. The most famous of these highways is the "Kanjo Loop": a notorious highway connected in a clockwise direction. A few hours later, after night fell, the racers began to race.
Today, Kanjozoku only uses Civics in Kanjo Loop competitions. They randomly gather in undetermined locations to compete and test their skills to the limit. Keep in mind that during these creepy hours, the road was not empty and it was not closed for them, so when they raced, there were civilians and police on the street. The goal of "Kanjo Racers", or more precisely "Kanjozoku", is not to let anything hinder them; to avoid anything thrown on them. As you might guess, this is totally illegal and extremely dangerous.
Kanjozoku is often compared to the most notorious "Midnight Club" in the world, and can be compared to Wangan. However, Wangan’s roads are wide, straight, and long, while Kanjo’s route is more compact and shorter than Wangan. Kanjo has narrow corners. Wangan has ridiculously high-powered cars aiming for top speed, while Kanjo is very suitable for vehicles with exciting 0-60 times and excellent handling and agility. Now, the car they choose is completely one of the best front-wheel drive cars ever, the Honda Civic.
In an interview with Car Throttle, an anonymous member of Kanjozoku was asked, "Why are there only EF9, EG6 and EK4 Honda Civics in the 80s and 90s?"
"Kanjo is full of ordinary drivers, so you have to shuttle in the traffic for the Civic to get the job done," he replied.
Kanjozoku has always been inspired by the world of professional racing. From the 1980s to the 1990s, the Civic was very popular in the Japanese Group A racing scene. Cycle runners use the same techniques in their cars, starting with styling, engine settings, adjustments, etc. Engine modification and adjustment are usually not heavy. In most cases, it is a moderately adjusted NA B series VTEC motor. The interior is usually bare, and as long as the car functions perfectly, things like engine compartment displays don't make any sense to these people.
The same is true for tires and wheel settings; the wheels usually don't match, and they mostly use tires like Advan AO48 or high-grip racing tires. The car may not shine like a show car, mainly because it is designed to show the intention of the owner or just for racing. The identity of the car and the owner of the vehicle is usually anonymous, with hinges or fake license plates, usually with a window net or the owner wearing a mask.
Once upon a time, Kanjo racing became a big problem for the Japanese people, so that law enforcement agencies began to crack down on illegal racing, Kanjozoku members were arrested, some people’s favorite cars were taken away, and the Kanjo loop was blocked. Many racers left the hobby, some moved to the racetrack, and some just left the team or retire because they could no longer find that kind of excitement; the competition between Kanjo car clubs subsided, and Kanjozoku remained. Unite as one to fight law enforcement while maintaining the traditional vitality of JDM. But even for those who transfer their cars to the track, they can still feel the unique Kanjo atmosphere in their cars and driving style.
Nowadays, it is very rare to compete on Kanjo, and those who are loyal to traditional JDM activities just want to maintain a long-term tradition. Any information about Kanjo racing is incredibly difficult to find, and doubtful at best. Many are hearsay and rumors, committed by those who want them to proceed in the loop.