There were rumors floating around that the founders of Shukai, Cary Inayoshi of Wheels N Meals (@wheelsnmeals/) and My Nguyen of Headliners (@headliners/) were calling it quits after this year's event. Could it be true? Say it ain't so! With Shukai's livelihood up in the air, I began hearing about how the NorCal car community (and beyond) weren't going to let the event go out without a bang. As for myself, I booked a flight to San Jose the moment I heard the news. Shukai has been one of the top ten events that I've attended in my lifetime, and if 2018 was going to be the end, I had to be a part of it!
Before I go any further, there's a few things you should know about Shukai ...
- The word "Shukai" is a very old Japanese term that means "meeting" or "gathering."
- Cary and My started Shukai to bring awareness to one of three registered Japantowns in the states. San Jose's "J Town" was built where Japanese immigrants settled in Santa Clara Valley back in the 1890s. Today, it's a small residential and commercial district where you'll find shops, restaurants and businesses that still pay homage to its original culture (www.japantownsanjose.org).
- The first Shukai show took place in 2013 and it's one of few tuner/enthusiast events I've been to that legally shuts down a major city block. San Jose city officials along with the majority of Japantown's businesses welcome the local car community with open arms. It's free to the public, too!
Last weekend's Shukai marked its sixth anniversary and it demonstrated again why it's one of the most enjoyable shows I've attended. It might not have the high-level competition of Wekfest, or the model lounges of SpoCom, but if it's a kickback, sunny Sunday afternoon, all-ages celebration of cars you're looking for, Shukai is just that and then some.
With space limited to a few hundred cars, the assortment of vehicles is sorta mindblowing. Walking Jackson St., I saw an RWB Porsche parked next to a Skyline GT-R, a Ferrari posted across from a Ford Model A, a row of vans next to a row of wagons... the mashup of genres was limitless.
The 130 photos posted here don't quite do Shukai justice, so it's my hope that Cary, My and the city of San Jose and the car community of Northern California don't let it die. If it's around for 2019, I promise to drive one of our project cars up north from L.A. Anyone want to join me?