The rising sun insignia is synonymous with the term JDM. Despite this rising sun Nisshouki flag being withdrawn from use by the Japanese military more than 60 years ago, it has now become popularized by the JDM movement in the mecca of the Honda tuning scene—Southern California. While many modern folks in Japan and people of other cultures may shun this imperialistic and ultra-nationalistic symbol, it has now bizarrely become the emblematic depiction of JDM car tuning all over the world. Despite all the dreadful things that happened in world history, this symbol, adopted in the ancient Edo era, was intended to represent good fortune. The rising sun was first embraced by the USDM Honda enthusiasts, never considering the negativity of public reception since its meaning varies, having many interpretations, and doesn't carry a harmful impression such as the swastika.
To the Honda car tuning powerhouse Osaka JDM, this insignia signifies what's called a reverse JDM culture or USDM. The American Honda enthusiasts would popularize the Japanese tuning culture and fix up their cars to mimic the JDM style. Whereas these days, the Japanese Honda enthusiasts started fixing up their cars to mimic the USDM style that was originally popularized from the JDM style. Confused yet? It basically means that the Japanese are fixing up their cars in exactly the same fashion/style we do here in the U.S.
One perfect example is this Osaka JDM DC1 Honda Integra GSi owned by Kazuma Urasaki. This Honda Integra GSi was originally in a collision and pending salvage status, thus Urasaki took initiative and revived the Phoenix from being dismantled by Yahoo! Auctions parts whores. At a quick glance, this vehicle might resemble an OEM Phoenix Yellow Integra Type R that's been delicately balanced with a naturally aspirated B18C engine and road hugging suspension, but upon closer inspection it defies all the concepts that the ITR was built upon. In short, it's a rebel machine that flips the bird to the engineers who made the Integra Type R. Every aspect of the vehicle overpowers its original design, including engine output, driveline, suspension, aero and styling.
The sizeable polished aluminum box with radiator-like fins behind the front bumper is in fact a Trust intercooler, an indication of forced induction. Inside the engine bay, an HKS GT-RS turbocharger dangles beneath the Top Fuel exhaust manifold intertwined with turbo piping that surrounds the B18C. Inducing more pressure into an already high compression engine? Indeed, this concept is nothing new but this is no ordinary B18C ITR engine... It's actually been internally built exclusively for forced induction including Toda cylinder sleeves, Top Fuel forged pistons and JUN I-Beam connecting rods. Extensive head modifications include JUN camshafts, Toda valves/valvesprings, and JUN head gasket. The entire assembly has been put together by none other than JUN Machine Shop, with the spark and fuel managed by an A'PEXi Power FC computer.
While many Honda heads settle for a factory transmission and pray anxiously that their synchros will hold up when hitting boost, Urasaki went the extra mile and installed a close-ratio tranny by Top Fuel consisting of a 4.785 final gear. The factory limited-slip differential was swapped for a mechanical clutch-type Cusco one-way unit, linked to CR-V axle shafts for added torque adaptability. All the power is translated through an OS Giken twin-plate clutch system, synching with a Toda flywheel after each clutch engagement.
Now, this is where the shop Osaka JDM steps in. Their Engrish motto of "Hey! Feel Happy. Enjoy. Smily, Crayzy. Hahahaha!!! Do you have a Honda!?" presents evidence that these Kanjo racers are a bit crazed but denotes dedication when it comes to their philosophy of the USDM culture. An Osaka JDM original coilover kit with aggressively high spring rates keeps the DC1 planted well through the rough Kansai highways. JDM ITR lower control arms and sway bar were installed along with Function 7 stabilizer links in the front. For the rear, Function 7 lower control arms with an ASR sway bar were fitted. All alignment settings were performed by Osaka JDM with the use of their camber control arms. The single most important modification here that Urasaki abides by is the manual steering rack. While this mod may be a nuisance steering at low speeds, it provides the best and most direct road feedback without any mechanical or electronic elements in between the operation of steering control, never bothering its process.
Looking closely at the brake calipers, three letters are molded onto the caliper face that reads NSX. Combined with Endless CCX semi-metallic street and track compound, the stopping force is great with this one. Osaka JDM brake lines increase hard braking and enables the experience of that linear brake pedal depression for more controllability. The front-heavy FF configured chassis really requires emphasis and brake balance for the front only, so the rear calipers were kept factory.
Barramundi Design is a relatively fresh name in the wheel manufacturer industry, however they broke into the Honda scene like a bat out of hell. We are pretty sure that in the near future, Barramundi will be recognized as a brand that carries a high quality image that's 100% made in JDM land. The 16" forged wheels on this Honda Integra GSi were specially painted in orange and wrapped with Toyo R1R tires.
A Mugen generation 2 DC2 rear wing is the most palpable exterior enhancement, and that's all it really needs considering the great body styling of the Integra. The front-end is the HID fitted Japanese-spec unit, which in contrast would have been cool if Urasaki decided to use the USDM round headlight version instead, in a twisted taboo sense of this reverse JDM theory of course. Since this vehicle is never used for remedial low speed cruising or to be displayed at a car show, no particularly special audio system had been installed, only the necessary interior components to adhere to the increased G force and high-rpm velocities. Recaro SR seats with a Personal steering wheel and a K-Tuned shift knob is really all it needs. Simple and straight to the point.
The end result is a machine worthy enough to be associated with the rising sun insignia-wielding crew of Osaka JDM. It's a new day and age where the Japanese have decided to copy our U.S. version of their car tuning, as the trend inspiration continues in a perpetual circle from both ends of the Pacific. It should be interesting to see what trend becomes popular next and which side will be the first to come up with it.
2000 Honda Integra GSi
Engine JDM Honda B18C built by JUN Auto with JUN connecting rods, camshafts, head machining and head gasket; Top Fuel pistons, exhaust manifold and oil pain; Toda cylinder sleeves, valves, valve springs, timing belt and strengthened oil pump; HKS cam sprockets, GT-RS turbocharger and oil cooler kit; Sard fuel pressure regulator; Osaka JDM exhaust and cat; Trust intercooler; RG radiator; Samco hoses; A'PEXi Power FC computer
Drivetrain Top Fuel close-ratio transmission with 4.785 final gear; Cusco 1-way LSD; CR-V axles; OS Giken twin-plate clutch; Toda lightened flywheel; K-Tuned shift lever
Suspension Osaka JDM coilovers and camber kit; Integra Type R front sway and lower control arm; ASR rear sway; Function 7 end-links and rear control arm
Brakes NA1 NSX front calipers; Osaka JDM lines; Endless CCX pads
Wheels & Tires 16x8.5" Barramundi Design Eleven wheels; 225/45R16 front, 205/50R16 rear Toyo R1R tires; NRG lug nuts
Exterior OEM Phoenix yellow paint, optional side steps and HID kit; Mugen Gen 2 rear wing; BWR hood risers
Interior HKS EVC boost controller; Recaro SR reclining seats; OEM Civic seat rails and ITR panels; Personal steering wheel; NRG quick release; K-Tuned shift knob; Mugen gauge cluster
Thanks You Rhythm Motors, Try Box, Barramundi Design