March 22, 2023
why is jdm culture so popular

Last Updated on September 7, 2022 by E. Lindgren

Have you ever wondered why the JDM culture and cars are so incredibly popular?

What makes it so that when a guy screams “look, a freaking Supra!” at a car meet, literally everyone starts running towards him? Is it the culture? Perhaps the people embracing the JDM culture are so welcoming compared to other automobile communities.

Or is it because people want things that they cannot have? JDM cars are limited, and they are not specifically cheap to purchase, the desire to have something that you know is out-of-reach can be a temptation hard to resist.

In order to understand why so many people embrace the JDM culture, we’ve put together a list that might explain this.

Entertainment franchise

There is a clear correlation between the popularity of the term “JDM” and the release of the Fast and Furious movie franchise.

In the first movie, right after Brian wrecks his Mitsubishi Eclipse, we get our first interaction with the infamous Toyota Supra. Most kids were in awe, and most likely wondered how a bright yellow Toyota could beat a freaking Ferrari in a drag race. Kids got hooked (me included) and posters of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and McLarens were quickly swapped out to a bright yellow Toyota Coupe.

Video games like Gran Turismo, Need for Speed, and Forza Motorsport has also had an impact. I remember spending hours and hours modifying cars in NFS Underground, those were some good times.  

Tuner friendly

Another reason, which will come obviously after you’ve watched one or two JDM compilations on YouTube is how tuner friendly they are.

The majority of JDM performance engines were incredibly overbuilt. Overbuilt to the point that a stock engine could handle up to two and sometimes 3 times as much power as how it came as standard.

An example of that is the 2JZ that came in the Toyota Supra. A stock 2JZ with no change to its internals can handle 600hp with no problems. There are even occasions where people ran the stock internals at 1000hp. And it’s not only the 2JZ, most Japanese performance engines were generally overbuilt, although perhaps not to the same extent of the 2JZ.

Since most JDM engines are so durable, all you really needed to do if you want more power is to upload a new tune, and wollah – all the power, baby! This became incredibly popular among the younger crowd since they could have a high boost in power for a small amount of change.


As previously mentioned, most JDM engines are really well built. Not only were they built to handle a lot of power, but they were also built to handle that power for a long period of time. That meant that you didn’t really have to worry about your engine blowing up unless you really overdid yourself with the horsepower figure.

Sure, there are exceptions like the rotary engines from Mazda. But overall, JDM cars are definitely more reliable in comparison to their European and American counterparts. There is a reason Toyota is known for its reliability, there is a fact behind the statement.  

Aftermarket / Spare parts

If you own a JDM car, you will never have to worry about not being able to find spare parts. Out of all brands and vehicles, Japanese cars most likely have access to the most spare parts.

There are many workshops creating their own spare parts, as well as companies shipping overseas if you’re looking to buy OEM parts. In fact, the demand for some aftermarket parts is so high, that Nissan themselves restarted production of the previously retired RB26 engine!

Another benefit that occurs when there are a lot of spare parts available on the market is competitive prices. For the most part, you’ll be able to find reasonably priced parts without having to spend a fortune.


JDM culture is not only a love for cars, it goes beyond that. The beauty of the JDM culture is the way it achieves perfection.

From our experience, the JDM culture does not achieve perfection by living up to the expectation of some “general population”. In almost every JDM encounter I’ve had, the owner always seeks to achieve perfection through his or her own eyes – which makes it so that no other car is alike.

Because modification is such a large part of the JDM culture, owners put their own personality traits in their cars. Due to this fact, JDM owners tend to become very attached to their cars, almost as you would with a pet – you wouldn’t sell your pet, would you?

The JDM culture has something for everyone. You see, the JDM culture is not just purchasing a Supra and tuning it to a 1000hp smoke machine, I mean, it is for some but that is just a tiny fraction of what the community is all about.

The uniqueness of not only the cars, but the people too is something I’ve never experienced anywhere else. And to be honest, no words can describe the feeling, it has to be experienced firsthand.

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