News "Itasha" Tear Up The Track in Chiba
posted on 2007-10-14 21:52 EDT by Evan Miller
Japanese news blog Mantan Web has posted a gallery of pictures from a race track event for anime-inspired vehicles. The "Doki! Itasha Only Driving Meet" took place October 7 at the Minami Chiba Circuit in Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture. The event was attended by about 50 unique cars and motorcycles who took turns racing around a 580-meter portion of the track.
The term "itasha" is a phrase coined by fans to resemble the Japanese colloquial term for "italian car" in which "ita" is short for "italia", combined with the Japanese "sha", which means "vehicle" or "car". The difference between the terms is that the fan-created "itasha" is made with the character "itai" or "to hurt" - in other words, cars that are so cute that it "hurts" to look at them.
While "itasha" are not a new phenomenon among Japanese fans, the meet in Ichihara was one of the first opportunities for drivers of "itasha" to race their vehicles on a legitimate race track. The organizers of the meet are planning to hold another event for drivers and fans in Fukushima Prefecture next spring.