The whole idea with me dropping by Fighting Star the other week was not only to get a glimpse at how Shinichi Morohoshi is expanding the persona he’s created, but also to have a casual sit down and chat. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do ever since meeting him a few years back, and his subsequent involvement in the latest Need for Speed.
Morohoshi’s style is best described as unique; he has chosen to do what many label as unthinkable with the best that Sant’Agata Bolognese has produced in recent years. But what’s it all about? Where does it stem from, and where is it all going? Read on, and you’ll find out what Morohoshi had to say when I posed these questions to him while we waited for his 50th Anniversary Aventador be serviced at Lamborghini Tokyo…
First and foremost, what exactly was it that sparked your love of Lamborghini in the first place?
Morohoshi: It all began from the first encounter I had with a Lamborghini; I was around 17 years old and very much into bikes. I was out at night riding through some Tokyo backstreets when I saw a low, angular black shape. It drove past me creating the most incredible sound I had ever heard. It turned out I had seen my first Countach, and that was the moment I decided that no matter what, I would one day own one. It took me years of hard work, but just as I was getting close I ran into some trouble and the possibility of owning one almost slipped away. But I didn’t let that discourage me, and by the time I was 33 years old I had picked up a blue Diablo SV.
That’s impressive. I guess if you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything! So where was it on to from there?
Morohoshi: I wanted to drive the car as much as possible, so that’s what I did. I didn’t want to keep it hidden; I began going to car meets, places where people weren’t quite used to seeing Lamborghinis. And then came the craving to stand out even more and I slowly began developing my personal style.
So what is the Morohoshi style?
Morohoshi: Well, I prefer to call it Morohoshi bunka [culture]. That’s actually how people are referring to it out on the streets and in the car world. It’s all pretty simple; it’s a mix of flashiness, lots of pika-pika [sparkles] and as many LEDs and you can possibly get in there. It’s basically just a way to show off and attract people to my style and the Lamborghini brand. I started off doing it alone, now the Morohoshi crew has more than 100 members and we are getting well known both in Japan as well as in many other countries.
Shipping your car to Italy for the Lamborghini 50th Anniversary event a few years back must have done a lot for your image, right?
Morohoshi: Yeah, to say the least! It was such a fun event. I shipped my purple Diablo over there wanting to show the rest of the world what Morohoshi style was all about. Italy is such a great country you know; you can see how people love cars there, and I was getting cheered on from all the people that showed up at the main event start as well as along the way. However, my reception wasn’t as hot with the president of Lamborghini; he probably thought my style was a little too loud. It all escalated when we were driving past Milano. I decided to do a detour into the city as I needed gas and I got such a great response from people on the street I revved my car and made some noise with my custom exhaust, and played The Godfather air horns I had also fitted to it. Everyone was cheering me on and giving me thumbs up, it was such a great experience. But once Lamborghini heard what I had done making such a spectacle, they weren’t too happy.
So what sorts of issues did this end up causing you?
Morohoshi: Repercussions followed me all the way back to Japan where I was no longer being welcomed at official Lamborghini events. My style is obviously something they want to keep a certain distance from, but I don’t care. This is the way I do things. So I ordered up another car straight after, which is the yellow 50th Anniversary Aventador I drove here today. I went even crazier with it adding my own custom aero and a pretty big fitment of LED lights.
Ah yes, the lights! I definitely need to follow you to one of your night gatherings as I don’t think showing your cars in the daytime really does them any justice.
Morohoshi: Yes, absolutely, come along, we meet all the time!
One thing that I’m sure our readers would love to know, as I do, is whether you are interested in actual engine and performance tuning? For example, in the States there are some that like add twin turbos or superchargers to Lamborghinis, be them V10 or V12-powered models.
Morohoshi: I’m more than content with the 700hp the Aventador has, and I have yet to lose one battle on the Shutoko [expressway], so I don’t think that’s something I’d pursue in the future.
Incidentally, what is your favourite engine from Lamborghini, the V10 or the V12?
Morohoshi: The V12 for sure – the sound is unlike anything else. I have a Gallardo and the V10 is nice, but the bigger brother is another thing all together.
To finish up, what are your plans for the future?
Morohoshi: Well, I’m currently working on an aero kit for the Huracán, so that’s what I’ve been concentrating on. That should make a debut in mid-September.
As I ended the questions, Morohoshi’s driver arrived to pick him up as the Aventador would need to stay overnight at Lamborghini Tokyo for its maintenance. For extra safety the car was put in the elevator and taken all the way up to the roof along with the other customer cars Lamborghini had in for various services.
It was cool to have a quick chat with a character like this, as Morohoshi’s style and approach to life almost challenges most opinions and beliefs people in the Western world would call normal. But meeting different people is what makes life interesting, and Morohoshi is without a doubt is a very interesting man. Now, I better go LED hunting the next time he and his crew are out for a play on the Shuto!
Dino Dalle Carbonare