JDM Insider is made possible because its founder, Toshi Hayama has fondly known many of the industry’s most influential figures before there even was an “industry.” Many of his close personal friends have gone to own tuning shops, race professionally, and operated major media publications. Credibility is in their resume and daily lifestyles. They are in it for the cars and industry before anything else. This is the one way they have found to protect and ensure the survival of a hobby that gave them so much.
Currently the president and CEO of Stage 10 Productions inc. Toshi recently resigned his post as founder of Apex Integration Inc. after almost 10 years of service. He also serves as the official announcer for the D1 Grand Prix USA Series. Toshi co-hosts JDM Insider, one of Stage10 Productions’ first title releases. Toshi has been featured on numerous TV shows including ESPN, ESPN2, NBC news, KCAL News, Fox News, TLC’s Rides, Discovery Channel’s Monster Garage, SPEED, TV Osaka, TV Tokyo, Video Option, JDM Option and many industry related programs. Toshi also served as the technical advisor for Universal Pictures The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Toshi is a passionate private enthusiast as well having owned over 13 highly modified vehicles. He currently owns a 500HP NISSAN Skyline GT-R R34 V Spec and an RPS 13 240SX turbo. Toshi’s hobbies include cars, drinking, snowboarding, music, movies, video gaming, and useless trivia.
DJ Nabs (Jon Watanabe)
Jon Watanabe is currently the president and CEO of First Stage Co LTD in Japan. He is also managing director for OG systems (ORC) Japan. He was formerly the president of APEX Integration Inc. USA and was a managing director for APEXERA Co. LTD. Jon was ultimately responsible for 3 GT race teams, 1 Pro D1 team, and hundreds of employees… yet he committed himself 110% to our JDM project. He was an original founder of APEX and was also at HKS for 7 years. Jon brings with him his 20+ years of Japanese tuning contacts that he has cultivated throughout the years. He has many stories to tell, many past experiences with the Japanese tuning industry that we need to hear.
He brings with him an extensive amount of history, knowledge, and wisdom to an otherwise crazy scene. Jon enjoys playing baseball with his kids, race events, street tuning, music, drinking, and games.
Eric Hsu is co-owner and head tuner at XS Engineering. Tuning since the age of 14, Eric brings with him a wealth of technical knowledge to the JDM INSIDER crew. He was also Chief Engineer at Apex Integration Inc. and received extensive training in Japan. He can usually be seen building and tuning some of the world’s craziest JDM cars including Skyline GTR’s, Supras, Evo’s, STi’s and other sports cars. He has been featured in almost every car magazine and has been featured on ESPN2, ESPN, SPEED, Best Motoring, Hot Version, Video Option and more. Eric currently drives a 2000 GS300 turbo widebody, a 1993 Skyline GT-R BNR32, 2-1993 RX-7's, and a 1990 Supra Turbo.
His hobbies include music, reading, getting faded with Toshi.
Yu is a currently a free lance journalist covering US tuning trends for Japan. He was originally from GTR Magazine, then moved on to Young Version magazine. Yu brings with him a wealth of artistic talent for both still shots and video. His intense love of music, classic movies, art, culture and cars adds a whole new dimension to our JDM project. Yu left everything in Japan to move to the states and has been trying to learn perfect English ever since. He is always traveling or can be seen eating popcorn by himself at the local classic movie theater.
360Video is a multimedia company dedicated to producing quality entertainment products catering to the import car lifestyle. Created nine years ago, 360Video was the first company to produce a product directed to the import scene combining elements from MTV with action sports videos. Since that time the import scene has experienced enormous growth and success, creating the potential for 360Video to market mainstream.
With over fourteen years of experience in film and video editing, 360Video incorporates top quality production and after effects to create an audio/visual experience that is second to none among extreme special interest videos.
PAST JDM INSIDER GUESTS
C West- Mr. Omoto
DRFT- Akinori Utsumi
AP Engineering-Mr. Kitomi
T&E – Takahiro Ueno
Phoenix Power- Mr. Yokoyama
Apex Kyoto- Mr. Morifuji
PX Engineering- Yamasaki
ORC- Mr. Ogura
Tomei Powered- Eiji Mihara
TS Company- Mr. Yazaki