The 13th Annual Truck Masters Final was the perfect way to bust out big with our very first full issue dedicated to worldwide mini-truck coverage. This huge truck-only show took place at the Sagami-ko Picnic Land in Kanagawa-ken, Japan, on Nov. 6th, 2005, and brought out nearly 500 custom trucks and more than 3,500 spectators. This giant truck show is organized by Blue Panic (www.bluepanic.jp - Good luck reading it!) and continues to be one of the world's finest "custom-truck only" shows. Even the very first Truck Masters, which was held thirteen years ago, was a huge success, bringing out more than 200 of Japan's finest custom trucks, and the show has only gotten bigger and better year after year. For the first ten years, Blue Panic only held one Truck Masters show a year, but in 2002 Mr. Kaneko, President of Blue Panic, decided to spread the show and wanted to hold it all over Japan for the 10th anniversary of the show. In 2002 Truck Masters spread to Osaka, Sendai, and Kanagawa. In 2005 the show took place in Kyusyu, Osaka, Sendai, and Kanagawa (which is the largest of the four and the one we covered).
Truck Masters is known as "The Mecca of all truckers" because it has been open to all trucks and truck fans since it began way back in 1993. In Japan (as well as here in the States) 95% of shows are not geared towards just the truck enthusiast, and there are almost no "truck only" shows. This makes Truck Masters very respected as the biggest truck show in Japan. Now Japanese truck guys all around Japan can enjoy the show because Blue Panic holds the show four times a year: the South=Kyusyu, the West=Osaka, the North=Sendai, and the East=Kanagawa (final). The final round is known as a "must-see event," so many trucks attend no matter how far away they live. This year there were over 350 minis (which is one of the largest turnouts of mini-trucks anywhere in the world).
Getting to see a completely different side to the custom mini-truck world is awe-inspiring! We had to bring it to you first-hand so that you could see how much our lifestyle has affected so many cultures around the globe! It's amazing to see something that started in the garages of America could become something that can bring the world together and unite quite a few cultures under one family banner: mini-truckin'! This year, in 2006, Blue Panic will add a far north Hokkaido round on their calendar, so there will be 5 shows, with the final being held on Nov. 12th, 2006. Look for more coverage from our Far East mini-truck brothers in Japan each and every year!