Welcome to JDM Chicago- The Chicago-based online magazine & community. Our mission is to feature rare and modified cars from the Chicagoland/Midwest area, as well as providing media coverage on a national/global scale. Additionally, we hope to bring together the community and give recognition to the people that make it what it is.
JDM Chicago hopes to facilitate your enthusiasm for your Vehicle, to promote social and motorsport activities, to foster friendship and camaraderie amongst members, & to increase the technical & mechanical knowledge-base of all members. Everyone is welcome to our events and forum discussions, but the emphasis will be mostly Japanese cars or JDM inspired.
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What is JDM?
By Ben Schaffer of Bespoke Ventures.
“The meaning of the acronym JDM over the past decade has evolved and morphed. Although 10 years ago it was relatively uncommon to hear people using the acronym JDM, today JDM has become a word on its own. A word commonly used by car enthusiasts, found on magazine covers, used within the names of hundreds of registered business corporations and also comprising the title and focus of this column. While Japanese tuning parts are fascinating to discuss monthly, this month we’ll reflect on what JDM means on a more universal level.
Technically JDM stands for Japanese Domestic Market. It has been used for many decades as a label for goods sold specifically to Japanese based residents within the country of Japan. Its origin has truly nothing to do with the automotive aftermarket, and applies to any and all items that could be sold. A little more than a decade ago, JDM started being mentioned more in conversation amongst aftermarket enthusiasts. What started as an acronym to describe Japanese market parts, gradually became something that was more comfortable and commonly used to describe a wider range of things. First it was used to describe cars like a JDM right-hand drive Civic. Then it was used to describe OEM tuning parts like one-piece JDM Prelude headlights. Later it was used to describe aftermarket parts like JDM RE Amemiya GT wings. After that it was used to describe aftermarket parts officially sold in America like Toda camshafts. Then it jumped to the next level, JDM became a basis for a style, no longer limited to items sold only within Japan. For example, paint colors like hot pink, wheel colors like matte black, reverse vinyl graphics, and other related styles all became labeled as JDM, regardless of where they were built or sold. What we find today is no longer the acronym JDM but the evolved word JDM. The reason is simply because the definition of Japanese Domestic Market has not kept up with the use and common meaning of the scene today. JDM as a word encompasses and defines something far more massive than it was originally intended. As this reality relates to enthusiasts, I often find people arguing over the definition of the word JDM. For example, are GReddy parts JDM anymore? They are sold officially in America so technically no if using the original definition. In some cases Japanese branded parts are not made in Japan, but are sold only in Japan, is that JDM? By definition yes, but some would argue not. Is a color JDM? By old standards no but by new standards yes, it can be.
In short, there is no right or wrong answer for what is JDM. It will mean different things to different people. In a sense, it means the same thing as “cool” except with a cultural twist to it. Nobody can define cool, as it relates to Japanese car tuning culture, it is simply always up for debate.”
About our Logo
We often are asked what is the basis of the JDMC logo. Below our two variations of the same concept. First you’ll notice the three Japanese Katakana symbols. Katakana is a phonetic alphabet usually used to represent what are commonly named ‘loan words’ from other languages. While the majority of ‘Japanese’ words are represented by the other phonetic alphabet, hiragana (and of course by kanji – 漢字), common words such as ‘stereo’ (ステレオ)and ‘clinic’ (クリニック) are represented in katakana. Chicago, is represented by シカゴ, translated “Shi-Ka-Go.”
The four 6-point stars used in our logo coincide with the municipal flag of the city. To learn more about the flag, check out Wiki.