For 2020, famed Japanese car show has gone virtual

California’s Japanese Classic Car Show, ‘World Matsuri Week,’ looks to keep attendees safe and reach a global audience

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Hundreds of Japanese cars turn out annually for the Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach, California | Larry Crane photo

The Japanese Classic Car Show (JCCS), like so many other car-culture events held during the 2020 season, will take place online in a virtual show, slated for October 3-10, in what is called the JCCS World Matsuri Week.

According to Brittanica.com: “Matsuri, (Japanese: ‘festival’), in general, any of a wide variety of civil and religious ceremonies in Japan; more particularly, the shrine festivals of Shintō. A matsuri generally falls into two parts: the solemn ritual of worship, followed by a joyous celebration.”

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In the case of the Japanese car culture, worship and celebration have traditionally gone hand in hand at JCCS. For the past 15 years, the show has been held annually in the shadow of the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. JCCS has grown significantly, mainly due to the ever-increasing popularity of Japanese Classic Cars and backing from Toyota.

JCCS officials had announced July 30 that the event would be canceled for 2020.

“We are very sorry to announce that the 16th Annual JCCS will be postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the announcement said. “Although we would like to wait longer until making a decision, we must give our attendees and fans coming from afar enough notice to adjust their travel plans.

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“Needless to say, we want everybody to be safe and healthy and do not want to risk you or your families in any way. Let’s look forward to a safe gathering in person next year.”

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But in the interest of perpetuating the premier event, the first and largest of its kind in North America, the organizers decided to take JCCS online, which also adds to a global audience; international participation is anticipated by the organizers. ClassicCars.com and AutoHunter, both Collector Car Network brands, are among the official sponsors of the event.

Classic Datsun Z car on the show field at Beaulieu’s Simply Japanese rally | National Motor Museum photos

“We have always wanted to hold an East Coast JCCS but it was not logistically possible for us,” said a spokesperson for the JCCS Association.

“With the virtual JCCS event, people who live far away, even overseas, can participate. This event, forced by special circumstances, gives us a chance to hold a truly global celebration of Japanese cars.”

Registration for JCCS continues on the event website.  A mailing list for World Matsuri Week can be joined here.

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