Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Is manji drift a nazi thing?

About a year ago I was working on some project for my work which allowed submission of unicode characters. Shortly after the project was launched a user submitted its name as a snow man:


When you select the snowman above with your mouse pointer you can copy the character and paste it anywhere! (as long as it supports unicode)

We then figured out that some unicode characters are actually not wanted in such cases. One of those characters was the swastika in the Unihan (East Asian) unicode block. This character is the mirrored version of the swastika used in the second world war. Of course we block characters like that to prevent the Nazi-Germany association on our portals.

However I did spot this picture in a post on Nori-Yaro about kei car drifting:
Subaru Rex driftcar with instructions
Subaru Rex driftcar with instructions

As you can see the Rex driver has a cheatsheet for the sequence he is supposed to drive in the demo lap. First in the sequence is clearly the asian (mirrored) swastika! This is the comment Alexi Smith (Nori Yaro) wrote about it:
They’re not Nazis in case you’re wondering. That first symbol is back-to-front compared to the swastika, and it’s a kanji character that means “manji” (fishtail drifting) in this case

I looked it up on Wikipedia and indeed, manji is one of the meanings of the swastika:
Also known as a “yung drung” in ancient Tibet, it was a graphical representation of eternity. Today the symbol is used in Buddhist art and scripture, known in Japanese as a manji (literally, “the character for eternality” ??), and represents Dharma, universal harmony, and the balance of opposites.
So the fishtailing described by Alexi can be translated into an harmonic movement (sinus), which is described in Japan by manji.

So next time you are doing a manji on the streight, think about it whether you are a nazi or drifter. ;)


  1. Anonymous

    This is not the Nazi Swastika man, the one the nazis had used is inverted. Good try though.

  2. banpei

    Did I write it was the nazi swastika then? I tried to describe the differentiation between the manji and nazi swastika. And the last line was meant as a humorous note… :P

  3. Marshall

    banpei, you said it right in the article, the other user who posted did not read correctly.

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