Japanese have a culture that appreciates fine craftsmanship, history and has an appetite for European designs, Ferrari is at the intersection of all these things, so for me it is no surprise that even when Ferrari sales were down in Europe and in China, sales were still going strong in Japan. In retrospect when Ferrari launched the ultra limited J50 celebrating 50 years of Ferrari in Japan, I shouldn't have been so surprised, though I certainly was. I was born and raised in California which many can say is Ferrari's playground from which one of the greatest Ferrari's ever made bears the name of my home state, the 250 GT California. However, there is a passion about these cars here in Japan which I didn't see back in my home state. Certainly Californians love the Ferrari brand, but not like Japanese love the brand I feel, especially not after you trail behind a 250 GT California, 275 GTB, and a Daytona stretching their legs on a treacherous mountain road as the largest storm on the planet packing gusts of 140mph+ barrels down on Japan. Passion really has more to do with suffering than it has to do with enjoyment, and in that moment, I could really understand the level of passion Ferrari drivers have in Japan. This said, meeting and photographing Reno De Paoli, CEO of Ferrari Japan was a true honor. Sadly, I wasn't interviewing him though much of our language isn't about words and what I understood of him through his presence was enough to give me a good understanding of who he is as a person and as the president of such a prestigious company.
If you live in Japan and are interested in Ferrari please check out Octane Japan and definitely pick up our gorgeous special edition soft cover Ferrari book celebrating 70 years of Ferrari.