by Michael Kitchens
The definition of Yin & Yang can be described as how polar opposites exist in relation to each other. In the world of automotive enthusiasts, this relationship is the perfect example of how Travis Harada & Co Yara roll with their Toyota xBs. The two show off styles that are complimentary yet distinct from one another. Their personalities, tastes and even their age reflect this…they affectionately refer to each other as “Pops” and “Son”. Travis admits that he is a very expressive person and it shows, while being adorned in flashy BAPE clothing. On the other hand, a stealth-dressed Co says “Personally, I like to be more subtle yet classy.” And as individuals, they’re fiercely competitive…for Street Pulse, they insisted on shooting together rather than having to decide who went first.
Both of these characters exhibit a true sense of what they want to impress others with while staying in the realm of true JDM faithfulness. Travis’ 2006 Scion xB is a mecca of what’s what in Style Wagon excess…the vehicle almost implodes with JDM goodness. His taste is a vibrant pallet of shocking pink and white teeming with rare Japanese parts. “I went to Japan as an exchange student…when I saw how the bB’s look in Japan, I thought ‘I have the same platform, why doesn’t mine look like that?’”. During our interview, Travis explained further that he’s driven by others who didn’t believe in his quest for the ultimate VIP xB. “Haters gonna hate.” as the saying goes.
In contrast to Travis, Co’s 2004 Scion xB is sleek and relaxed…coated with the stunning Black Cherry Pearl paint that soaks up the light as if in stealth mode. The car is so classically styled that the average onlooker might not even understand how much work has been put into the vehicle. Believe me when I say that it takes a lot of dough to look this good…the xB features a huge amount of JDM modifications. “Fortunately, the car is relatively inexpensive, but to get it to this point, you have to spend money.”, Co says. Co says that not everyone understands the popularity of the xB, usually due to the lack of speed, but he loves it.
The fascination with JDM for both of these owners can be attributed to the love of their own culture. I was impressed with Travis from the start as I realized he spoke fluent Japanese upon first meeting him. Both are in-tune with their origins and strive to have that feeling of connection in their lives. “Just to even have a little bit of JDM in our cars, means a lot to us.” Travis says. As a result, Travis is a broker for rare JDM parts on the island…he’s got connections. One look at his xB can confirm it. In addition, Co’s xB has a laundry list of awards and trophies, further cementing its reputation as a true show-stopper.
Both Travis & Co expressed great appreciation for their friends, here and in Japan, and supporters like Marshall Lum who has been the driving force behind the Scion’s longevity in Hawaii.
I believe what makes automotive enthusiasts unique is their ability to take a singular platform, such as the xB, and modify it to express their own personalities. When it comes to their vehicles, both Travis & Co have stamped their mark on their rides while maintaining a familial friendship that’s proudly typical our local, automotive community. Even with opposite tastes, we all come together for our automotive passions…a true yin-yang effect.