Zipang Coat by KAMIKAZE Collection not only represents an evolution in their world-renowned coatings that are hand-made in Japan, but it’s also the highest performing coating in the KAMIKAZE lineup.
Sticking with KAMIKAZE-Collection’s traditional development processes, Zipang Coat was created with ease of use in mind. This ease of use, along with the highest levels of performance, are what have made the KAMIKAZE coatings so popular with both the professional detailer and detailing enthusiasts alike.
With Zipang Coat, the chemistry provides even higher levels of gloss and brilliance than their ISM / ISM Pro coatings, and it offers semi self-healing characteristics, meaning that the appearance of small swirls or imperfections in the coating surface will reduce when exposed to heat.
For those looking for the ultimate in coating protection, we recommend Zipang Coat for its unmatched looks, hydrophobicity, ease of use, and semi self-healing technology. Durability is rated at 5+ years. Zipang Coat also provides a darkening effect to the paint (blacks will be deeper black, richer reds, etc), and has the ability to lightly fill small imperfections in the paint.
Layering Options for Zipang Coat
Good: 1 layer of Zipang Coat
Better: Base layer of Kamikaze Miyabi Coat, topped with Zipang Coat
- Shake bottle
- Apply a small amount of Zipang Coat onto applicator cloth/block…enough for even coverage.
- Apply to surface in straight lines only (do not cross-hatch) with a little overlap to ensure a thick, even coverage to the surface.
- Using a 2-towel method (one designated for the initial wipe, the second to do the final wipe), gently remove the coating residue using small, circular motions after 3~5 minutes (1-2 panels at a time). Humidity levels and ambient temperature will have an effect on curing time, so the higher the temperature and humidity, the shorter the amount of time between application and removal.
- After applying to the entire vehicle, be sure to look carefully for “high spots”, or darker patches where the coating wasn’t fully removed. Wipe these down right away, otherwise they will require machine polishing to remove if allowed to cure overnight.
- Do not allow the vehicle to get wet for at least 24 hours (the longer, the better), and don’t wash vehicle for 1 week.
- If using multiple layers as outlined in “layering options”, give 1~2 hours between layers.
- Once the bottle of coating is opened, the curing process begins, even if you put the cap back on tightly. Once opened, you should use the coating within one month's time.
- Please be sure to use all coatings as soon as you can from the time you receive them.
- All coatings have a limited shelf life due to the chemical nature of how they crystallize. Look to use coatings within 4-6 months of receiving them (less if bottle is opened).
- Do not use maintenance products other than Overcoat by KAMIKAZE.
- Only use pH neutral shampoos, with no additives, gloss enhancers, waxes, or polymers.
- Do not use any other types of toppers, coatings, waxes, sealants, no-rinse washes, or quick detailers with Zipang Coat. The looks, performance, and durability will suffer as a result!
- Can be used on both painted surfaces, and plastic trim.
At ESOTERIC, we were personally trained by Kai Morita, founder of KAMIKAZE-Collection on the use of Zipang Coat. He also hand-delivered the very first batch in the world to his first worldwide distributor...ESOTERIC!
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After waiting 9+ months since release, finally got a chance to give Zipang a try, albeit it on a new 2019 Race Red Ford Transit Connect. Not the most entertaining vehicle to work on but in the middle of a NE Ohio Winter, gotta take what you can get. End of the day, likely the best prepped and protected Fleet vehicle in NE Ohio…for whatever that’s worth.
Not a pro by any means, just a hobbyist who has developed a fascination with polishing paint and trying coatings so that’s the perspective I’m coming from. Have had Kamikaze on one of our personal cars since October 2016 (Miyabi + ISM + Overcoat, still doing quite well, albeit only 16k miles traveled in that time) and another done in Miyabi + ISM + Overcoat in July 2017; this one is still doing well but it’s a NE Ohio daily driver, about 36k miles since application so its had a much harder life. Regardless, couldn’t expect much more out of a coating given the use and abuse this vehicle receives….and it’s black to boot.
With the success I’ve had with the Kamikaze line, I was very eager to try their flagship product, Zipang. I’ve run through a boxload of coatings , probably 20-25 of ‘em since October 2016, looking for something that worked better for me than Kamikaze and I shoulda just quit when I was ahead; the Kamikaze stuff just plain works. The allure of Zipang was just too much to resist any longer, hence the use of the boring, functional Transit van…yet a vehicle that will also give me daily access and ‘observability’ in arguably the worst conditions (Fleet Use) a vehicle can be subject to. Well, aside from my daily driver that is…15 to 18k miles a year on 4 of the worst freeways in NE Ohio can take a toll…I’m hoping Zipang can help with that a bit more. I like clean cars…I like clean, black cars…I don’t like cleaning black cars and so far the Miyabi + ISM combo has been excellent in meeting that goal, best I’ve used but always looking for more.
This current ‘rolling test panel’ Transit Van was fully done with Miyabi as a base and Zipang on top, finished with Overcoat. Given the excessive amount of paint/panels that needed to be covered I actually succumbed to practicality in this case and went with just the Miyabi + Zipang as opposed to the ‘all in’ ultimate combo of Zipang + Miyabi + Zipang. I did have some leftovers despite likely applying Zipang a bit heavy so I pulled out another vehicle, prepped and corrected the hood and applied Zipang + Miyabi + Zipang on it. Unfortunately the driver of that van blew his transmission outta the bottom of the truck 4 days after application so the truck likely sat outside the dealer. It’s quite probable that compromised the entire thing as it was a cold, cold weekend and beginning of the next week. When we get the truck back I’ll try some stuff with it but guessing the events that transpired have gooned up the ability to do any reasonably effective testing on that.
So what do I expect out of Zipang given the products description and what have I seen so far (applied about a month ago)?
* “With Zipang Coat, the chemistry provides even higher levels of gloss and brilliance than their ISM / ISM Pro coatings”
Although I’ve only previously used ISM Coat (and not the more recently released V2.0) the look certainly does tend to be a bit glossier than ISM used on top of Miyabi. The previous version of ISM was a deep rich look, more of a glow as opposed to the outright sharper gloss of Miyabi alone. Zipang doesn’t lose much of the ‘richness’ in favor of brilliance and gloss (if any) but the surface does have a bit more of a distinct gloss vs. Miyabi + ISM while still maintaining the depth. It’s a very classy look
* “…it offers semi self-healing characteristics, meaning that the appearance of small swirls or imperfections in the coating surface will reduce when exposed to heat.”
About 2 weeks of sitting indoors not being driven later, I finally decided to give this a test. While curing the vehicle was indoors where the temperature is generally raised to about 65 degrees F during the day, but will drop down to around 50 degrees F at night; hopefully that didn’t affect the curing too much. Anyway, while I have seen many videos of testing self healing by lightly abrading the paint using a scouring pad or a fine, metal bristle brush, I don’t often run into those kinds of things during the normal usage of a vehicle so I went a different way, trying something that indeed ‘might happen’ to my paint. I found a terry cloth shop rag hanging on a fence, snapped it a few times to remove any large debris, and then proceeded to ‘dry’ a masked off, 6”x6” section of the paint with it. Not grinding it in, not just lightly touching the surface but with the normal pressure one would use when drying a car….and it definitely swirled up the surface quite nicely. If’n I had to guess, and this is certainly a guess, it looks like swirls that something like a polish would remove relatively easily in just a few passes…my version of ‘wash induced marring’ but perhaps a bit more severe given the dirty shop rag I used. Definitely not ‘medium polish needed’ severe but enough that one wouldn’t be happy with the marks on black paint.
After looking about to find the ‘activating temperature’ of the healing effect, it appears that 75 degrees C (160-170 degrees F) is the ticket. Despite having purchased a heat gun and point-n-shoot infrared thermometer specifically for this, I first gave a section a go using water heated to that temperature. Fortunately Keuirg coffee makers are set to 192 degrees F at factory so by the time I got back to the vehicle I had a nice mug of water in the appropriate temperature range. Unfortunately I had foolishly chosen an inconspicuous test section on a vertical panel and that fact, combined with the excellent hydrophobic tendencies of Kamikaze Coatings, meant that the hot water didn’t have much contact time with the panel; oops. It certainly had a slight effect on the swirls but the limited contact time with the hot water necessitated another approach.
With the heat gun and the infrared thermometer, I heated the section up to 160-170 degrees F and at that point the swirls diminished and, in the cases of the very light marring in the outlying areas of the section, nearly disappeared completely. I’d guess (‘cuz lacking extensive experience with this kinda stuff, a guess is the best I can do) about 85% of the swirls were nearly gone and the others were greatly diminished. When considering the products description of “…the appearance of small swirls or imperfections in the coating surface will reduce when exposed to heat” I’d say their spot on with their description.
To be sure, if someone runs a shopping cart into your paint or even bangs it with a recently ‘bedazzled’ rhinestone purse while at the local Piggly Wiggly, Zipang will likely not make it disappear completely. Given the relatively thin layer of Zipang, the specifics of which I know nothing about, it can only realistically be expected to ‘heal’ so much. But for what I’m looking for, it’ll certainly be a step up and a worthwhile investment when I re-do our cars this Spring/Summer.
An interesting follow up note to the above is that when I went over the paint with a variety of Scangrip lights this morning (Wednesday), the leftover marring that did not completely ‘resolve’ is even more diminished after sitting for about 5 days in a temperature range that drops down to 45 degrees F at night, including a somewhat chilly weekend where indoor temps were probably a consistent 40-45 degrees F from Friday night thru Monday morning. Odd, but somewhat pleasing. I couldn’t even hazard a guess as to what/why.
* “Durability is rated at 5+ years. Zipang Coat also provides a darkening effect to the paint (blacks will be deeper black, richer reds, etc), and has the ability to lightly fill small imperfections in the paint.” – As I had corrected the paint prior to application, can’t really comment on any filling abilities but the added durability is definitely another plus, especially in conjunction with the ability to diminish light swirls.
Durability is often an approximation but given my past experience with Kamikaze, they’re not making outrageous claims based upon assumptions that a car will never leave the garage on all but the most perfect of weather days. To wit:
We have 3 cars with considerably different usage patterns; all protected with same set of products/coatings; Kamikaze Miyabi x 2, ISM x 1 and maintained with Overcoat every 3 to 4 washes…which is likely overkill (but fun).
Car 1 is about 5500 miles a year, no freeway, sits outside from April thru November but only really driven daily November thru April, short trips, no freeway.
Car 2 is daily driver in nice weather, April thru November, usually no-rain days only, always garaged, 5500 miles a year, rarely freeway.
Car 3 is year round daily driver, generally always garaged, 20k miles a year, 95% freeway. It sees the worst NE Ohio has to offer…Spring, Summer, Fall and especially Winter.
1. Car 1 (applied October 2016) will likely get to 3 years (if not longer) before needing to be completely redone. This car still has the coating performing in an excellent fashion, could likely get another year out of it.
2. Car 2 (Applied June 2017) will likely never need to be redone – (Sold this one a month or so ago. Coating was performing ‘as new’ given vehicle usage.)
3. Car 3 (Applied July 2017) will get to 2 years at the most before needing to be redone. While the coating is still doing well, it’ll definitely need a re-do at about 40k miles, partially due to the physical impacts that result from daily use and abuse. Looking back, this woulda been an excellent candidate for PPF…lesson learned.
All are in NE Ohio.
So, given the above, and having seen the general lifespan of Miyabi + ISM (24-26 months if I recall) meet expectations and, for the most part, exceed them, the added longevity of Zipang is a definite plus; of course, this remains to be seen but I have no reason to expect it not to live up to expectations.
As for application, Zipang was a bit different as recommendations are to apply evenly in a single direction, no cross hatch to insure complete coverage so you have to pay a bit more attention to make sure everything is covered. It was ready for removal in 3-5 minutes at around 68 degrees F, a little tacky on removal (as noted in product description) but nothing special or in any way troublesome. Definitely a short nap towel deal, however, and I used 300gsm/350gsm for initial removal and leveling and then a final buff with a 400-450gsm. Just for grins on one door jamb I did do cross hatch in a small area and in addition to getting some texture in the application, the crosshatch pass seemed to dry out the applied coating prematurely making for a somewhat draggy applicator feel. Any small ridges left by the texture of the microfiber applicator were easily leveled during removal though so no harm, no foul.
It`s a somewhat `thick` product on application, much like ISM Coat, almost a thin, syrup type of deal. Regardless it all went well, a relatively easy product to use. The look is ISM-ish, the Zipang toned down a bit of the overt reflectivity of Miyabi and gave the surface a deeper richness while still maintaining nice gloss. It looks `rich`...very classy. The Overcoat will lend a nice touch of gloss. I waited about 2hrs after the Miyabi base layer to apply Zipang and then went over with Overcoat about 18hrs later.
While I woulda loved to do the `ultimate` application of Zipang + Miyabi + Zipang, even my fiscal alarm went off at the prospect of using that much product on a fleet vehicle regardless of curiosity. While generally, if ISM Coat is any indicator, you can likely get 2 layers outta 30ml of Zipang, (same with Miyabi), because of the roof and no windows of this van that wasn`t gonna happen. So I skipped the `ultimate Zipang/Miyabi/Zipang sandwich` and went with the middle ground of a base coat of Miyabi + Zipang on top....topped with Overcoat of course. I would expect that when I re-do my daily driver, a black 2017 Honda Accord Coupe, the ‘ultimate’ application will only require 30ml of Zipang and 30ml of Miyabi with about 15ml of Miyabi left over to use as the base for our other ‘daily driver’. Another plus to Zipang (as well as ISM) is the ability to use it as a trim coating as well…it’s the best trim coating I have found.
At the end of the day, given the cost of Zipang, is it worth it? I can only speak for myself but for my particular situation the answer is “Yes”. Taking into account my preferred maintenance, vehicle usage patterns and desire for the look that Kamikaze provides (in addition to the unmatched self-cleaning abilities in my experience) the initial cost of Zipang will diminish over the expected lifespan of the products in relation to the current Miyabi + ISM + Overcoat regimen. On my daily driver, even with its somewhat extreme usage pattern, I’ll likely gain an extra year (at least) due to the increased longevity and overall appearance will ratchet up a notch given Zipang’s ability to reduce light swirls. On our other lesser used cars, I will likely gain increased appearance and even more significant longevity improvements. So I guess, the amortization of initial cost (if I’m using that term correctly) will even out with the bonus of less of my time expended and decreased obvious marring due Zipang’s abilities to somewhat self-correct. And, I can do it myself which is unique for coatings that can reduce swirling without the need for being an Authorized Installer.
At the end of the day, Zipang is a very easy to use product, if I can do it anyone can, and it has definite long term advantages for my situation. As with anything, ‘your mileage will vary’ and ya just never know how something is truly gonna work for you until you give it a go. Kamikaze has yet to disappoint me with any of their offerings and I see no reason to believe Zipang will not continue that trend.