These are dekotora!
The Dekotora or Decotora (デコトラ dekotora), an abbreviation for “decoration truck”, is a type of extravagantly decorated truck in Japan. Commonly displaying neon or ultraviolet lights, extravagant paints and stainless or golden exterior parts, on both on the exterior and the interior. Dekotora may be created by workers out of their work trucks for fun, or they may be designed by hobbyists for special events. They are sometimes also referred to as Art Trucks (アートトラック) ātotorakku)).
photozou.jp; photo by akemi
Dekotora surprise people with their flashy patterns in the day, and by night they’re lit up so brightly you’ll think there’s a festival. They run normally down Japanese streets!
A dekotora from behind at night
photozou.jp; Photo by akemi
The back is also covered with cool decorations. If a dekotora comes nearby at night you definitely won’t be able to miss it!
The gaudy paintings during the day
www.flickr.com; photo by Masaru Kamikura
Dekotora paintings may be even more surprising when you see them during the day.
Even the driver’s cab is flashy!
photozou.jp; Photo by akemi
The inside of the driver’s cab is completely covered in upholstery that could be found inside a hotel.
The amount of variation in designs is one of the best parts!
This is a video made of photographs of many dekotora. The variation used in designing dekotora is amazing!
Gatherings are masterpieces! Dekotora festivals!
Dekotora trade fairs
Of course, dekotora owners aren’t satisfied just by making them, so sometimes they hold festivals like trade fairs or exhibitions.
During the day you can examine their paintings and small details. At night, lovers of dekotora gather to see the trucks shining brightly. They also proudly drive around to music.
Dekotora festival in Tokushima
Of course, you can also watch the dekotora leave. Though their appearance is rough, seeing them leave so obediently is kind of cute.
The movie “Dekotora”
Dekotora were really popular in the 1970s. The famous actors Sugawara Bunta and Aikawa Kinya starred in the film series “Torakku Yarou” about men who drove dekotora and it helped make the subculture popular.
Torakku Yarō (トラック野郎?) is a series of ten Japanese comedy-action films produced by Toei and released from 1975 to 1979. All ten films in the series were directed by Noribumi Suzuki and starredBunta Sugawara as Momojiro Hoshi (“Ichibanboshi” or “first star”) and Kinya Aikawa as Kinzo Matsushita, also known as “Jonathon”. The title Torakku Yaro means “truck guys”, and the films involve twotruckers and their various escapades as they travel around Japan in highly decorated trucks.
The plot formula is similar to the Otoko wa Tsurai yo films. Each time Momojiro falls in love with a woman (the “Madonna”) and then ends up having to help her romance with another man. The stories end with Momojiro having to race his truck to meet a deadline to rejoin the couple.
“Torakku Yarou” Series
These two opened the world of dekotora drivers to everyone else and helped create empathetic stories.