Todd Antony / New personal work
Dekotora, is an abbreviation for "decoration truck", is a type of extravagantly decorated truck in Japan. It’s roots of back to 1975, when film company Toei released the first in a series of 10 movies called Torakku Yarō (Truck Guys) that featured a trucker who drove his garishly decorated truck all over Japan, getting into escapades and generally chasing women. This movie was a hit and the dekotora fad swept the country. While dekotora were present throughout the 1970s, before the movie they were restricted to the north-eastern fishing transport trucks. In those days, ready-made parts for trucks were not easily available, so these trucks took parts from sightseeing buses or American military vehicles.
Each truck is highly personalized, and owners often spend millions of yen (10’s of thousands of dollars) embellishing them exactly to their liking. “You can express your way of life, your hometown, your family, all through the decorations,” explains Junichi Tajima, the leader and chairman of Utamaro Kai, a national association of dekotora drivers.