Join 3,553 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Fabulousness is the right of all sentient beings.
May 16, 2011 1:56 PM   Subscribe

"They’re dekotora ('decoration trucks') and they are 'driving' me crazy with ideas."

Wikipedia link.

Examples from Culture Japan.

Examples from Weirdomatic.

An American ancestor of dekotora, Earl Gilmore.

Previously.
posted by Astro Zombie (10 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
In Guatemala, they have chicken buses.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:03 PM on May 16, 2011


The first time I saw these online was probably over 10+ years ago now, back when images still took forever to load and most of them were still 256 bit GIF files.

And it was one of those seriously "what the fuck" moments that instructed me that I didn't have as good of a grasp on the what the world was as I thought I did.
posted by loquacious at 3:39 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


... wow, awesome. I like it when people take pride in their vehicles.

I was always struck by the Tatas in India, where they have their own style. (last one self-link... I made a flickr just for you guys.) My favorite part is that the wooden slats that shut the back can be reorganized, so sometimes you get an upside-down tiger or a mutant tiger.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 4:38 PM on May 16, 2011


I heard they were associated with the Yakuza.
posted by delmoi at 5:21 PM on May 16, 2011


I was under the impression that these were showcases for organized crime - a way of laundering money with "shipping" buisiness fronts that were just showpiece trucks cruising around town.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:24 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sort of torn about them. They are pretty damn impressive, and I agree with six-or-six-thirty about it being cool when people take pride in their stuff.

But, well, it's hard to explain. Housing in Japan just sucks. It sucks a lot. A lot of single young people live in one room apartments, where the 'room' would be 6 tatami mats in size, or roughly 200 sq. feet adding in the shelf that is the kitchen and the toilet that's in the shower unit. It's pretty rare for people to 'do' anything at home, or have other people over (hence love hotels, group parties at izakayas and on, and on).

The society is based very much on what you show, the things that you have that you show others in your daily life. That's where the overabundance of brand name bags comes from, where you get meticulously modified cars, where you get deco-tora. And, sure, it's kind of cool up to a point. On the other hand, the two seat 125cc scooters that, recently, are being fitted with extensions to the rear wheel, ground effects, absurd mufflers, and so on? It's a freaking scooter!

I'm not Japanese, and obviously, there are some things that I'll never really be able to just accept without hesitation, and spending thousands of dollars on a car, or a scooter, rather than, y'know, just spending a little extra a month to have enough space to stretch out has, and will likely always, boggled my mind.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:54 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just learned that there is a Japanese term for the aftermarket air horns, both musical and otherwise, that people like to install on their cars and trucks (and bicycles).

They're called "Yankee horns" -- after the fact that the first ones were US Army surplus from troops stationed in Japan after WWII.

The More You Know ~~~★
posted by armage at 12:22 AM on May 17, 2011


OK, this is funky. See the text on blue highlighted panels in the second picture of the first link?

I swear it reads "Ore to sekkusu shouse" ("オレとせっくすしょうせ"), which I believe means "have sex with me". Crazy.
posted by splice at 5:09 AM on May 17, 2011


splice is not insane, the truck actually says that. Wonder if it works.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:21 AM on May 17, 2011


Wow! This was really amazing to see. Thanks for the post.

For some reason now I have that episode of Speed Racer where he's racing against a "car" that is made of solid gold stuck in my mind.
posted by Euphorbia at 10:09 PM on May 17, 2011


« Older "I will win this battle if I have to kill every la...  |  Interesting details about the ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments