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Dekotora or decotora (デコトラ, dekotora), an abbreviation for "decoration truck", are extravagantly decorated trucks in Japan. Commonly displaying neon or ultraviolet lights, extravagant paints, and stainless or golden parts (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)).
In 1975, Toei released the first in a series of 10 movies called Torakku Yarō (Truck Guys). These films featured truckers who drove garishly decorated trucks around Japan. This movie was a hit with both old and young, and the dekotora fad swept the country. While dekotora were present throughout the 1970s, they were restricted to north-eastern fishing transport trucks prior to the movies. In those days, ready-made parts for trucks were not easily available, so these trucks took parts from sightseeing buses or American military vehicles.
Since the late 1990s, dekotora have been heavily influenced by the art of Gundam. Other decorations are more akin to modern art and retro designs that closely resemble those found in the movie.
- Dekochari, bicycles modelled after dekotora
- Itasha, cars decorated with anime characters
- Jeepneys, trucks originally made from surplus American jeeps from WWII, and later being replaced by installing surplus parts from Japan aftermarket.
- Chiva buses, colourful buses primarily seen in Colombia and Ecuador
- Tap taps, painted Haitian "buses"
- Truck art in South Asia
- (in Japanese) Camion: From Geibunsha official website.
- Great Big Story (2017-02-22), Inside Japan's Tricked-Out DIY Truck Culture, retrieved 2018-03-26
- Ko, Stella (October 19, 2017). "Dekotora: The kitschy world of Japan's pimped up trucks". CNN. Retrieved July 27, 2021.