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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)?).
In 1975, 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. This movie was a hit with both old and young, 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.
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.
After the hit movie Trucker Guys, the dekotora was referred to in various films and TV shows. Video games and model cars adopted the fad. Two monthly magazines are published, namely Camion by Geibunsha and Truck King by Eiwa Publishing.
Films include Trucker Guys, Bakusō! Trucker Gundan, Bakusō! Moon Angel—Kita e, Supermarket Woman, Tokyo Fiancee, Dekotora no Washi, and Bakusō Trucker Densetsu. The American film Black Rain features a couple brief scenes that include Dekotora trucks. In the film Initial D, the "Emperor" Race team carries one of their cars around in a Dekotora truck. The film Millennium Actress directed by Satoshi Kon includes a scene, meant to evoke an old Trucker Guys film, in which the actress Chiyoko is trying to get to Hokkaido; her train is stalled by an avalanche, but she gets a lift from a Dekotora truck driven by the documentarian Genya. A Dekotora truck is briefly seen in the French film Enter the Void, directed by Gaspar Noé.
- TV series include Nagareboshi Ogin, Tantei Ikka, Yo nimo Kimyō na Monogatari, Hotel, and Gokusen (the 2nd series).
- In the Tokusatsu series Engine Sentai Go-Onger, one of its weekly monsterous antagonists has the ability to turn into a dekatora.
In the later parts of the Great Teacher Onizuka manga series, Eikichi Onizuka ends up living in a Dekotora-styled Garbage Truck.
- Zenkoku Dekotora Matsuri - a Dekotora design simulator has been released in Japan in the spring of 2008
- In the Street Fighter Alpha series, japanophile Sodom drives a stylishly decorated truck.
- Bakusō Dekotora Densetsu: Otoko Ippiki Yume Kaidō
- Bakusō Dekotora Densetsu 2: Otoko Jinsei Yume Ichirō
- Bakusō Dekotora Densetsu: Otoko Hanamichi Yume Roman
- Shin Bakusō Dekotora Densetsu: Tenkatōitsu Chōjō Kessen
- Bakusō Dekotora Densetsu: Black
- Art Camion Geijutsuden
- Art Camion Sugorokuden
- Big Mutha Truckers - a dekotora appears in the intro and it is also the final rival on the final day
- 18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker - a dekotora is appear as a secret truck called "Nippon Maru"
- Truck Kyousoukyoku: Ai to Kanashimi no Rodeo
- Car Town Facebook app.
- Pocket Trains app.
- Street Fighter x Tekken-A stage in the game, The Pitstop 109, features a few dekotora on a rooftop.
- RIKI - Kurenai no Backfire (2008)
- MIYAVI - Ahead of the Light (2013)
- Mando Diao - Black Saturday (2014)
- Rich Chigga - Dat $tick Remix feat Ghostface Killah and Pouya (2016)
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