Dekotora Style!

Wednesday 05 June, 2013 | By Edo

Ladies and gentlemen, there is a Dekotora on SNTRL. In the last few years we’ve been working to bring you car life through our eyes, I would have never thought we would feature one of these amazing machines! Being into the car scene, and the way the internet has made this world even smaller, it’s highly possible that you’ve seen a photo or video of a Dekotora already. For those of you who haven’t, and have no idea what these are, you might be thinking, “WTF is this?!”, with good reason. In short, this is a normal everyday truck that has been heavily decorated, hence the name “Deko-Tora”. The way the english word “truck” is pronounced in Japanese sounds like “To-ra-ku” (トラック). Say that quickly and you’ll find that it sounds kinda like truck. Put that together with “Decoration” and you have…DEKOTORA! Simple as that, only, not so simple…

One may think, ok, decoration, some stickers, lights, etc. right? In a sense, yes, but to all sorts of extremes! It all started decades ago when there were a few famous Deoktora clubs around Japan. At some point, a few people in Japan’s film industry spotted a Dekotora on the highway. This sparked the creation of film series based on these modified trucks called “Truck Yarou!”. Those films were a great success and very popular with the custom truck crowd. Lots of truck guys were affected by the movies and set out to build their own. The owners of Dekotora go all out on customizing these vehicles to their liking. Each one with it’s own story. Some for attention, some for culture, some for fun, the list goes on, just as it does with the reasons we customize our cars.

So now that we’re all caught up, lets get into what we have for your viewing pleasure. Our good friend Ryo Kaneta of USDM Freax/US-VIP magazine has put together this great piece on Mr. Sekino’s Hino Ranger (1989-2001).

Ryo: Mr. Sekino has modified his truck for the OLD SCHOOL Dekotora Style. So what is the old school style? Old school style is very simple electric parts. No LED’s, not too many lights and not too many decoration parts.

He loves Truck Yarou movie too. Inside his truck, he made Japanese style tatami (a type of mat used as a floor in traditional Japanese-style rooms.). He also made a household altar. It’s like a mini shrine.

Generation HINO RANGER. He is joining the UTAMARO-KAI truck club. UTAMARO-KAI is one of the most famous truck clubs in Japan. UTAMARO-KAI was established 1970’s.

Mr. Sekino is a driver for fishery products. He had fish & sea waves painted on his cargo container, like a UKIYOE style.

Big thanks to Ryo for putting this together for us! I did a bit of research after getting all the info from Ryo on Sekino-San’s truck. UKIYOE style translates to “pictures of the floating world”. A japanese wood-block prints that depict “living in the moment”. Kitagawa Utamaro was an 18th century Ukiyoe artist who is considered one of the greatest of his time. Which brings us back to the Dekotora club name, UTAMARO-KAI and the old school style. History lesson, done!

Hope you guys enjoyed this interesting post! Now go forth, watch all 10 films in the Truck Yarou series, drive like a trucker and play some Bakuso Dekotora Densetsu (Yes, there’s a video game too).

And here’s a preview of the next post Ryo has in store for us…

Stay tuned!

Words: Edo and Ryo Kaneta
Photos: Ryo Kaneta of USDM Freax and US-VIP Magazine.

About the author

Co-Founder/Creative Director, Edwin has been applying his years of experience in the graphic/web design + development to SNTRL since day one. Highly interested in all forms of sub-culture, especially JDM cars, fighting games, street art, street wear, and the fascinating world of Dubstep. Follow @yo_edo to keep up with his quirky tweets about daily life in NYC.

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