It should probably come as no surprise that the world’s most elaborate, futuristic big-rig trucks are from Japan. There’s an entire Japanese subculture, called “Dekotora,” that revolves around outfitting trucks with elaborate chrome, LED and crystal ornaments. When they light up, they’re so bright that most of them aren’t legally permitted to drive. The trucks’ technicolor dreamcoats cost big money, but the drivers are committed to making their rigs as head-turning and eye-catching as possible.
“Dekotora” is a conjunction of “decoration” and “truck.” The trucks are adorned with all sundry variety of blinking, flashing and glowing baubles, seemingly doubled by the reflective chrome that surrounds them. They float gaudily through the night, attracting both attention and moths.
The decorations aren’t just for the outsides of the trucks. Here, a driver is seen reposing in a makeshift living room that he built into the interior. If only all of us could take a couch with us to work. Not to mention the working TV and what looks like it’s probably a minibar.
This driver even has a chandelier in his cabin. As well as a pattern decoration that can only be described as “psychedelic crocheted anchors.” Must be old hat to him – he couldn’t look more bored by his funkadelic cockpit.
Look closely and you’ll spot the unmistakable visage of Thomas the Tank Engine staring back at you through the kaleidoscope of lights. This looks like a fever dream on the Vegas strip. Hard to believe it’s part of a truck.
This truck displays a pastoral scene of a Geisha admiring a snowcapped mountain (Mt. Fuji?) under some cherry blossoms. But on the back, the truck’s true nature is revealed: a fierce, derp-eyed tiger menaces other drivers. Still not as cool as the guy’s track jacket.
Is it the front? Is it the back? Is that a working monitor or a static display? Doesn’t matter, the only thing that’s important is that somewhere out there, there’s a truck made of stained glass charging down the highway, making everyone feel like it’s possible to achieve their dreams.
A bland, trite piece of sculpture art looks on enviously as a Dekotora truck screams past it. They’re like fire trucks, if they were dispatched to put out blazes of people’s boredom.
Look at this guy. Look at how cool this guy is. That’s an expression you can only wear if you’ve put your entire life savings into a transformer truck that looks like a slot machine, and not a single part of you wonders if that wasn’t the best way to use the money. He doesn’t even buy gas, he fuels his truck by the power of his own coolness.
This is what you see right after you die. These are the lights they warn you not to go towards. But what do they know? Hop in the back and dig into every earthly delight you were denied in life.
We will never be as cool as this guy. Just take a moment to process that reality. Everywhere he goes is a fancy ball. He’s so affirmed in his awesomeness that he just wears a sock on his head because it was the closest thing he could grab.
Give up. Or move to Japan.