Short for ‘decoration truck’, Dekotora is the intricate art of truck decoration in Japan. It gained popularity in 1975 when the first of a series of 10 comedy-action movies called Truck Guy or Truck Dude (Torakku Yaro) was released. It featured a costumed trucker who drove his gaudily decorated lorry all over Japan. The movie was a big hit, and caused a wave of Dekotora popularity to sweep the country.
Some drivers spend enough to buy a small house in Japan on their trucks, constantly updating them. But numbers of Dekotora trucks are now very much in decline from their heyday, with only around 600 left. Among other drivers, Antony’s series features Junichi Tajima, the head of the Dekotora society, the Utamaro, who has been practising his art for 40 years.