The Japanese hobby of "Dekotora" or decorating trucks with blinding lights and themes has been dealt a blow as authorities have just declared them non-street legal. They cite the colorful, "light trucks" as a hazard to other drivers.
One look and you can see their point. The trucks look like Transformers met the Las Vegas Strip and had totally pimped out children. Pimped out truck children that could deliver meat or laundry with a switched on flair. Imagine seeing that roll by on your way home from work!
Ok, so the trucks may push the envelope of safety by distracting other drivers. But the "light truck" phenomenon — an offshoot of the Japanese car culture — is serious stuff. Enthusiasts, who are often family groups, have been known to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars outfitting trucks to their unique specifications inside and out.
Some trucks have metallic tusks or murals painted on the side. Some have plush toy collections or interior chandeliers. But what they ALL have in common are the intense decorative light displays.
Often the trucks have so many lights they are fitted with special generators under the chassis for extra juice; even still, the trucks use so much power they can only operate for 20 minutes before overheating.
While technically not street legal, the Dekotora "light truck" community still bands together, holding rallies to show off their vehicles and likely engage in a little friendly competition. We won't ask how they get to their destinations.
Admit it, it doesn't sound too different from some car rallies here in the States does it? Or our competitive drive to outdo each other with holiday light decorations. Blend the two and we could see Dekotora take off here!