My latest Tokyo Eye segment has made it online. This time, I cover "art trucks" (a.k.a "Deco-tora" to those in the scene). If you've ever spent any time driving on Japanese highways, you've seen them. They're fabulously decorated cargo and work vehicles festooned in enough lights to rival a Vegas casino combined with spectacularly airbrushed ukiyo-e and kabuki motifs. No nekkid ladies on the mudflaps for these guys.
I'd expected to be thrown into the mix with some real truckers, but like so many other subcultures these days, the otaku are firmly in the driver's seat: the average art truck owner is more likely to be a well-heeled suburban thirtysomething living out dreams of being Bunta Sugawara on the weekends than an actual long-range hauler. So the original drivers who came up with the concept in the '60s gave rise to a series of films in the '70s that essentially define the scene as it exists today. What a tangled web we weave.