Bright Lights, 18 Wheelers
MEL Films jumps in the passenger seat of one of Japan’s neon, chrome monster trucks
Dekotora is the image of Tokyo you have in your head — the anime-inspired signage, the flashing pachinko slots and the bright innocence of J-Pop — just on 18 wheels and moving at 100 kilometers per hour. It means, more or less, “decoration truck.” Which is pretty much exactly what it is — a long-haul truck whose driver has gone all Xzibit and tricked out the exterior with more chrome than Optimus Prime and more neon than Caesars Palace. By doing so, they’re expressing themselves in a way that makes them something other than the guy dropping off boxes at a loading dock. “I always take good care of my truck; by doing so, I’m actually taking good care of myself,” explains Takuya Sosogi, a truck driver who delivers vegetables all over Japan and the subject of our dekotora mini-documentary. Hit the road with Takuya and his ever-moving light show above.