VIDEO: One man’s obsession with his Dekotora

Dekotora MEL Films

Takuya Sosogi’s work is ostensibly the shipping of fresh fruit and vegetables. In reality, though, it’s modifying his Mitsubishi Fuso dekotora. Like many dekotora drivers, he became obsessed with “decoration trucks” after watching the 1975 film Torakku Yarō and hasn’t looked back. 

The video, by MEL Films, was discovered by our friend Andrew P. Collins and is a beautifully shot picture of life as a trucker. Despite being an actual in-service hauler of produce and having about ten thousand tiny crevices, Sosogi’s rig remains astoundingly clean. “The older my truck gets, the closer to the end of its life it gets,” he says, who estimates a value of ¥5 million ($45,000) for his dekotora. “It’s bound to break down soon, but I’m still driving it.” Keep on truckin’, Sosogi-san.

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6 Responses to VIDEO: One man’s obsession with his Dekotora

  1. Dimitry says:

    That was amazing. Thank you for sharing this!

    Dekotoras always fascinated me as a very….Japanese thing. I think of them as Bosozoku ideas transplanted into the “big” world. The men are no longer 16-17 year old. Their lifestyle forces them to go out and work. So they get a truck. But the spirit of modifiying something to an extent that only you can enjoy stays.
    I’m sure that 99% of the readers of this website don’t watch Mighty Car Mods, but they have said something very interesting about Japanese way of thinking when it comes to modifying. They do it because it’s…fun! They don’t care if no one will like what they did – all they care is if they, themselves, like it.
    Dekotora drivers modify their trucks simply because that’s what they like…nay…love! Keep on truckin’ Sosoki-san!

  2. SHC says:

    I see this as a normal extension of life that begins with bicycles, motorcycles and extends to cars. In some countries the Jeep is the vehicle of choice to modify/personalize, in others it’s buses and trucks. We even see this phenomena with American truckers with their extra lighting/chrome pieces. Here’s to taking an inanimate object and breathing life into it through one’s own creativity.

  3. Jim Simspson says:

    There is something fascinating about this Japanese truck culture, and the folks who spend the time money and energy on this amazing hobby… I for one always smile whenever I have seen one of these wonderfully over decorated trucks in Japan. There truly is a hobby for every taste, and that is a good thing.

  4. Censport says:

    Echoing the sentiments of others, I’m also fascinated by the dekotora. As a 70’s child, trucking movies and TV shows were very popular. Twenty years ago, I drove 18-wheelers in the U.S. for about six months. They were company trucks, so no modifications were allowed, but it was still cool to drive something so big. Seeing these guys modify their trucks as they want makes me a bit envious.

    Despite all of my Japan travels, I’ve rarely seen a dekotora in the wild. Most have been during the day. One night on the most recent trip, I was doing some night photography around Tokyo Bay. I looked back at the city just in time to see a fully lit dekotora rolling along the elevated expressway, headed to the Rainbow Bridge.

    It was… majestic.

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