We somehow missed this, but in 2016 fashion brand Gucci used a dekotora to hawk its ridiculously priced clothing. In a video for their fall/winter line that year some Ziggy Stardust-looking “Gucci kids” (yes, that is a term the company actually uses) climb into a dekotora and hit the streets of Shinjuku. However, the truck isn’t simply any dekotora, it belongs to Kazuya Sekino, the same owner who used his truck to run supplies to the Tohoku region devastated by the 2011 tsunami.
Sekino, a dekotora ambassador, apparently loans his truck out to many photo and video shoots. The Hino refrigerator truck, named Lady Misaki, has appeared in music videos and TV shows in Japan, according to the Japan Times. Misaki-jo is Sekino’s third dekotora, and was purchased for ¥300,000 ($2,850 USD), though he has spent millions of yen modding it, including the mural of a Shinto god fighting an eight-headed dragon on the side.
We’re definitely not cool enough to understand what the Gucci ad is trying to portray, maybe just a generic “Japan” vibe. There’s also tea houses, pachinko parlors, and lots of neon lights if you didn’t get the Tokyo drift. In any case, it’s somewhat interesting to see this slice of Japanese car culture appear in a mainstream fashion ad.
The overuse of neon and mood lighting makes me think of the Retro A S T H E T I C Radwood Vaporware 80’s Cultural Appropriation throwbacks all the millennials are interested in.
This style is not my thing, but I know it’s very popular in Japan. I just got back from Japan 2 weeks ago, and saw a few of these…I think some chrome, a little added paint, and that’s it for me. But, I respect Dekotora style. Obviously there’s a lot of blood sweat and tears that go into it.
NHK International ran a special on Dekotora and featured this truck and his trip to the Tsunami region.
Not really popular. More of a country acquired taste. Japan holds the same type of varied views and styles as any other country.