Thursday, December 10, 2009
It is time for my post about Dekotora! These are the "art trucks" of Japan as seen by California based photographer Roger Snider. Roger says the Japanese art truck movement started in the late 70s when this movie came out.
The truckers cite the movie as their primary influence to design the rigs.
The trucks have evolved over the years, first being designed to look like ships then evolving towards the spaceship look.
Color schemes in the murals reflect what part of the country they are from. Muted tones are from the colder Northern area and the brighter ones are from the south.
Large companies shun the trucks when they pull up to pick up loads and sometimes won't let them in the yard in they are too garish. The truck owners have to take off all the decoration to pass the DOT inspection once a year. Japanese truckers love the American rigs and refer to any American truck simply as "Convoy".
The lights require multiple generators under the truck, and they can only run for about 30 minutes before the whole rig needs to be shut down. They do not drive on the road with the music-synchronized lights running.
Roger Snider shoots all things truck.
He also has books for sale.