Who was the first to decorate the trucks? We don't really know when and who started this trend but it is said that it might have started somewhere up in the north of Japan in the late 60’s in an area called Tohoku.
There was an action/comedy movie called "Truck Fellows, No Opinon Needed" made by Toei and released in August 1975. Toei made it to fill the quiet season after the summer holiday, however surprisingly this movie became a massive hit.
Since then, the number of "Deco Truck" (decorated trucks) saw explosive growth. As the "Deco Truck" boom heated up and because of the flashy look of them, the police started to keep an eye on them. However, they couldn't stop the super decorative truck trend spreading all over Japan.
In the 90's, there was a second "Deco Truck" boom. The conventional "Retro Art" type (trucks painted all over) was replaced with the "Super Art" trucks with multiple illuminated lights. Obviously the flashiness was the key for this "Super Art" and these trucks are still seen on the streets in Japan almost like the "Moving Transformers".
"Deco Trucks" is a unique world of art and light and is representative of Japan's subculture. Mt Fuji, Geisha and Deco Trucks are almost like sacred treasures and must-see for foreign visitors. Among them, the Deco Trucks represents the secret subculture not known by Japanese people.
When "Deco Truck" appeared in Gucci 's promotional video of the 2016 winter collection, it was bit of a shock to Japanese people given it was a reverse import. Honmoku File is proudly representing Japan's deep subculture Deco Trucks.