The Dekochari is a form of art bike indigenous to Japan dating back to the mid 1970s. ‘Deko’ in Japanese is short for decoration and ‘Chari’ is slang for bike. The Dekochari was a response by children to the Dekotora (‘Tora’ is short for Truck) craze which swept Japan after a series of movies called ‘Truck Yaro’ came out. These movies featured giant trucks decked out in chrome and flashy lights.
Unable to drive the giant chrome-plated flashing trucks they coveted, they instead built plywood boxes around their bikes and attached chrome plating and lights. Almost all current Dekochari’s have impressive light displays reminiscent of a carnival and many are decked out with hi-fi audio systems and cup-holders.
There are currently several Dekochari bike gangs in Japan including the All Japan Hishyomaru fleet, the All Japan DC Club Ryumaki and the All Japan Kyokugenmaru Gang. The maintainers of Japanese Dekochari culture await the auspicous moment for anew Dekochari boom to sweep over Japan and bring the Dekochari to its former glory.