Car Decorations and Accesories in Japan

Danny Choo is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. Danny resides in Tokyo, and blogs about life in Japan and Japanese subculture - he also works part time for the empire.
dannychoo_itasha.jpg The word Itasha describes a car that has been plastered with stickers of anime (Japanese cartoons) or eroge (Japanese dating sims) characters. "Itasha" literally means "painful car" and comes from the feeling that one would usually be painfully embarrassed to drive around in one. "Itasha" also means Italian Car. You can see a whole bunch of these Itasha that I snapped a while ago. But, not only are some Japanese folks most creative when it comes to decorating their car, they be also creative when it comes to car accessories too - as you can see from the photo below... dannychoo_itasha2.jpg Would you drive around in an Itasha?


  1. “Painful car” – that’s a great name. I’d never have the guts to drive one but it’d make my day to see one on the street!

  2. #2 – actually, italian and pain only have the “ita” in common. the painfull car is basicly a word-play on the italian car.

    in the case of the car with panties, very appropriate word play…

  3. I dig the cars and the intent, but they could use an assist on graphic design! I have a Golf Mk 5, 1.6l. Would that benefit from being pimped like these?

  4. I suspect that driving around the typical small town in the US with images of underage girls showing their panties plastered all over the hood would not go over real well.

    Here in the United States we tend to keep those kind of obsessions a little more underground, not that they don’t exist, mind you, we tend to be a bit more secretive about it. The exception may be that, in Hell, Michigan, there is actually an annual “Underage Girls Show Your Panties” festival each summer, just after the Halloween season ends.

  5. At first I laughed. Then I realized that here in America, we put testicles and NASCAR stickers on our cars :(

  6. I never have understood the fascination of grown men with what is essentially kiddy porn. It has always seemed sick to me.

  7. “You think that’s bad, my name means ‘feces’ in Japanese and I have to live here.”

    Well, at least your name doesn’t mean toilet like mine.

    But I’m in Japan, now, too, so my name doesn’t mean toilet anymore. Yippee.

  8. The farthest I think I’d EVER go is to stick a little U.N. Spacy decal in my rear window, assuming I even deigned to do that. This is just … wow …

    On the upside, maybe this place wouldn’t be quite as ridiculous on laws if people were more open about this sort of thing. Let the public ridicule take care of it if it hasn’t breached the criminality threshold >.>

  9. My girlfriend would drive a bubblegum pink bubblecar covered with anime happy robots given opportunity!
    I have two happy robot tattoos, but that’s something else entirely ^_^

  10. “In Hell, Michigan, there is actually an annual “Underage Girls Show Your Panties” festival each summer, just after the Halloween season ends.”

    This is crazy, and needs a citation.

  11. Well, my name translated to “fat” (Dave = debu). If that weren’t bad enough, a toddler called me a bald giant (hagge nopo) and it stuck for the duration of my stay.

  12. As a Tifosi, I take exception to the fact that “Italian Car” and “Painful Car” are denoted by the same word in Japanese. That’s just wrong. :)

  13. Also, loads of Americans put cartoons on their cars (peeing Calvin, Tazmanian Devil, etc), just not quite that large.

  14. A Japanese car with little girl panties on the license plate frame.


    an American SUV with Truck Nutz.

    Which is worse?


  15. I’d drive that car.

    Haters gotta catch you, and that is an Impreza, which is a fun fun FUN car to drive. Zooooom!

  16. I can see these graphics in the US on tuner cars. Don’t get me
    wrong, I would do something similar but not to that extream.
    Reading the comments & looking at the photo. Makes me think of
    the S2000 in 2 Fast 2 Furious movie.

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