Fungus Mungus' Weird Stuff in Japan

A chronicle of general weirdness I've encountered during my stay in Japan.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Mobile Ayumi Shrine

In the US, seeing a Honda or Mitsubishi dressed up with fender flares, ground

effects, and wings is a fairly common sight. I expected the same in Japan, but
I wasn't prepared for the truly bizarre creations I was to encounter.

To wit, o
ne of the 2 elusive mobile shrines to the JPOP singer Ayumi
Hamasaki in Kamaishi.

Ayumi Hamasaki, if you're not familiar with her, is one of the
most popular JPOP singers in Japan. Although her popularity is waning somewhat,
she is often seen on commercials and billboards throughout Japan. She is known
for her "big eyes" and "small face", traits that are highly admired in Japan.

The other day while I was shopping, I was fortunate enough to spot this.
The fact that this is a VAN is
enough for comment, but the wing on the back
simply takes your
breath away. The secondary wing is really helpful to keep the
vehicle from floating when blazing along the expressway at
80 KPH. It also does a lot to accent the menacing look of the vehicle.

The bumper on the back, you may have noticed, extends
about 1/2 meter or so out, apparently to accommodate the
dancing girls. I haven't seen dancing girls on one of these
yet. The paint job...well, I won't comment on the color, but
the gorgeous mural of Ayumi on the back is inspiring to
drivers behind him. They often follow him for several blocks,
so captivating is her image. Completing the look is the set of
4 shopping car wheels, HID lights, and 3 grill-mounted lamps, the utility
of which eludes me.

I wanted to get a closer look at the interior, but to be quite honest, the
vehicle is so intimidating, I was afraid to get any closer.

There is a white one like this in Kamaishi as well, but I haven't encountered
the elusive beast.
Call it my Moby Dick.

The guy in the picture, btw, is the driver of this monstrosity. He has my everlasting
thanks for providing me with fodder for my BLOG.


Blogger head said...

There were a couple of these in Tono, too. *shudder* These people are not normal. Nor are they remotely Western. So, why is it that automobiles like this get labeled "Yankee Cars"?

9:19 AM  
Blogger Philip said...

Oh my god, this girl looks like a Final Fantasy one... It´s so weird

7:49 AM  
Blogger Fungus Mungus said...

I guess the "yankees" like to drive these kinds of vans. As to why they're called "yankees", I guess it has something to do with the rockabilly look. Those guys are called Yankees presumably because the rockabilly thing is a very American thing. I don't know for sure.

All I know is it's funny. Yankee hair cuts, Ayumi vans, and the like.

11:24 PM  
Blogger TeknoGroover said...

Now, let's all think though. Japan is ahead of our time. In a few months or so, maybe a year, teenagers are going to want a van like that and soup it up. It's all about trends/fads. The souped up imports in America is going to die off soon because of the crack down on Street Racing. But give it time, and we will be seeing extravagent vans in America. ^_^

8:43 AM  
Anonymous fender master said...

pretty girl but the van is prettier!
really nice flares!

8:36 PM  
Anonymous diesel performance guy said...

There's a lot of fun things to see and explore in Japan specially with what they do with their cars. You will see a lot of modifications in bumpers, flares, etc. They will modify almost every part of the car which is really cool for me...

9:36 PM  

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