Japan Itoshima Itasha Cars

While passing by a parking lot I had my first experience seeing a car covered in characters from anime/manga. I had seen images of cars like this online but it wasn’t until my time in Itoshima that I beheld one with my own eyes. Apparently these sorts of cars are called “itasha” in Japanese and the name literally translates to “painful car”. Originally itasha referred to expensive Italian cars that wealth Japanese people would buy in the 1980s and the “pain” in the word itasha was about how your wallet would be hurting from purchasing the car. Over the years an outgrowth of the anime/manga culture in Japan led to people decorating their cars with stickers and paint jobs of their favorite manga/anime characters and eventually the word itasha started being used to refer to these sorts of cars. I guess now the “pain” of itasha is that some people find them painful to look at. I personally don’t have any issue with itasha cars, though I don’t think I’d ever turn my own car into one of these.

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