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CULTURE
Nerd Cars
by Ami Kealoha
on 21 August 2007
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Nerd-mobiles! At Japan's twice-annual comic convention Comiket, otaku (aka "geeks") showed off their hardcore dorkiness with sticker-covered cars. Called "itasha," these geeked-out cars take their name from the Japanese kanji for "itai" (painful) and "sha" (car). Rumor has it that the character "ita" was chosen because it sounds closest to the "Ita" from "Italian." Yes, these dork wagons are a word play on "Italian Car." Because nothing is more cool and exotic than a hatch back covered in stickers.

In recent years, it has become more socially acceptable to be an otaku in Japan, where previously adults into animation, manga and video games would be reluctant to publicly display their interest. A 21 year-old college student confesses to Yahoo! News Japan, "I like anime, and I want to attract attention."

Typical decor include stickers of popular anime "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" and erotic PC game "Fate/Stay Night." But it's not just the exterior that get dolled up. Itasha are also noted for their unabashedly nerdy interiors that include figurine stands and character pillows. (Pictured below left.) Itasha have moved beyond automobiles and have expanded to bicycles. Yes, there are nerd sticker bikes, too. (Pictured below right.) Talk about otaku pride.

See more images on the Senaka Blog.

by Brian Ashcraft

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