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Itasha (痛車) is a Japanese car aesthetic that refers to the Otaku style of decorating cars with ficticional characters from anime, manga or videogames. This aesthetic can also be applied to other vehicles, aircraft, computer cases and even bags. The Itasha decoration usually consists of stickers, drawings and Japanese text over cars. This aesthetic surged in the 2000s.

In Japan, Itasha cars are usually found in the Japanese districts of Akihabara (Tokyo), Nipponbashi (Osaka) and Ōsu (Nagoya).


In the 80s, imported luxury cars were widely demanded in Tokyo. The term "Itasha" in Japanese was first used as a slang for luxury cars imported from Italy (Ita, from Italian + Sha, meaning car), which were very appreciated in Japan back then.
Later the meaning of the word "Itasha" evolved to mean "Cringeworthy car" or "Painful car", mixing the words "Itai" (Painful/cringe) and "Sha" (Car), referring to how expensive they were - "painful to the wallet".

The Itasha car subculture began to rise in the 1980s but it wasn't very revelant until the 2000s, when Anime became more internationalized. Back in the 1980s, Itasha cars were mainly decorated with stickers and plushies.
In 2007, the first Itasha-themed convention, Autosalone, was held in Ariake, Tokyo, making the Itasha subculture more popular.
In 2008, the Japanese company Aoshima Bunka Kyozai started producing Itasha cars, and since then more companies started producing their own too.


The visuals consist of vehicles, computer cases or bags decorated with anime characters, manga characters or videogame characters. The designs are mainly colorful and have Japanese text on them. Itasha refers to cars, Itachari refers to bicycles, Itansha refers to motorbikes, Itabasu refers to buses, Itatorakku refers to trucks, Itadensha refers to trains and Itabags refers to bags.



Some videogames feature Itashas, or allow you to create them:


Itasha doesn't have any specific musical genre attached to it, however Japanese EDM, Eurobeat and Trance music are often associated with it:

Musical Artists[]