Gaisensha at Kashihara Shrine: “Itasha for Crazy Nationalists”

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The auto-vehicular event of the year for Japan’s flag rubbing nationalists has brought all manner of “gaisensha” – propaganda trucks, usually of the “uyoku” or right wing variety – out into the open for the annual “National Foundation Day” rite.

The trucks gather every year on the 11th of February at the Kashihara Shrine in Nara prefecture to show off their vehicles to other emperor worshipping maniacs, though their attendance is ostensibly to celebrate an obscure Shinto rite with some elderly folk with nothing better to do.

Fortunately, some suspiciously knowledgeable photographers were in attendance to document the spectacle for those unfortunate enough to have missed this fascinating celebration of noise pollution masquerading as political speech:

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Although the classic use of such vehicles is for loudly spewing ultra-nationalist propaganda at hapless bystanders, as with most such things in Japan, there may be an ulterior motive – owners of vehicles classified as “special use automobiles” (including propaganda trucks) can apparently dodge most vehicle taxes by the simple expedient of mounting various speakers and microphones on their vehicle.

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