Fact #3: Vehicle used to move house does exist


Have you ever wonder what kind of car (mini-truck) is used at the beginning of My Neighbor Totoro? Is it based on a real car or is it from the imagination of Miyazaki?

At the beginning of the movie, we can see the Kusakabe family moving to a new house with the help of someone. The moving guy is probably not a family member because there is no affection or real dialog between him and the Kosukabe family.

moving car
moving car front view

To move all their belongings, the moving guy is using some kind of car that seems to be a Daihatsu Midget model DK built by Daihatsu Motor CO., Ltd. This model was build from 1957 to 1972, which is when the story took place.

Here is a short description of this car:
For a period after the war, cars were restricted to official use in Japan. Later, the popularization of the car came about through the commercial car. It was the release of the three-wheeled Midget in 1957 which finally put the car in the hands of the people. It had a low price and was easy to handle. Furthermore, the fact that it could be driven with a light vehicle license led to explosive sales. It was the representative three-wheeler of the time. The first DKA model had a kickstarter and a handlebar, similar to that of a motorcycle. The efforts to decrease costs and to standardize were readily apparent.
daihatsu
Source: Toyota Museum

For more information about Daihatsu Midget DK, here are the links to the Wikipedia page in English and in Japanese.

The brand Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. still exists and it is the oldest car maker in Japan. Daihatsu was founded in 1902 in Osaka.
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