To truly understand the Japanese minitruck culture as a whole, we delved deep inside one of the biggest and most respected custom minitruck shops on the island, Tint Shop. With minitruck customization becoming more and more popular overseas, there are quite a few shops that have tried to cash in on these evolving trends. But, with quality work being of high demand, only the best have survived the test of time.
Koji Ishigake, owner of Tint Shop, Japan, started in 1993 with a solid background in lowriders. He began building lowriders in 1990 and has never looked back. Koji first became interested in minitrucks after coming to the United States in 1996, when he saw some of the amazing trucks we had. It was then that he decided to dedicate his time to customizing minitrucks "American style."
Although the language barrier makes it difficult to communicate, one thing that comes across loud and clear is that Koji is one of the coolest guys we've ever met. He's humble and hospitable, and after spending a few hours with him, we learned that he has a heart of gold. He's a true friend and an all-around great guy.
Be on the lookout for many cool customs to come out of Tint Shop, and you know we'll bring them to you first!
Who Is Tint Shop?Name: Koji IshigakeBorn: October 19, 1970Marital Status: Married, with two kidsOpened In: 1993Number Of Employees: One: Katsusuke NakanoNumber Of Trucks Built: More than 150, and more than20 body-dropsFavorite Minitruck: Old-skool late '80s styleFirst Minitruck Owned: '83 Nissan 720Current Mini: '83 Nissan 720Number Of Total Minis Owned: two 720s, two S-10s, two Hardbodys, and three Toyotas First 'Bagged Truck Owned: Toyota in 1999First Body-Dropped Truck: Toyota in 1999