no colour please, we’re japanese
Ask any UK used car dealer what the least popular colour for cars is, and more likely than not, he’ll tell you it’s white.
Just take one look at the streets and car parks of Japan, and you’ll see that, far from languishing at the bottom of the car colour league (and there is such a thing), white is by far the most popular colour for Japanese motorists.
Theories for this discrepancy abound – British folks, although fairly conservative, feel safely and anonymously hidden in their car, and so like a dash of colour to spice things up. For the Japanese, though, even this bold little expression of individuality is really sticking your neck out, and as a consequence white is the choice of the majority.
(Here at least the Japanese are consistent. The majority has a fervent wish to remain anonymous and hence white is number one. Many British have no great desire to stick out either, but call it privacy. We even crave attention, but are uncomfortable when we get it.)
Japanese roads then are full of white. For the imprudently bold, silver is permissible. Anything off-palette is punishable by social ostracism, or in cases of extreme garishness, death. No woman would marry a man with a red car for fear of her social standing and reputation.
Japan is changing though, and embracing the new century. Cars are being produced in all manner of offensive shades of pinks, yellows, greens, and other uninvited outbursts of individuality. All social standards are collapsing, in fact, as we look ahead to a bleak, colourful future.