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Does Japan’s Mitsuoka Motors count as a carmaker? It’s debatable. Yes, the company does have its own dealers that sell Mitsuoka-branded cars. Almost all of them, though, are Nissans or Mazdas with extensive cosmetic modifications. Even the company’s Orochi coupe, which has its own dedicated body, uses an engine built by Toyota.

So let’s ask an easier question: Are Mitsuoka’s cars visually unique? Unquestionably. The company has always made aesthetics the number-one priority in all of its vehicles, and that tradition continues with woodcarving so exquisite it wouldn’t look at all out of place in a Japanese castle, but which instead graces this Mitsuoka sedan.

Mitsuoka uses the Nissan March as the donor car for its Viewt. This being Mitsuoka, the interior is spruced up quite a bit from the utilitarian March, with copious planes of leather and a luxurious wood-panel dashboard.

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But Mitsuoka decided to do something even swankier for its newly unveiled Viet Toyama. For this special edition, the plain piece of wood seen above gets replaced with a work of Inami engraving, a woodworking technique that has its roots in the 14th century and makes use of a staggeringly large array of specialized chisels.

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First, the craftsman planned the layout. Inami engraving was originally developed in Toyama, where Mitsuoka is headquartered, and for the artist decided to recreate the view of the prefecture’s beautiful Tateyama mountain range, as seen beyond Toyama Bay.

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▼ The finished, installed panel

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And just to make things even more refined, the panel also includes a flower holder, in which a wood-carved blossom sits.

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The rear section of the car also benefits from the traditional crafts of Toyama, as the back parcel shelf is covered with Ecchu washi paper. Like Inami engraving, Ecchu washi has a long history, with mentions of the traditional Japanese paper being found in historical records dating back to the Nara period of the 8th century.

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Unfortunately for lovers of both the fine and automotive arts, the Viewt Toyama is a one-off concept car, and Mitsuoka is not currently planning to offer it for sale. The company would be happy to sell you one of its standard Viewts, though, and its cultured sensibilities serve as a reminder that anime-themed itasha aren’t the only way to stand out from the dull econoboxes that so often fill Japan’s roadways.

Source: Japaaan, Nippon Kichi (1, 2)
Top image: Mitsuoka Motors
Insert images: Mitsuoka Motors (1, 2) (edited by RocketNews24)