Farewell Mr. Sato Car. It’s the end of an era, but with the promise of a new day.

About four years ago we discovered a Mistubishi Minica Guppy in working condition for only 980 yen (2014 US$8.20) and didn’t hesitate to buy it.

Despite the suspicious price tag, it served us well as a means of transportation and subject for our experiments. However, in 2016, something went wrong.

It started out innocently as a birthday present for our star reporter Mr. Sato. We had the Minica customized by a leading itasha designer to become the Mr. Sato Car, bearing his many likenesses – clothed and unclothed – over the years.

We took it on many adventures such as going to Starbucks and registering it for the Tokyo Auto Salon custom car show. But the whole time, the vehicle seemed to repel people and animals alike. It was as if the car created an aura of lifelessness around it – a void if you will.

We soon realized dark forces were at play, so we attempted to seal the evil power of the Mr. Sato car using magic


Taking a cue from the Rolling Stones, we painted the entire car black using only magic markers and succeeded. It was hard work, but the results were surprisingly good. Not a trace of Mr. Sato could be seen, even after taking it through a car wash.

Afterwards, it seemed all was back to normal. The neighbors of the car’s keeper, Go Hatori, even began speaking to him again. Bit by bit we learned to have fun with this discount car once more, giving it racing stripes using tape and some fake wood paneling from the 100 yen shop Daiso.

We even cooked monjayaki and curry on its hood during the record-setting heatwave of 2018. However, during one of our carbecues someone made a bone-chilling discovery.

▼ “Do you see it?”

▼ “There…”

▼ “He lives…”

Mr. Sato was back and undoubtedly held a grudge for our transgressions. A dark cloud once again hung over the car, causing the smiles to fade from everyone’s face and the birds to stop chirping.

This had to be dealt with once and for all. It was a hard choice to make, but even back when we first decided to plaster it with Mr. Sato’s face, we knew the day would come when one of us would have to destroy the other.

So, with a heavy heart and a bittersweet smile Go began singing the popular graduation song, “Sudachi no Uta” (Song of Leaving the Nest) and started to exorcise the Minica while thinking about the good times they had together.

▼ Please listen along as you witness the great undoing.

▼ “The color of the flowers…♪ The shade of the clouds…♪”

▼ “They take me back…♪ Those memories…♪”

▼ “And linger in the window…♪ Of days gone by…♪”

▼ “Leaving the nest…♪ Today we part…♪”

▼ “Fare thee well…♪”

▼ “Farewell, Satooooooo….♪”

▼ “Fare thee well…♪”

▼ “Farewell, my old foooooe…♪”

▼ “For a beautiful…♪ Tomorrow’s daaaaaayyyy…♪”

▼ A time-lapse of the entire process can be seen here

This was by no means an easy task, both emotionally and physically. The spirit of Mr. Sato clearly wasn’t ready to leave and fought tooth-and-nail to remain with the car. Go had to use all of this strength on the blistering hot afternoon to rip the two entities apart once and for all.

During the struggle Mr. Sato managed to peel off several of Go’s fingertips as well. The rest of our reporter’s hands were aching and terribly calloused, but…



▼ “A wad of Mr. Sato”

With Mr. Sato nothing more than a sticky wad of paper on the pavement, Go smiled to himself and whispered…

▼ “This car is clean.”

The clouds parted and Go suddenly noticed the scent of the flowers around him. It was a smell that he hadn’t experienced in quite a while.

Even his father, whom he hadn’t seen in two years, came out of hiding.

▼ Go’s Dad: “What’s up son? Hey, nice car!”

This isn’t the end, however, merely the beginning of new adventures to be had with our cheap-ass car. Sometimes in life you have to move backwards before you can truly go forwards, even if it means parting ways with your long-time companions…

…and making new ones along the way.

Images: SoraNews24
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