Japan's Bosozoku Motorcycle Gang Rev it Up
Friday, November 6, 2009
Motorcycling spawns subcultures. Britain has its mods and rockers, America’s got its Hells Angels, and Japan’s got its Bosozoku Motorcycle Gang. Moto-punks infused with Imperial Japanese flair, the Bosozoku style is popularized in anime and manga. The word literally translates to ‘violent running tribes.’ The Kamikaze uniform clad bikers spawned a Japanese subculture back in the ‘50.
As you can see by this video, Bosozoku love to rev their engines. They often remove mufflers to make the sound even more abrasive. And as you can tell by the flamboyant styling of their bikes, they like to be seen as well as heard. Who came up with the idea for those crazy front fairings? They take the super-fly ‘70s American chopper vibe to new heights with their funky fairings, flashy paint, obnoxious pipes, and the craziest banana seats around.
Style is everything for the Boszoku, so their garb is symbolic. It usually includes wearing a jumpsuit like those worn by manual laborers, a tokko-fuku (special attack uniform), which is a military-issue overcoat with kanji slogans and club logos. They often wear their jackets open to expose their bandaged torsos, a look inspired by Japanese World War II fighter pilots. Some wear surgical masks to protect their identity. Many sport pompadour hairstyles or punch perms.
The Bosozoku enjoy riling up cagers by running red lights and speeding through city streets playing a deadly game of cat-and-mouse where the lead bike, driven by the sentosha, is not allowed to be overtaken by the chasers. On the opposite end, they also are known to ride through suburbs at 5-10 mph revving their engines, clogging up traffic while waving imperial Japanese flags.
Found the video intriguing enough to look all this info up. Can’t decide whether it’s a cacophony or symphony of sound. Meet the Bosozoku, Japan’s ‘ Rebels Without a Cause.’
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