Japanese biker gangs - get the bosozoku style
Bosozoku ("violent running gang") is a Japanese subculture associated with motorcycle gangs. At their worst they start weapons with sword and molotov cocktails, but mostly they're about style, noise and speed. We give you the bosozoku history and how-to fashion style.
A history of the bosozoku gangs
Bosozoku were first seen in the 1950s as the Japanese automobile industry expanded rapidly. The first bosozoku were known as kaminari-zoku ("Lightning Tribes"). They'd hand around city centres listening 'The Roosters' and 'The Street Sliders' at full volume.
The word bosozoku is also applied to motorcycle gangs, who share an interest in modifications (often illegal) for motorcycles, such as removing the mufflers so that more noise is produced. These bosozoku groups also engage in dangerous or reckless driving, such as weaving in traffic, not wearing motorcycle helmets, and running red lights. Another activity is shinai boso speeding in city streets, not usually for street racing but more for thrills. With many bikes involved, the leading one is driven by the sentosha, the leader, who is responsible for the event and is not allowed to be overtaken. Japanese police call them Maru-So, and dispatch a police vehicle to trail any groups of bikes to prevent any possible incidents, which can include riding through suburbs at speeds of 5-10 miles an hour, creating a loud disturbance and waving imperial Japanese flags, to starting fights which can include weapons such as swords and Molotov cocktails. These bosozoku gangs are generally composed of people under the legal adult age, which in Japan is 20 years old, and are subject to increasing state and police pressure.
Getting the Bosozoku style
In anime and manga, typical bosozoku member often wear a uniform that mixes 1950s soldier, 1950s rocker and a sense of dystopian, apocalyptic futurism:
Mookychick loves Japanese Fashion Tribes and Anime
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Nasty look, long dyed hair, military dress with kanji motifs, too much make-up - this girl's bosozoku through and through!
Taking bosozoku fashion into the west: Long dyed hair, military elements, high heels and weird armbands
Long bosozoku overcoat, dyed hair, high heels, weird armband AND tasuki sash! Amazing. You've got to be in it to win it.
Surgical masks? Dungarees? Heavy boots? Customised bike? Oh god. These girls are amazing.
Kyoku manga - check the bosozoku girl on the left. Is nice.