Bikers are a diverse lot. In Malaysia alone, we have a whole range of biker subcultures. We have the rockers, the mods, the tight leather wearing superbikers, and the fellas on Harleys to name a few, as well as your garden variety ‘rempit’. In Japan though, things are even more colourful, in a way only the Japanese can be.
The Bosozuku biker subculture began in Japan in the 1950s, as a continuation of the kaminari zoku (雷族 “Thunder Tribe”) – the first biker subculture in Japan who were more akin to British Rockers. It is said that most of the original Bosozuku members came from the lower socioeconomic classes.
Disillusioned with Japanese mainstream society, they used their motorbiking activities as an outlet, perhaps in the same way that Malaysian ‘rempit’s are doing today. What is most unique among the Bosozuku members is their motorcycle styles.
They seem to incorporate a bit of ‘Easy Rider’ along with cafe-racer styling, and some really tall fairings. Colours though are bright, and rowdy. Their dressing style is also unique, with jumpers and work uniforms common attire for these speed tribes.