BOSOZOKU- Violent Speed Tribes in Japan
Ahmad Shadaan

PhD Researcher, Department of East Asian Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Delhi, India. E-mail:


This article explores one of the post-war Japanese subcultures known as Bosozoku, who were biker gangs and groups defying state, police, rules and regulations through speed, noise, violence and symbols during the 1970s and 1980s. Bosozoku was a youth subculture that emerged due to discontentment against the post-war establishment in Japan with capitalism and westernisation from the deprived youth who eulogised native Japanese culture and the emperor’s authority. This article briefly explores specific characteristics of the Bosozoku subculture like symbols, attire, styles and tools used to attract the authorities and people. Furthermore, how Bosozoku subculture has inspired pop culture in Japan by looking at the popular anime movie Akira. Also, looking into this subculture’s sociological and historical aspect by examining Japanese society and Akira and drawing parallels between them. This article examines the Bosozoku subculture and its delinquent behaviour, which directly challenged Japan’s established order and dominant culture and behaviour.

Keywords Bosozoku . Violent speed tribes in Japan . Movie- Akira . Youth subculture .Pop culture .