I can remember the first time I uttered the word in public. My class of elderly ladies giggled. My useless textbook had translated the term unbelievably loosely as teenager. It was frankly, a shit translation.
Sayonara Speed Tribes does a far better job of conveying what the word means; what it is coming to mean.
Literally the term bou-sou-zoku (暴走族) translates as violent-speed-tribe. It was a handy term coined by Japanese newspapers during the heyday of the biker gangs that emerged in post war Japan to describe the loitering youths, the joyrides on motorbikes and the violent clashes that occurred when these groups crossed paths.
By the 70s these groups, like all subcultures tend to become, were highly ritualized and ironically as subcultures always seem to do reproduced much of what they claimed to be abandoning and rejecting.
These bosozoku wore the uniforms of kamikaze pilots, ran their…
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