Graveyard Shift

Japan Has Biker Gangs, Too, And They Can Be Even More Extreme Than American Bikers

The bōsōzoku, which are Japanese motorcycle clubs, have existed since the 1950s. Born out of post-war counterculture and an expanding automobile market, bōsōzoku riders took to the streets on heavily customized bikes to show off their social influence. 

While traditionally boys' clubs, the bōsōzoku have a version of American biker "old ladies," and in recent years, the Japanese motorcycle clubs have become more inclusive through necessity - their numbers are steadily declining. Nevertheless, members of the youthful Japanese counterculture have made their presence known via #bōsōzoku on Instagram, and they continue to ride freely through the streets of Japan. 

The rise and fall of the bōsōzoku motorcycle clubs document a wild history of riders who refuse to let their legacy end.