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‘Bosozuku’ brings manga to life and cracks the polite veneer we expect from japan

It’s only fitting that we kick-off this column in our inaugural issue with Masayuka Yoshinga’s visual love story to Bosozuku bike culture. Get it now at Trolley Books.

Bosozoku is the secret world of Japanese bike gangs, who gather every week in their thousands for rallies in the major urban areas of the country. Shot by a leading fashion and reportage photographer, himself a member of one of the gangs, this is a colourful look at the strange and often violent subculture that takes its lead from the Hells Angels, and is linked to the Japanese mafia.

Photography by Masayuka Yoshinaga

In Bosozoku Japan’s leading maverick photographer reveals a unique vision of the notorious Japanese bike gangs, often linked to the underground activities of the Yakuza. A former member of the Bosozoku himself, Masayuka Yoshinaga has revealed hidden secrets of Japan’s biker gangs.

“This is a colourful look at the strange and often violent subculture that takes its lead from the Hells Angels”

Trolley Books

The Japanese term “Bosozoku” refers to a specific Japanese phenomenon, the teenage bike gangs based in the urban centres of Japan that gather every weekend in the major metropolises, such as Osaka and Tokyo, for mass rallies of bikers in their thousands.

Photography by Masayuka Yoshinaga

First formed in the 1950s, when the Hell’s Angels in the U.S. reached their apogee with Marlon Brando in The Wild Ones, the Bosozoku have a tame equivalent in the Mods and Rockers that fought pitched battles on Brighton Beach in Britain in the late 1960s. They are also considered in Japan to be the first rung on the ladder for would-be members of the Yakuza (the Japanese equivalent of the Mafia).

Photography by Masayuka Yoshinaga

Bosozoku was the first book to reveal the intimate secrets of Japanese biker gangs, through a series of stunning images captured by the leading Japanese photographer Masayuki Yoshinaga over a six year period. He himself was a member of the Bosozoku, and has gained an unprecedented access to their secret societies.

Photography by Masayuka Yoshinaga

His homage to the bikers include images of the various Bosozoku clubs throughout Japan, including female bike gangs, alongside studio portraits of individual members with their customised bikes, and the mass rallies and road wars that have made the Bosozoku subculture such a world-wide underground phenomenon.

To buy your copy of ‘Bosozuku’ visit Trolley Books here

Written By

Trolley Books was founded in 2001 by Gigi Giannuzzi, and quickly gained a reputation for publishing award-winning stories in photography, photojournalism and contemporary art, forging relationships with some of the world’s most renowned artists and photographers, as well as discovering new and unseen talents.

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