Life Inside Japan's Aging Biker Gangs

VICE Japan followed some of the country's most infamous bikers to hear about their violent pasts and dying subculture.

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Nov 17 2015, 2:50pm

Japanese motorcycle gangs, known as bosozoku, have been wreaking havoc since the 1970s, roaming the highways with their customized bikes and waging war against rival crews and cops. Being part of one of these gangs—each with their own distinct jumpsuits—was a frantic lifestyle, one associated with violence and even early death. Young people were recruited by elders in the early teens to join and taught to protect the reputation of their gang, even if that meant standing one's ground when grossly outnumbered.

In recent years, with stricter laws and a police crackdown, bosozoku have become nearly extinct. Yet for those who were a part of the subculture during its heyday, memories of their reckless youths remain.

VICE Japan followed some of the most infamous Japanese motorcycle gang members to hear about their glory days and the dying subculture.

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