暴走族 -Bosozoku (violent speed tribe). This now refers to the people who give their cars or even bikes modifications including but not limited to 10 foot long exhaust pipes and 5 foot long front splitters.
Modifications like these are the kinds of components that go into Bosozoku vehicles, but Bosozoku isn’t a recent phenomenon. The Bosozoku car culture has been alive for many, many years and has even traveled across continents.
Bosozoku traces its roots all the way back to the end of World War Two. At this time, Japan wasn’t in a very good condition. Following devastating years of war, almost everything and everyone was struggling and there was a shortage of practically everything. While industry was being rebuilt and gaining some strength after the war, almost all of society was destroyed.
Yet within those in the Japanese society were a number of military pilots. These once highly respected aviationists were used to the rush and danger of battling in dangerous situations. As a result of this, many of them joined together to create motorcycle groups which they called “Kaminari Zoku” or Thunder Tribes. Some people would refer to them as gangs. In these tribes they caused chaos to simulate the dangers they’d faced in battle for their country. However, as they got older, these soldiers had no choice but to stop and were later replaced with a new, younger generation in the 1960’s and 70’s.
The members of these tribes had their own set of laws and were often very set aside from the rest of Japanese society. After a while of police trying to stop the violence and chaos Bosozoku members were causing, the levels of actual gang violence dropped a great deal and people were largely just customizing their vehicles this way for the fun of it.
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