While they supposedly serve as a recruiting ground for the Yakuza, Japanese bike and hot rod gangs - known as bosozoku (speed tribes) - are not particularly daunting to most westerners. For starters, rather than being the huge, hulking, hairy, leather-clad menaces one associates with North American bike gangs, most of bosozuku are under 25, don't need to shave, ride 250 cc motorbikes or (snicker) scooter and weigh about 120 pounds soaking wet with a brick in each pocket. The pathetic bikes they ride generally are modified to be as loud as possible, something you never need to do with a real motorcycle like a Harley or an Indian or even a large engined Yamaha or Kawasaki. They supposedly do some intimidating for the Yakuza and deal at little meth and have been known to gang up in groups of hundreds and take over small villages or resorts for the weekend, but their main form of menace is to get together in groups of about ten to several dozen and ride down the expressway at super-slow speeds, blocking traffic. Obviously, they are lucky not to have met a road-rage afflicted North American driving a Cadillac. Yet.
They often have silly haircuts and wear what look for all the world like embroidered lab coats and seem more interested most of the time with taking pictures of each other trying to look tough or cool than in causing any actual mayhem. The meanest, toughest ones probably end up as low level Yakuza, some probably end up in the militant right-wing black bus brigades the rest probably are doomed to a life of day labor, sho-chu and pachinko. The average westerner in Japan generally reacts to them with veiled amusement or simple irritation, but the Japanese consider them an absolute Menace to Society on par with cancer, AIDS or drunken U.S. servicemen.
It's about time someone taught those scooter-trash punks a lesson! The cops need to crack down on these damned criminal bike gangs once and for all! People are mad as hell and they aren't going to take it any more! It time for action:
Bosozoku bike gangs in Ginowan called names
Takeshi Kawamura and Ryuhei Yoshimura / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writers
Police and residents in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, have launched a campaign to drive away bosozoku motorcycle and automobile gangs using the epithet "dasaizoku" (uncool gangs) to describe them.
The campaign aims to embarrass bike gang members and encourage them to quit their reckless riding and driving. But will it work?
No. It won't.
This has been another edition of short answers to stupid questions.
Admittedly, Japan has a very different culture and the bosozoku are not exactly the Hell Angels, (they aren't even Hell's Grannies) but unless the goal is to make them laugh too hard to be able to stay on their ridiculous little bikes, this is so not going to work.