Sayonara Speed Tribes (暴走族サヨナラ) opens April 12. Run & catch it!

There was a time when Japan’s so-called Speed Tribes aka 暴走族 (bosozoku) terrorized the nation. What first started out as a bunch of kids imitating the US Hell’s Angels generated into a massive outpouring of alienated youth and vicious in gang fighting and traffic obstruction that became a national problem.  By 1976, what was once rebel youth had already started being incorporated into the Japanese mafia, with the Yamaguchi-gumi taking over the Musho-Mado (生無魔道), one bike gang.

The National Police Agency in their White Paper on Crime circa that period noted, “少年を主体とした暴走族は、車による暴走行為にとどまらず、その機動力を利用して、広域にわたって強盗、強姦等の悪質な犯罪を行っている。
 暴走族の少年に対する補導状況について、最近3年間の推移をみると、表4-6のとおりで、犯罪によって補導された少年は、昭和51年は2,309人で、前年に比べ減少したが、強盗、強姦、放火等の凶悪犯で補導された暴走族の少年は、51年には172人と著しい増加傾向にあり、暴走族の悪質化が一層浮き彫りにされた。
〔事例1〕 暴走族「生無魔道」グループは、暴力団山口組組員を相談役に置いて、同組を背景に入会金5,000円、月会費3,000円を徴集していたが、同グループの少年がグループから脱会しようとしたところ、落とし前と称して5万円を恐喝したほか、同様の方法で脱会者15人から総額53万円を恐喝していた(京都)。
〔事例2〕 暴走族「狼」グループの少年5人は、アベックを襲って強姦することを共謀し、深夜暴走中アベックを見つけては、その女性をグループのたまり場であるアパートに連行し、輪姦を続けていた(静岡)”

Over time, changes in the laws and massive police crackdowns started putting the gangs out of business, but some of the members can’t leave the past behind. Jamie Morris’s new film is a documentary on the fading out of the bosozoku focussing on one former member who wants to keep the speed demon tradition alive.

The web site explains the film, Sayonara Speed Tribes, as follows: Japan’s infamous ‘Speed Tribes’ – kamikaze styled biker gangs- have, for decades, delighted would-be rebels and terrorized the general public. Idolized in the underground, demonized by the mass media and hunted by the police, their numbers continue to dwindle into extinction. As an OB (Old Bro) Hazuki is tasked with passing on a dying tradition, but more importantly he must search out a new road or become extinct himself.

Check out the trailer here below: (just click on the image)

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We at JSRC haven’t had a chance to see the entire film yet but from what we have, it looks damn interesting. If you’re interested in Japanese subculture, fast and furious rebellion, and motorcycles–catch this film when it opens this week in Shimokitazawa.

April: 12th/13th/20th 7pm (50 mins running time)
Tollywood Theatre, Shimokitzawa:http://homepage1.nifty.com/tollywood/map/map.html
TICKETS: ¥1,000
FOR RESERVATIONS: info@figure8productions.com
Check ahead, the film may be sold out but you can always take your chances and go anyway. Live on the edge.

If you can’t catch the film, details of getting the DVD are here.