The term “bosozoku,” which translates to “violent speed gangs,” emerged in the 1970s, when riots between the bikers and the police materialized. Born from nationalistic beliefs of a pure, pre–Meiji Restoration Japan, and inspired by rebellious American greaser subcultures, the bosozoku youth believe themselves to be the inheritors of the samurai—loyal to the emperor and their nation in an era where Japan has been thoroughly defeated and occupied. Because they are typically from low-income families who live at the margins of Japanese society, the boys and girls of these motorcycle gangs are often neglected. Beyond being mere delinquents, the bosozoku are organized underground societies with their own values and convictions that parallel the collective hierarchies of Japanese culture. Together, the bosozoku youth find meaning in a world that has forgotten them.
Fascinated by the similarities between lowrider culture and the bosozoku, Oriol would ride around with the gangs at night, even attending underground parties in Sendai where roughly 500 bikes were present. With lighter and easier-to-control motorbikes, the bosozoku would perform snake-like maneuvers together, leaning their bikes “side-to-side, going back and forth, and revving up the gas,” as Oriol described to Artsy. Despite the stigma surrounding these communities, Oriol insists that their culture revolves around integrity, culture, and tradition. “The number one thing is respect,” Oriol noted. “Respect the higher-ups, follow the code—the rules and the traditions—and make nice-looking bikes.”