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Yoshinaga Masayuki and 

the Pageantry of Speed

by Eric C. Shiner

YOSHINAGA MASAYUKI, Jinshu Association Dreamland, 2000, C-print. All images courtesy the artist.

Photographer Yoshinaga Masayuki captures the regalia and spectacular, chrome-laden souped-up steeds of the nocturnal bosozoku motorcycle gangs of Japan's underworld. The motorcycle gangs are comprised mainly of young men and women under 20 who exhibit a potent mix of youthful alienation and nationalist identification, with many of the members sewing symbols such as the Japanese imperial flag and the golden chrysanthemum— the imperial crest— onto their uniforms. In large groups, the gangs…

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