It’s this parade, this cavalcade of chaos, that rips through towns, weaving in and out of traffic, running red lights and speeding for the thrill of it. And just like an American MC, the leader rides up front, the head of the dragon. Japanese police call these processions Maru-Sō and occasionally dispatch cruisers to trail the groups to prevent possible incidents, which, have, in the past, included: riding very slowly through suburbs at speeds of ten kmh, revving their engines while waving imperial Japanese flags and starting fights that, have also, in the past, included weapons such as wooden swords, metal pipes, baseball bats and molotov cocktails.
“The bōsōzoku world is a very scary place,” Kazuhiro Hazuki, a former bōsōzoku gang leader told Vice News
in 2015, who was a teenager when he first joined. “Even at that age, the level violence is astonishing.” As the former 21st leader of Chiba’s Narashino Specter chapter, Hazuki recalls the violence with a mixture of fondest and regret.
“We used to hide on the sides of Route 357 with our weapons,” he said. “Then we’d throw a rope across the street so when the other gangs arrived, we’d pull the ropes tight and trip their bikes. Then we’d attack them.” Adding: “you gotta prey on them before they prey on you.”