Have a Bosozoku New Year with Hatsuhinode, First Sunrise Run


Did you spend your January first running from the cops? Then you are probably a fine, upstanding citizen because that’s the preferred New Year’s tradition of the bosozoku.


In the Japanese custom of hatsuhinode, one watches the first sunrise of the new year. That usually entails a trip to the coast or climbing a nearby hill, but if you’re bosozoku, then you cruise all night till the break of dawn! Fun activities include maniacal revving, meandering with several vehicles abreast to slow traffic to a halt, and blasting through toll booths without paying.


The Chuo Expressway west of downtown Tokyo is the unofficial drag, and most violent running tribes know to gather there. Unfortunately, so does the local constabulary.


Year after year, it’s a showdown against the police, who have learned to establish roadblocks. But bosozoku being bosozoku, they often attempt to charge through anyway. Such action usually results in smashed windows and forcible removal from your vehicle. Watch a swarm of lawmen descend upon this Soarer like zombies feasting on a corpse.


If you see an officer straight cold tearing your spoiler right off your zokusha, it’s because you’re in violation of your yobikensa, a visual inspection of your car when you got it registered. Really, officer, a six-foot takeyari exhaust is a factory accessory for a Nissan Cedric!


These antics might appeal to gaijin observers of Japanese car culture, but they are hated with ferocity by the average Tokyoite.  In the 80s and 90s hatsuhinode arrests were in the hundreds, but since 2009 the number has dwindled. This year, Yamanashi police cuffed only 35 bosozoku. It’s not that more are slipping through armored bus barricades, it’s that there are fewer and fewer of them. Japanese car culture is on the wane, so perhaps it falls to us gaijin to carry on the tradition.

[HinodeBoso]

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8 Responses to Have a Bosozoku New Year with Hatsuhinode, First Sunrise Run

  1. cesariojpn said:

    So when did the Japanese police use Mercedes Sprinter Vans?

  2. Kuroneko said:

    Monday – Coming of Age Day – saw perhaps 200+ boso congregate at Ebina PA on the Tomei for a very raucous celebration of revving and horning. The largest gathering I’ve seen in a long time. Perhaps a revival is looming after all… Neko.

  3. Jim said:

    Wow! That is wild. And I think California’s smog regulations are a bummer. Glad I don’t live where the cops throw traffic cones at your car and break your car to pieces in front of you.

  4. Charlie said:

    If toyota didnt have autolock features, these guys wouldnt of had there windows smashed

  5. Tyler said:

    Badass. I’ve been watching Bosozoku Style for awhile now, and think this culture is really interesting. I’m not that ballsy with cops, but still try to look the part. Very nice post! It would be fun to set up a midnight run locally, though I don’t know how many people I could get :P

    But I’ve got a couple more grammatical questions. Words like bosozoku and takeyari and stuff are very foreign, without the pluralisms of English. How do you incorporate them in a sentence? Is takeyari singular or plural? If you have dual pipes, does it change the word?

    And, how do they support those giant pipes? I’m looking to do it to my Rabbit and wondering what the best technique would be.

    Thanks, Tyler

  6. Ben said:

    I think it’s like fish. The plural of takeyari is takeyari, at least that’s how I write it.

  7. Tyler said:

    Also, God Bless America for letting me do whatever the fuck I want to my car. :D

    • Moneyshot said:

      Yes Thank god for America and its anti-pollution laws in the 70s-80 wiping out most of the historic cars we enjoy today..an

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