Inside Japan’s Chicano Subculture | NYT

Inside Japan’s Chicano Subculture | NYT

And I’m Walter, your host. If you grew up
in L.A. like I did, then you kind of understand
just how big of a deal Chicano and Chicana
culture is out here. And it’s a way for people
like myself to both honor the lives that we have here
and the lives our parents left behind in Mexico. When I first heard
that there were people copying Chicano culture
in Japan, it seemed surreal. I really had no
idea that this world could exist outside of L.A. So I decided to
go and find out how this spread so
far away and why. Our first stop: the
lowrider scene in Nagoya. Lowriders are iconic to
the Chicano community in Los Angeles, and
were created in the 1940s. They came to represent
rebellion, resilience and beauty. And so I’m curious about
how these cars got here. That’s Junichi. He’s one of the godfathers of
the Japanese lowrider scene, and founded one of the
oldest car clubs in Nagoya. Junichi’s been in this role
for more than 30 years. For questions about lowrider
culture and Chicano culture, he’s someone who people in
Japan really look up to. [cheering] My first introduction
to lowriders were actually people
in my neighborhood. My best friend
and I growing up, we used to build these
little lowrider model cars. All we wanted to do in life
was just own these lowrider cars. Being here has me thinking
about all of the cultures Japan has taken on
at different points. So it’s not
surprising that there are thousands of
people here that are into Chicano culture. For our next stop,
we’re heading to Osaka, the cultural capital
for Chicano fashion and art. Miki Style! Miki Style is a
D.J., and he runs a shop called La Puerta that
imports clothes from L.A. What’s your most
popular shirt? “DGA.” Why do you think people
love this shirt so much? Miki Style reminds
me of someone who I went to
middle school with. You know, like, shaved head,
baggy pants, baggy T-shirt. He goes to L.A. He buys clothes,
and he buys gear. And he brings it back to Japan
and has a thriving business. So when I thought about
cultural appropriation and how oftentimes
there is money being made from
a certain culture and a certain community, he
potentially fit into that. Even though Miki says
he respects the culture, it was weird seeing so much of
the allied Chicano gang scene represented in his store. So I wanted to meet
Night tha Funksta, an artist based in Osaka whose artwork
focuses on the positive aspects of Chicano culture. MoNa a.k.a. Sad Girl is one
of Japan’s most popular Chicano-style rappers. She’s released four albums,
and her international fan base has taken her to perform
in places like L.A. and San Diego. “She’s Mousey.” “Mousey.” “Sia.” “Sia.” “Maiko.” “Maiko.” “Wella.” “Wella.” “Wella.” “Which one of these women
still dress like this?” “Nobody.” “Nobody? Just you?” “Just me. Just me.” [laughs] “And what do you think is the
future of Chicano fashion and culture here in Japan?” “One, two. Check one, two.” “Sounds great.” This story attracted me
because it was asking a question about belonging. Here you had a group
of people really committed to copying
Chicano culture, but also deeply Japanese. And so for them, it
wasn’t a question of “either/or,” but
more so, “and.”

100 thoughts on “Inside Japan’s Chicano Subculture | NYT

  1. Its weird,but most of this japanese are tanned enough that if they walk in LA dressed like that they could easily been confused as mexicans …and if they talk a little bit of spanish, almost indistinguishable

  2. Its just like when i was young in the 80s us chicanos would dress like ninjas or do kung fu..its a style that will pass

  3. Growing up in Cali we had a few Asians/White/Black who were more Mexican then me!…Nah, they were good people with good hearts!

  4. Wanted north Korean fast and the furious Gangs with African Gangs for Murder this is how they got such nice cars there not American Dangerous with lots of drugs and Guns trust None of them no Orientals

  5. if y’all aren’t chicanos you shouldn’t have an opinion about this being culture appropriation or not, it ain’t even your culture-

  6. ive never tried to be like another culture, i may like the things that other cultures have, i.e. sports/tuner cars, clothing, but i would never go to the extreme of trying to act like them and make myself seem like im actually from their country

  7. Chicano culture is not dressing as a cholo. We have good music, amazing food, and we Chicanos are hard working people. I lived and worked in Compton, Pacoima, and Hawaiian gardens and that's the way you didn't wanted to dress if you wanted to live.

  8. The current theme of this video is that Chicano culture adopted by Asians is just a passing phase, a flash in the pan. Yet you hear Japanese aficionados saying they adopted the low rider culture in the 1980s and then went ahead, by many, of tattooing their entire bodies with the Virgen de Guadalupe, day of the dead masks and other Mexican cultural symbols. A lifetime of displaying those ink tattoos and other things Chicano is hardly a flash in the pan.

  9. As a Chicano here in California I wasn't really fond of this style of culture. But seeing this opened my eyes on how beautiful A culture can be influenced around that the world.

  10. Chicanos will not judge Japanese people by the actions of there ancestors but they will judge Caucasian people by the actions of there ancestors. Chicanos are an infection on the American west coast, we need to finish what Hernán Cortés began and extinguish this outdated culture

  11. It's interesting who they make something in the art form. But in reality is full of violence y machismo. clever!!

  12. Don't be too.surprised, there is a Japanese subculture for everything from 1950s greasers, surfers, punks, all things English, Japanese are constantly in search of a meaning to life.

  13. My krew has Koreans Asians Argentinos Peruanos Colombianos Chinese and Brothers drinking Tequila and Carne Asada every weekend..

  14. Cultural appropriation? As he bounces his western car technology and plays music through his western audio technology. The funniest thing about this 'cultural appropriation' is that if you counted up all the innovations, inventions, and technology of Europeans and European descendants, there wouldn't be a lot going on in the rest of the world……. no internet, no phones, no laptops, no electrical devices of ANY kind, no roads, cars, bridges, trains, planes, indoor plumbing, and on and on and on…………..

  15. They wanna drive lowrider car live the Chicano life and we over in merca dying to get their jdm parts and thier skyline and supra and nsx and rx7s

  16. Just to bring everyone back down to Earth, almost all respectable American Culture is stolen from Black culture.

  17. Great reporting, I think the more open you are to culture, the better your life experiences, I felt their passion…LA to Tokyo.

  18. Many Chicanos back in the 30sand 40s hungout with the Japanese people in California ..they learned each others language ..but WWll separated the two cultures . A Chicano Marine captured over a thousand Japanese soldiers in WWll because he convinced them to surrender by speaking to them in Japanese …that's more than Audi Murphy did who captured 40 Germans and he went on to become a Movie Star …lol.

  19. Many Chicanos back in the 30sand 40s hungout with the Japanese people in California ..they learned each others language ..but WWll separated the two cultures . A Chicano Marine captured over a thousand Japanese soldiers in WWll because he convinced them to surrender by speaking to them in Japanese …that's more than Audi Murphy did who captured 40 Germans and he went on to become a Movie Star …lol.

  20. My middle school weeb self is LIVING. Like my dad said he had a Japanese friend who was super Into the Chicano culture and I thought he was lying …

  21. Man as long as they dont disrespect which clearly they are not do y'alls thing japan..and you know it wasnt cheap getting those cars over there either

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