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Rockabilly Subculture In Tokyo In Black And White Portraits

Rockabilly is an American born movement in the 1950s. Incorporated with hairstyles and fashion trends of that era, people who are in the Rockabilly movement have their lifestyles laid out according to that specific theme.

So, a photographer who is from one of the birthplaces of the Rockabilly movement; Tennessee, has flown into Japan, to check out the Japanese people who embraced the Rockabilly culture and they are known as the Roller Zoku gangs. Denny Renshaw, the photographer took interest in this since Japan and the US share come competitive, rival and similarities with each other. So, he has travelled halfway across the globe with no prior contact.

Although he was able to spot the Japanese people who live a Rockabilly lifestyle, he was not quite welcomed at first when he tried to get pictures at the Yoyogi Park of Harajuku district. Remember, Rockabilly culture has a lot of Rock ‘n’ roll, leather outfits and bicycle gang influences as well. 

After a while of convincing the people that Renshaw was not to cause trouble, he had a very brief time with a handful of people. He took his initial ‘Black and White’ portraits quickly in a very little time under an hour. But the Roller Zokus were convinced when he showed them the pictures to make them understand his intention of documenting them.

With the positive relationship built with these Japanese gangs, he has few other successful trips to Japan where he was warmly welcomed and got to finish his portraits taken. It is really nice to see cultures of the 50s to still be in style in the present day and Renshaw has done a great job in capturing them in their element.

This set of portraits made a lot of people aware of the Rockabilly culture and the fact that it is not only limited to Americans. Please scroll down to check out these ‘Black and White’ portraits of the Roller Zoku gangs. Do not forget to comment down your thoughts about this culture and these set of pictures as well.

More info & Photo courtesy: Denny Renshaw | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr


Written by Alex Bradley

Reading, creative writing, poetry writing, language learning and grappling with literature have been my passions since I was young. Keen interest in cinematography and music feilds. Completed my Ordinary and Advanced levels in languages stream successfully. I have taken part in European Union missions in Sri Lanka. I have also completed my certificate courses in programming. And also a student and working in Tourism and Hotelling. Apart from writing, i am a vocalist and environmentalist.

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