IMPORTANT! To provide a personalized LatinLife experience, please enable your Geolocation

Japanese Cholos? Check Out Japan's Intense Chicano Subculture

Culture & Community By O. DELGADO
Japanese Cholos? Check Out Japan's Intense Chicano Subculture

Meet the "cholos" of Japan

Imagine a street full of cruising, bouncing lowriders, men wearing shorts with high socks, white shirts, bandanas, beanies, caps and jerseys repping the Dodgers, women with hoops and lined lips...

Nope, you're not in Los Angeles, you're not even in California or the U.S.  This is Japan, where a Chicano subculture thrives.

According Chicano, a documentary about Japan's cholos, the culture was introduced by imported magazines like Lowrider in the 90s.  There are thousands of people in major cities across Japan, from Osaka to Tokyo, who dress and live like "chicanos."

Recently, the New York Times sent a real Chicano to Japan to check out the scene and interview some of the subculture's major players, including DJ and Chicano merch importer Miki Style and rapper MoNa A.K.A. Sad Girl.

View this post on Instagram

Have a firme friday????

A post shared by MoNa (@monajapan) on


View this post on Instagram

先週末は福岡【DIPPIN']】お疲れ様でした~\(^o^)/ 約4年振りの福岡は楽しみにしていた通り、到着してから帰るまでの終始メチャメチャ楽しすぎました~\(^o^)/笑 九州の色んな方々の男気(女気も含む!笑)を頂いた九州WEST COASTを体感した最高の一夜(^^) 遊びに来てくれた皆さん、ミキスタイルの応援に駆けつけてくれた皆さん、今回DIPPIN'に招いてくれた@djlaonda 姉さんを始めDIPPIN'の皆さん及びスタッフの皆さん、関係者の皆さん、本当にありがとうございました~(^o^) #福岡 #dippin #standbop #親不孝通り #DJMIKISTYLE #bandarap #spanishrap #latinhiphop #レポは今回もブログに書いてます #800円のヘパリーゼ #メッチヤ効くやん #安いやつは #ヘバローゼ  #今日潜り納めの素潜り行けた!笑

A post shared by LA PUERTA & MIKISTYLE (@dj_mikistyle) on

Although most of these Japanese cholos are focused on copying the stereotypical chicano culture they see represented in films, TV, and magazines, some of them feel a real connection with Mexican Americans:

“In Japan, people have strong family values and have a strong social identity. They keep where they are from or where they grew up deeply in their minds. [Like Chicanos.]

We feel sympathy toward them and connect in the way they express their opinions, love their crews, family, and work hard on the things that they love. In my opinion, this is what brings the Chicano and Japanese cultures together.”