Gather around and listen to the tale of Discreet Relationship; the most gosh darn precious biker gang Japan has ever seen.
It’s always tricky talking with people from foreign countries about bikers in Japan. A far cry from the hulking roughneck riders in works of fiction like Sons of Anarchy or the immortal classic Chopper Chicks in Zombietown, Japan’s current crop of bosozoku bikers don’t seem quite as fearsome as they used to be and are sometimes just a bunch of teenagers with noisy scooters.
While they still certainly aren’t afraid to throw a punch or swing a bat on occasion, these young men really shine when it comes to being as obnoxious as possible on the nation’s roadways. And that’s just what a few of them did this past February 14 in Tokyo and Saitama.
According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, the leader of a bosozoku group – calling themselves “Discreet Relationship” (Himitsu no Kankei) for two years on the messaging app LINE – rallied his men for a Valentine’s Day joyride.
It’s likely that Discreet Relationship wasn’t the formal name of the gang since, like most bikers, bosozoku prefer intimidating titles that include words like “death” and “hell.” This was perhaps an informal subgroup of a larger gang or maybe they just labeled the LINE group that to avoid suspicion…which would make about as much sense as naming a yakuza front “Tight-Lipped Inc.”
During interrogation, the leader said that he contacted his men on LINE with the message “Guys who don’t have a girl assemble! Let’s go for a ride!” after he himself was unable to get a girl in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day.
About seven members of Discreet Relationship answered the call, all of them high school students ages 18 and 19. However, at least one of them must have misread the message because police have also charged a 16-year-old girl who was believed to be along for the ride.
So, after hanging out for a bit, the singletons of Discreet Relationship hit the road that led from Tokyo to Toda City, Saitama. All the while, they allegedly drove erratically weaving in and out of lanes and running red lights.
▼ News report with police footage of Discreet Relationship in action
However, while making such a huge spectacle of themselves on the relatively quiet midnight streets, it wasn’t terribly hard for Tokyo Police to find and wrangle them in a chase lasting about 1.6 kilometers (1 mile). Discreet Relationship was finally apprehended on a riverbank in Toda at about 2:30 a.m. on February 15, thus ending their reign of terror.
One member confessed his surprise to police saying, “I didn’t think a Tokyo police car would have chased us into Saitama. Cops are seriously super-scary.” Charges are still pending for Discreet Relationship as police suspect them of being involved in at least 10 other incidents of annoyingly reckless riding over the past two years.
This tale of love-scorned bikers elicited emotional responses from readers in Japan as well.
“Well, at least they had a relatively good reason for it this time.”
“Eighteen and nineteen? Aren’t they old for bosozoku?”
“I hate bosozoku, but hahaha! Let them go.”
“I know how they feel, but they gotta focus their energy into something different.”
“Their cause is just. Set them free!”
“These are the cutest bosozoku I ever heard of.”
“They didn’t seem to hold up well to the interrogation by the ‘super-scary’ police.”
“The tears in their eyes must have also made for dangerous riding.”
In the end, saint or sinner – or wherever bosozoku fall on that spectrum – we’re all human deep down inside and not invincible to a broken heart. So next time you see a biker in your country, know that he might be going through some relationship troubles too and give him a great big hug while singing some Taylor Swift lyrics.