45 What is a yankī or furyō? (About Japanese Teenage Delinquent Culture)


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On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What is a yankī or furyō?

Topics Discussed
  • What a furyō is
  • The literal meaning of furyō
  • All about juvenile delinquent culture in Japan
  • The possible origin of the term furyō
  • What a yankī is
  • The possible origins of the Japanese term yankī and its links to Osaka's Amemura area
  • What a tsuppari is
  • Classic furyo fashion
  • About the rīzento (pompadour/duck's tail) hairstyle
  • How furyō would alter their gakuran (school uniforms)
  • About dokan and bontan pants
  • What a sukeban is
  • The stereotypical appearance of a sukeban
  • About Sukeban Deka
  • A theory about why furyo started shaving off their eyebrows
  • Dying one's hair blonde and associations with juvenile delinquency in Japan
  • Japanese school rules
  • The "two block" (tsūburokku) hairstyle
  • How the idea of a furyo has changed over time
  • And much more!
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Sources, Links, Videos, Etc.

Here are some of the English-language sources used for this episode.

Here are some of the Japanese-language sources used for this episode.

Here is a link to a channel run by a guy who creates a lot of content about his life with a pompadour.

Here is the video about Sukeban Deka.

Here's another related video about a sukeban shows that you might enjoy.

To learn more about Shoe Murakami, check out the Japan Station episode below.

Shoe also appears on episode 38 of Ichimon Japan.

Check out the latest episode of Japan Station, see the link below.

Support the show by picking up a t-shirt at KimitoDesigns.com.

Japanese Vocabulary List

Most episodes feature at least one or two interesting Japanese words or phrases. Here’s some of the ones that came up on this episode. All information is from Jim Breen's WWWJDIC.

  • Furyō
    • 不良 【ふりょう】 (adj-no,adj-na,n) (1) bad; poor; inferior; (n,adj-no,adj-na) (2) delinquent; hoodlum; hooligan
  • Yankī
    • ヤンキー (n) (1) (col) delinquent (youth); delinquency; (n) (2) Yankee
  • Tsuppari
    • ツッパリ (n) delinquent youth; delinquent youngster
  • Furyōkōishōnen
    • 不良行為少年 【ふりょうこういしょうねん】 (n) (See 不良・2) juvenile delinquent
  • Gakuran
    • 学ラン : 学ラン; 学らん; 学蘭 【がくラン(学ラン); がくらん(学らん,学蘭)】 (n) (col) school uniform for boys, often with stand-up collar, long jacket and loose trousers
  • Bōsōzoku
    • 暴走族 【ぼうそうぞく】 (n) (See 珍走団) young motorcycle-riding delinquents; bōsōzoku;
  • Rīzento
    • リーゼント (n) (abbr) (See リーゼントスタイル) Regent hairstyle; ducktail; Pompadour
  • Tsūburokku
    • ツーブロック : ツーブロック; ツー・ブロック (n) undercut (hairstyle) (wasei: two block)
We Want Your Questions

Is there something about Japan that confuses you? Is there something about Japanese culture that you would like to learn more about? Is there something in Japanese history that you would like us to explain? We're always looking for new questions about Japan to answer, so if you have one, please send it to ichimon@japankyo.com.

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing Theme: Produced by Apol (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Fiverr)

Ichimon Japan cover art: Produced by Erik R.

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