God Speed You! Black Emperor is a Japanese documentary from 1976, it follows the life and times of the Black Emperor motorcycle gang and the very beginning of the Bōsōzoku movement. The film is the work of acclaimed director Mitsuo Yanagimachi, in fact it was his first credit as director in a career that has spanned 5 decades and counting.

The structure of the film is quite unlike similar documentaries filmed by Western directors, but I encourage you to stick with it as it’s a very rare insight into Japanese counter-culture. It’s also fun to try to name each of the motorcycles you see, which can be quite challenging after some of the more adventurous modifications.

 

Ben Branch Profile Picture Silodrome - God Speed You! Black Emperor
Founder & Senior Editor Silodrome

Ben Branch has had his work featured on CNN, Popular Mechanics, the official Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, and many more.

Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with millions of readers around the world and hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.

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