Tokyo Rockabilly dancers in full color

Japanese greaser in black leather outfit

Tokyo rockabilly in color? I used to photograph the Yoyogi Park dancers in black and white. But not this time. I chose to capture them in color. It worked about well. Why? Well, this time, I saw something new.

man in Fallen Angel black leather jacket

Rockabilly dancing has been a popular subculture in Japan since the 1950s. Of course, it has its ups and downs. But Yoyogi Park in Harajuku is the best place to see them. Every weekend, dedicated dancers gather at the entrance.

Fallen Angel members dancing

Every Sunday, hairspray, and combs get a lot of overtime. Leather jackets and vintage dresses are the go. Pompadours are common. The music blares from a small stereo, and the dancers move in unison, twirling and jumping to the beat.

Strangers member dancing

The group I’ve photographed most is Strangers. Occasionally, I’ve seen Fairlady and Lebels. This time, I saw a new group. Well, for me, they were new, Fallen Angel.

Japanese man in black leather pants dancing

Fall Angel members obviously liked leather! That reminded me of many years ago when those outfits were standard. In recent years, most dancers at Yoyogi Park wear simple blue denim. That’s been my experience.

Japanese rockabilly couple dancing

Anyway, perfect weather saw a big turnout of dancers. The men and women ranged anywhere from about twenty to sixty, and maybe older. Age doesn’t matter. They all share a passion for their subculture.

They have a strong sense of community. Many of them have been coming to Yoyogi Park for years. It is where they connect with others who share their love of rockabilly. They have formed close bonds with one another and welcome newcomers.

Japanese greaser in black leather outfit dancing

I only had limited time, so I didn’t have a chance to talk to the dancers. Whether Fallen Angel is old or new, I don’t know. In all my visits to Yoyogi Park on a Sunday afternoon, I’ve never seen them. If you know, please tell us.

Japanese greaser dancing

Anyway, the rockabilly dance scene at Yoyogi Park is a vibrant and unique subculture. It showcases the energy, passion, and spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. While it has faced some challenges in recent years, it remains a beloved part of Tokyo’s landscape. They are a must-see for anyone visiting the city.

Fallen Angel member dancing

Why did I shoot Tokyo rockabilly dancers in color?

The answer is simple. In the past, I saw most dancers in simple blue denim. That isn’t an eye-catching material. On the other hand, some onlookers’ clothes were very bright and colorful which was a distraction. I wanted to strip that away. That was my motivation to use black and white.

kneeling Fallen Angel member hand clapping
Strangers member in denim dancing

Black leather is compelling. Eyes go straight to it. Color photos seemed to be the correct choice. What do you think?

Well, that’s it for this article.  I will be back to shoot the Tokyo rockabilly dancers later this year. Please leave your questions and comments below.

Fallen Angel member playing air guitar

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *