Where Japanese Thugs Meet and Date Online

Illustration for article titled Where Japanese Thugs Meet and Date Online

You are not alone. If you're into video games, I bet you can easily find a companion who is, too. What if you are in to getting into fights and acting tough? Sure, if you are a Japanese hooligan, you can find others with similar hard nosed interests. And now that's just gotten a whole lot easier.


Website Ai Rabu Yuu Yanki (I Love You Yankee) is designed to bring yanki ruffians together. In Japan, the word "Yankee" can refer to Americans, but since the later part of the last century, "yankee" or better yet "yanki" (ヤンキー) is slang for Japanese juvenile delinquents.

The term "yanki" started to appear in the 1970s and 1980s and was used to describe wayward kids in Osaka who, when not in school, bought loud, flashy clothing in Osaka's Amerikamura, a section of town popular with young people in Osaka. These were the kids getting in fights, skipping school, and joining biker gangs. Hoods.

The word "yanki" went nationwide in 1983 after a comical pop tune that used the word became popular.

(Interestingly, the origin of the term "Amerikamura" isn't clear, but one likely explanation contends that the area was dominated by shops that imported American clothing—hence the moniker.)

The image of "yanki" in Japan is working class. The "classic" yanki look is permed hair for men; however, dyed blond hair was popular a few years back. In Japanese schools, dyed hair is often banned, and coloring one's hair blond is an affront. Likewise, their American style threads were to seperate themselves from society—a way to say they were different. Since they're identifiable by their looks and their hooligan activities, yanki youngsters might be hankering to find fellow delinquents they can go squat out in front of convenience stores with and ride scooters late at night.

Stereotypically, many former yanki dudes grow up to become hosts at nightclubs, work in construction, or enter a life of petty crime. Female yanki go onto work as hostesses or even massage parlors. These are the stereotypes. Many of them don't do any of this, leave the life and become normal folks with families and jobs—you know, upstanding, tax paying citizens.


And like normal folks, they need companionship. Yanki lonely hearts can register with their email addresses and create their profile to connect with others, share photos, and blog. As website GetNews pointed out, the profile creation on this site is different from other sites: members list their favorite yanki movies, their favorite yanki slang, whether or not they've been placed in protective custody, and, ahem, whether or not they have a criminal record.

Knowing whether someone has done time might be a good way for regular folks to steer clear of possible trouble. But remember, this isn't about avoiding criminals, it's about networking and befriending them!


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"...become hosts at nightclubs, work in construction, or enter a life of petty crime."

What's wrong with construction workers?