Japanese ‘Cholos’: Chicano Subculture Finds A Home In East Asia

Oversized khaki shorts, white knee-high socks, a plaid shirt and the tattoos to match, a signature look for ‘cholos’ — Japanese ‘cholos.’

The fashion and tendencies behind the Chicano subculture — originating in the Mexican-American empowerment movement of the 1940s through 1970s, but now often associated with Los Angeles street gangs — has found a new home in East Asia. Stemming from the “lowrider” car culture popular in Japan , Tumblrs of Japanese ‘cholas’ and ‘cholos’ can now be seen around the internet. YouTube videos of Japanese ‘cholos’ with their arms raised high as they rap next to hopping cars and Japanese ‘chola’ artists, like MoNa a.k.a Sad Girl, can be heard mixing Spanish, English and Japanese in their music.

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