Film info

Creator / Collector

Harajuku is the heart of adolescent and youth culture.

We are attending an outdoor Rock 'n' Roll party that thousands of young people participate. Girls in printed, colorful airy skirts and “fourreau” skirts, boys in jeans and leather jackets improvise with a simple pace or they synchronize in small groups with the same steps while the elders are looking at them in wonder. The music floods the dance from the dozens of cassette players that they carry with them. Intense dance figures, that some young people make to stand out, are also distinctive.

Rock'n 'roll made its appearance in the 1950s, and it refers to a state of an overwhelming joy and excitement, and the lyrics were about the joy of life and love, the dance was subversive and bold, provoking the morals of the-then-society. So Rock 'n' Roll was born of a youth who wanted to resist and differentiate herself from the conservatism of the time.



Film Information

Bonar, Andrew Graham

HD (1440x1080)



Duration (seconds)

Super 8mm

Creator's description

Now what on earth is going on here? It’s one of the most amazing –and amusing- sights in Tokyo. Every Sunday afternoon, here at Harajuku, a part of the road is cordoned off with stalls, and thousands upon thousands of teenagers come here in groups to work off their surplus energy. They put their cassette players on the road, turn them up to full volume and jive as hard as they can go for hours on end.

As one writer put it: “They create an impression of rebellion and non-conformity, and their youthful exuberance is a far cry from the dignified restraint of the tea ceremony, and yet to a great extent even these young people are prisoners of their tradition. They organize themselves in feudal-style hierarchies, they follow the instructions of their leaders without question, they put the interests of the group before their own, and when the music stops they return to a world created not by Elvis Presley but by the Shogun Ieasu Tokugawa.”
Bonar, Andrew Graham