Aesthetics Wiki

Bankara was essentially the opposite of of Taisho Roman. They were opposed to so called haikara (“high collars") that were seen as becoming weak through westernizing. The word Bankara is formed by combining barbarian with haikara, describing the beliefs and personality of the people who were part of it. Bankara were defined by not being concerned with outward appearance: wearing ragged clothing, cloaks, and long hair. Masculinity, nationalism, and strength were core parts of the movement, and they were very similar to the militaristic views that led to World War 2.[1]

While the movement ended by the 1950s, the fashion and ideology of the Bankara lived on and eventually evolved into the Yanki. The counter-culture ideas of masculinity also continued into movements such as the Japanese New Left.[1] Additionally, various Japanese high school cheerleading teams have adopted the style as a uniform. Although the style has almost gone extinct, Bankara culture lives on through being passed down through these cheering teams.[2]


  • Cloaks
  • Tall Japanese Sandals called Geta
  • Hakama
  • Gakuran uniform and hat (When required by school uniform)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Noah Oskow. Bankara – Meiji Japan’s Anti-Fashion Movement. Unseen Japan. Retrieved September 17, 2023. Archived.
  2. Shin Yamamoto, Morioka Bureau (August 20, 2023). Traditional rough-and-tumble 'bankara' cheering culture thriving in northeast Japan. The Mainichi. Retrieved January 16, 2024. Archived.