Sukeban (スケバン) is a Japanese fashion derived from the looks of Japanese girl gangs. The term is slang that translates as "girl boss" and is mainly used to refer to a violent feminist movement that emerged in Japan in the late 60s. As male gangs - also known as yanki - originally didn't allow female members, the girls started a distinct identity of their own.

History

The word "Sukeban" was used in the video work in Toei's "Girl Boss: Revenge" series first work "Queen Bee Strikes Again", released on October 27th in 1971- it's shown on the new movie poster at the time of release. The director of this work, Norifumi Suzuki, proposed to write "Girl Boss Revenge" and read "Sukeban" because the freshness of the word that he heard during the interview at that time was hard to throw away. Furthermore, it wasn't yet generally known until then. However, Takayuki Minagawa, who was an assistant director of "Queen Bee Strikes Back" who had retired from the movie world and was also in charge of the script, said in an interview in 2016 "Japanese Bad Movie Chronicles" (Yosensha), "Tsunagi in Shinjuku. However, since the title was not decided, I was doing "Furyo Bancho" in Tokyo, so I made it "Girl Boss: Revenge" and thought that the pun was bad even if I read it as it was, I thought variously and used "Suke" of "Sukecomashi" to make "Sukeban". "It's my coined word, Sukeban", as he said. Sukeban was changed to "Sukeban" in katakana notation in the third work of the series, "Girl Boss Guerilla", which was released in August 1972). Other companies' "Girl Boss" series, such as Nikkatsu's "Stray Cat Rock" series, started earlier than Toei's "Girl Boss" series, but the first work "Girl Boss Series" (May 2, 1970). After the second work, it was unified with "Stray Cat Rock + Subtitle" and was not read as Sukeban. "Girl Boss Series" of other companies o sometimes read as "Onnabancho".

Fashion

As most members of girl gangs are often still school age. They still have to wear school uniforms most of the time which are modified to show off their signature styles: blouses are cropped to expose the bare waist, skirt length is increased, loafers are replaced by sneakers. Another key feature is the long customized coats which feature feminist symbology and anarchic messages in kanji.

Gallery

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