These images capture the Rockers that gathered in Yoyogi Park of Tokyo’s Harajuku district. Groups of about 30 people all started to dance to rock n’ roll when the clock passed 2pm. Their hair was slicked back in grease and black leather or denim jackets was the dress code. Men in their  20’s to 40’s gathered here from cities around Tokyo. They were called “Rollers”, drinking absurd amount of beer and dancing until the sun went down to rock n’ roll music.

Always surrounding those dancers were foreign tourists and other on lookers that were asking to take photos together. It was a given that a fight would break out between the dancers and pedestrians during cherry blossom season.  These were incidents that occurred on the streets, without rules or predictions on what would happen each week. I wanted to not just capture the dancers in a documentary style but to record the elation of the entire place, audience included. There were cold days and hot days, days that rained,  and times that were fun and not so fun days. I wanted to take them all in and record them.

I used the “Wide Lux F7”, a swing type panoramic camera made in Japan. This camera does a pan focus on a wide range of 140 degrees, automatically capturing all that is going on there. I didn’t know what would be on the film until I developed them. That is the true appeal of photography.

What prompted me was my meeting the guy who was the leader back in 2005. When I went to their grounds, the vision of this guy was burned onto my eyes. His black hair was stiffly styled with pomade, with several tattoos on his thick arms and chest, and his face made me think of foreign lands. I spoke to him and started to photograph him. He politely offered for me “to come by again as I dance here every weekend.” From that day on, we would talk a little about each other’s lives and we went drinking once a year. Each time we met, he told me many wonderful things such as of the days when he was a pro boxer, of when he reunited with his separated daughter, 20 years worth of Harajuku stories, and of what may happen from here on.

On a Sunday afternoon in Yoyogi, they use their bodies fully to express themselves, radiating heat amongst the weekend crowd.


Keizo Motoda (Zushi, Japan)

33.3 x 13.1 cm
72 Pages
76 Images
Softcover with Slipcase
Doubletone Offset
Edition of 500
ISBN 978-4-905052-43-2