Yankee I Love You — A New Japanese Social Network

The sharpshooters over at Rocket News 24 have uncovered a new social network in Japan called “Yankee I Love You.”  Despite the connotations of its name, the network is not about loving American foreigners in Japan, but is rather all about Japanese delinquent youth, who are called “Yankees” in Japan.  These are likely some of the images you’ve seen here and there of Japanese people with bleach blonde hair or baggy gangster clothing, and now they’ve got their own network where they can exchange ideas.

The network is a combination of a blog and social network, and has a MySpace like layout, with large profile photos, customizable, flashy imagery and a whole lot of profile information in one place.  The site is mainly black and emphasizes the style desires of Yankees.  Users are able to join groups and share with one another, and the site is currently inundated with groups about cars and hair.  Image sharing is a key part of new social networks, as any Pinterest users would tell you.

So where exactly did these Yankees come from?

The term originated in Osaka in the 1970s, referring to the young people who wandered the city streets dressed in the flashy clothes symbolic of the fashion shops of the city’s America-Mura (“America Village”) district. As the term spread across Japan, ‘Yankee’ became synonymous with ‘juvenile delinquent’ and it eventually came to describe an entire subculture as the Yankee image was popularized in magazines, television dramas, comic books and other forms of media throughout the 80’s and 90’s.

Curious about the Yankee phenomenon?  Read more about the the site over at Rocket News.