Out of my brain on the bullet train: Japan, mod and the migratory flows of a subculture

Peter Hughes Jachimiak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter is concerned with the geographical migration and cultural transformation of the mod subculture (often thought of as ‘a very British style’), and its absorption into Japanese subcultural society from the mid-1980s onwards. Indeed, in revisiting Arjun Appadurai’s groundbreaking work on with globalisation, this chapter repositions Japan’s cultural appropriation of mod, in its highly distinct nation-specific manner, as a true manifestation of what Appadurai conceived as an ‘ethnoscape’. Moreover, in order to fully understand such migratory practices as transformation/evolution of music genres and associated subcultures such as mod, this chapter argues that an eschewing of geographical fixity is a key characteristic of the transmission and evolution of mod in its transferal from the United Kingdom to that of Japan. Any such transferal of mod demonstrates that, far from being something ‘very British’ (and, thus, potentially being something that is inherently untransmissible), mod is ever malleable in its ease of ability to travel transnationally. Indeed, being malleable, and lacking geographical fixity as far as its migratory footprint is concerned, mod, as a transnational cultural phenomenon that has been reterritorialised as a series of subcultural scenes across Japan in late-modern times, is the resulting focus of this chapter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMusic, Subcultures and Migration: Routes and Roots
EditorsElke Weesjes, Matthew Worley
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781040005507
ISBN (Print)9781032565460, 9781032565477
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2024


Dive into the research topics of 'Out of my brain on the bullet train: Japan, mod and the migratory flows of a subculture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this