generation gap

Bridging the generational gap in Japantown

Jul 29, 2015
Suite J-Town

On Post Street in San Francisco’s Japantown, there’s a building that doesn’t look like its neighbors. It’s modern, and covered in chrome and glass. Inside, Japanese pop music pumps through speakers.

The New People building is dedicated to Japanese pop culture -- street fashion like the frilly “Lolita” style, or manga and anime, Japanese comics and animated cartoons. But just up the street lives the older, slower Japantown -- where it’s more about bonsai and taiko than robots and platform boots.

Flickr Creative Commons/Nerfski

Art movements come and go, but one particular dance style seems to be here to stay. "Bboying," or "breakdancing" (as most people would call it), began in the Bronx in the late '60s and has since expanded internationally. As it’s grown, it’s changed – and that change has led to some major cultural conflicts between the younger dancers and the older ones.