Japan is well known for their pioneering fashion trends. This season one such trend has hit the catwalk and grown in popularity: the sukajan（スカジャン）. Surprisingly this item of clothing isn’t authentically Japanese as it is not traditional. However, the Japanese youth adopted it and have kept it going. Fashion experts predict this will be one of the biggest things for 2016!
Sukajan originated in Japan following the surrender of Japan at the end of World War 2. These were originally made out of excess parachute materials or whatever was left around in these hard times. The American forces deployed in Japan would commission people to create these ornate souvenirs of their time serving in the land of the rising sun. Traditionally the designs were very brightly coloured. Often the themes of the jackets were a mix of American and Eastern themes. These might have been beautiful dragons, tigers, cherry blossoms or koi. In the 1960’s these jackets became part of the ‘uniform’ of the Japanese youth who did not want to conform. The rebels or even the troublemakers were thought to wear these jackets in defiance. The trend also held with American service men who had jackets embroidered in the Vietnam and Korean wars.
Since the 1960’s the sukajan jacket has been doing the rounds in Japanese street fashion circles. A great place to pick up a sukajan jacket is Ameyoko in Ueno. Walk from Ueno station towards Okachimachi station under the tracks and you’ll be there.
Ameyoko Ueno Skajan Shop
Another great place to buy sukajan in Japan is Kanagawa where they are often sold as souvenirs. But now more and more ‘famous’ people have been seen out and about wearing them. Sukajan have been seen on the catwalks and are now readily available to buy outside of Japan!
As a clothing item that has been around for 70 years the sukajan has only just reached the worldwide audience. Are you going to join in and wear this piece of Japanese history?