Sukajan- A stylish satin bomber jacket from Japan

Have you heard of the Sukajan jacket? You will have seen it. Think oriental outerwear with a sense of luxe. Sukajan (スカジャン), also known as the Japanese Souvenir jacket, is cut similar to a classic American baseball jacket in a soft silky fabric featuring iconic Japanese imagery. The bold colours and contrasting sleeves create a standout look, but the real visual intrigue is to be found on the reverse; striking embroidered designs in bright contrasting colours. Cherry blossom, dragons, trees, tigers and Geisha girls are the motifs that traditionally feature on these cultural artefacts. The distinctive designs will catch your eye as you see them being worn around the streets of Tokyo.

The word Sukajan is a mashup of ‘Yokosuka’, a Japanese city south of Tokyo, and ‘Jan’, which means jumper in Japanese. Originally created for American soldiers to bring home after the post-war occupation of Japan, Sukajans were literal souvenirs hence the name ‘Souvenir jacket’. The troops began getting traditional Japanese designs hand-stitched into the backs of their jackets to commemorate their time there.

Since then the Sukajan has been frequently re-interpreted by many high-fashion labels as well as streetwear companies. It’s a staple piece on the Tokyo fashion scene, and here at VFW we’re on the lookout for the best interpretations of this iconic style. Many small independent fashion retailers in Tokyo are selling these symbolic satin bomber jackets. We love finding original hand-stitched artwork and creative adaptations of the traditional motifs.

Words by Faye Cottrill

Images by japanese.sukajan Instagram

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