Posts Tagged ‘児島’

MADE WITH JAPAN PHOTO DIARY/PART 5:
KOJIMA TOWN OF DENIM ARTISANS

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Made with Japan photo diary kojima the town of denim artisans momotaro jeans kapital dania japan womb

My next stop was Kojima in Okayama. This town has a rich history of textile manufacturing and has become known to be the “mecca of Japanese denim.” The original denim artisans of Japan who first saw denim during WWII are still alive and doing their thing!

親戚が住んでいる牛窓から、児島に行ってきました。ドライブは結構長かった記憶があるんですが、ドライブしてくれたゆきさんとお話しながらだったので、あっと言うまでした。

(more…)

THE HISTORY AND SUCCESS OF JAPANESE DENIM:
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MOMOTARO JEANS

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

momotaro_interview100-3

Momotaro is the name of a hero from the Japanese folklore “Momotaro Densetsu”, often translated as “Peach Boy” in the western world. This story passed down through many generations originates and takes place in Okayama, Japan.

Made with Japan visited the headquarters of Japan Blue Group, the makers and parents company of Momotaro Jeans. They are located in Kojima, a small town in Okayama considered to be the “mecca of Japanese denim.” The company is now recognized internationally for creating high-quality denim and occasionally going over-the-top. You can watch a video and read a little about their highest end gold-line created using a modified manual shuttle from Kyoto, used to weave kimono silks HERE.

We were fortunate enough to meet and interview Masahiro Suwaki, the Vice-President of Japan Blue Group and the mastermind behind Momotaro Jeans. Many accredit him and his company for reviving the diminishing denim industry in Okayama by employing the original denim and indigo-dye artisans of Japan. Mr. Suwaki goes in depth to share with us the story behind his company, the Momotaro Jeans brand, and the beginning history of denim in Japan.

blog_divider

現在、日本のデニムは世界のジーンズ業界にも高く評価され、今でも勢いよく海外に広がってますが、どうやってここまでこられたんだろう?って思ったことありませんか?

クリエーターを通じて、日本を世界に伝えていくプロジェクト、”Made with Japan”としてこの歴史は紹介したいとずっと思っていました。そこで、それを自分の目と耳で確かめたくて、日本のデニムメッカと呼ばれる岡山に行ってみました。そして児島にある桃太郎ジーンズの親会社である”Japan Blue Group”本部を訪ねさせていただきました。

本部で会ってくれたのがなんと、Japan Blue Groupの副社長兼チーフデザイナーとして活躍する洲脇 將宏(すわき まさひろ)さんでした。彼が働き始めた頃は、デニムに限らず生産コストを下げるために海外へ外注するビジネスが増えてた時代。だが、Japan Blue Groupは児島のデニム産業を守り、職人のプライドがあるからの質とこだわり勝負にでた。この経験とプライドを持つ人達と共に今も働く洲脇さんに、桃太郎 ジーンズのフィロソフィーとデニムの歴史を語っていただきました。

(more…)

MOMOTARO JEANS - JAPAN’S FINEST (AND MOST EXPENSIVE) DENIM FROM OKAYAMA

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

momotaro-japan-finest-denim2

This video was taken inside the original Momotaro Jeans store/showroom in Kojima, a small town located in the Okayama prefecture facing west to the Seto Inland Sea (Seto Naikai). The area is well-known for their textile industry and is hailed as the mecca of denim in Japan. Coming from this “mecca”, Momotaro Jeans has a huge presence for sticking to traditional ways of manufacturing high quality denim and occasionally going over-the-top.

The item introduced here is a pair of Momotaro Jeans that costs 178,500 yen. This comes out to approximately 2000 U.S. Dollars or 1500 Euros with the current exchange rate. Some of you may be thinking, “That’s more expensive than the first car I owned!” For the curious, here are some of the reasons to what makes these jeans Japan’s finest and one of the most expensive today.

First, the cotton used to make the fabric goes through an extremely time-consuming process of hand-dying using only true indigo from natural plants. The denim is then woven by hand as seen in the video, on a loom that used to be used in Kyoto’s Nishijin district for weaving Kimono silks. It takes up to 8 hours to produce 1 meter (3 feet) of denim. The resulting denim is incredibly soft and flexible but at the same time very durable. The button is made of pure silver, and the back of the jeans is lined with silk. Every piece made becomes an authentic handmade “Made in Japan” garment that requires the skill of artisans.

If you aren’t bold enough to purchase this work of art but would still like a nice pair of premium Made in Japan denim jeans we have great news for you.  Momotaro makes various lines at different price points with the bottom of the line going for about $200 U.S.. which wouldn’t be considered bad at all for premium jeans by denim fans.

For anyone who may be wondering… the guy in the video isn’t me, although I’ve been to this store myself. I found the video on Youtube, user name: Japanflyer. According to his profile, he is a “foreign person living in Japan.” Thank you sir for the great video!

Made with Japan has some pictures from Kojima, so stay posted for more about Momotaro Jeans and Japanese denim.

MOMOTARO JEANS WEBSITE


日本のデニムの発祥地と呼ばれている児島の中でも質を追求しているので有名なのが桃太郎ジーンズです。このYoutubeビデオにフィーチャーされているのは桃太郎ジーンズの一番値段が高くつけられている¥178500のモデルです。不況がどうとか関係なくデニムマニアにすら中々手の届かない値段だと思いますが、なぜ高いのでしょう?作るプロセスを少し説明します。

綿はまず手間も時間もかかる藍染めの手作業から始まります。その素材がビデオに出てくるマニュアルのシャトルを使って生地を織ってきます。このシャトルは昔、京都の西陣で着物の生地を織るために使われていた物で、デニム用に改造されています。八時間かけてやっと1メートル程度の生地しか作れません。だけど結果できるのは丈夫なのに柔らかくて柔軟性のあるデニム。職人さん達の技術で出来た、質の高い本物の”Made in Japan”ジーンズに。その他に拘りがあって、シルクのライニングやボタンはシルバーで仕上げてます。

芸術作品と言ってもいいこのモデルは買えなくても、¥18000ぐらいからプライスされたモデルもあります。プレミアムジーンズとしてはリーズナブルな値段ですね。

桃太郎ジーンズのWEBSITE