DENIM // 1/07/2012, 01:00h


Denim meets culture

Speaking of "OKAYAMA" is speaking of "JEANS". Japan is known as the setting of the famous Japanese fable Momotaro and nowadays as the mecca of the finest denim.

The vintage boom in Japan started with people paying hefty prices for real American vintage Levi’s, Lee and Wrangler but gradually evolved into a style where brands began to recreate vintage styles in premium denim material. During the 1960s, jeans were almost worshiped by the younger generation who was able to afford their life by themselves. They wanted to wear jeans like their screen heroes such as Jimmy Dean or Keiich Akagi. At that time, the Japanese industry wanted to produce domestic Jeans due to the increasing market. However, the status quo of Japanese Jeans was far away from being a genuine Jean at that time.


The capital of denim industry was USA for a long time. Until 1975, the Jeans makers in Japan were just crazy about purchasing denim fabrics from the USA (specially KOJIMA area and IBARA area in OKAYAMA). Contemporaneous, local weaver realized that Okayama had been the capital of cotton weaves since the Edo Period. In 1970, the dyeing factory in HIROSHIMA analyzed the construction of American high quality denim and developed the first domestic rope dyeing machine which improved the process of rope dyeing system at that time. Their founder's spirits had been bringing the traditional technique such as color and texture into the modern jeans world. Major spinning mill in KURASHIKI expanded spinning facilities for thick yarn count and build the first model of domestic heavy ounce denim.  The first model of genuine domestic Jeans was produced in 1973. After that the demand for domestic jeans had been increasing and the production fields of Jeans were formed around west-side Japan, especially at "BIT-TYU" and "BINNGO" area because of the better infrastructure.

Japan Blue  is a jeans brand created by legendary Japanese denim fabric mills, called COLLECT, in 2010. It is the same fabric manufacture behind Momotaro denim and has a deep routed tradition of denim making in Kojima, Okayama. They produce only basic five pocket jeans and save useless design, because they want their customer to enjoy material fading purely. While the design was important, the fact is that the company wanted the concept of high-quality denim to be the focal point. In the meantime the Japan Blue Group is recognized internationally for creating premium denim and occasionally going over the top. They are living in the present and doing what they do best, and this is something that has gotten the brand appreciation across the world.

We at SUN/SET/STAR stock the following 3 models from Japan Blue X Momotaro: Japan Blue 0700SP  (Vintage Selvedge Tight Straight), Japan Blue JB0703  (Antique Indigo Tight Straight) and Japan Blue JB0102  (Deep Blue Skinny Tight Straight).

"MOMOTARO'S STORY" is one of the five major folklore stories in Japan and has been passing hands down from generation to generation. Momotaro is the name of a hero from the story “Momotaro Densetsu” (“Peach Boy”):

Once upon a time there was an old man and his wife living in a japanese village. They felt very sad and lonely because they had no children.
One day the old woman went to the river to wash some clothes. Suddenly a big peach came floating down the river. It actually was the biggest peach she'd ever seen in her entire life. She pulled the peach out of the river and decided to take it with her for supper.
Back home she was getting ready to cut the peach in two pieces. "Wait! Don't cut me!" said a human voice from inside the peach. Suddenly the peach split open and a beautiful baby boy jumped out of the peach.
The old man and woman were astounded but very happy and so they took the baby to be their son. Since he was born from a peach, they named him Momotaro, which means Peach Boy.
When Momotaro was about fifteen years old, he told his father that he must do something to help their country. In a distant part of the sea there was an island named „Ogre Island“. Many wicked ogres live there which terrorize the people of Japan. So Momotaro is going to go to „Ogre Island“ and fight them and bring back the treasure they have there.
The old man gave him a sword and armor, and the old woman fixed him a good lunch of millet dumplings. Then Momotaro began his journey, promising his parents that he would come back soon.
Momotaro went walking toward the sea. It was a long way. Momotaro met on his way a spotted dog, a monkey and a pheasant, who usually hated each other but all became good friends and followed Momotaro faithfully.
So, with Momotaro as their general they finally reached the sea. At the edge of the sea Momotaro built a boat and they all got in the boat and started across the sea toward Ogre Island.
When they came within sight of the island, they could see that the ogres had a very strong fort there. And there were many, many ogres. It was a terrible battle! At last the ogres were completely defeated. They all bowed down low before Momotaro and promised never to do wicked things again. Then they brought Momotaro all the treasure they had stored in the fort.
It was the most wonderful treasure you can imagine. There was much gold and silver and many precious jewels. There was an invisible coat and hat, arid a hammer that made a piece of gold every time you hit it on the ground, and many other wonderful things. Momotaro and his three helpers carried all this in their boat back home…

Japan Blue Jeans . Made in OKAYAMA, Japan.

SUN/SET/STAR note: The last 2 pictures show Japan Blue "Model 0700SP " and "Model JB0102 " after 6 months of wearing and 1 wash.