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1940s Japanese Souvenir Jacket

1940s Japanese Souvenir Jacket

Regular price $400
Regular price Sale price $400
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The souvenir jacket, like most things associated with war, has a complicated history. Japanese tailors began embroidering silk and satin jackets for American soldiers during the American Occupation of Japan in WWII. They were often made from jackets that were premade, or were created using leftover parachute silk and nylon. They feature embroidery that combines imagery from both the Japanese - dragons, koi, tigers, sakura blossoms - and American aesthetics like eagles and fighter planes. They were produced in Kiryu and Ashikaga, which were historically associated with kimono production - an industry that had been halted due to the war and was in great need of work. As Japan moved into the 1960s, blue collar teens began buying Sukajans from stores that targeted American GI's - cementing the jacket with an appearance of juvenile delinquency in Japan. 

This jacket was purchased by a GI in 1949 in Yokohama and promptly store away upon return to the US. It was acquired from the original owners step-daughter. Made from pigeon blue satin, with intact embroidery.

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