The Story with Sukajan Jackets

Dragon-Tiger Sukajan Jacket

See our current collection of Sukajan Jackets.

As you may know, the word “sukajan” is an abbreviation of Yokusuka Jumper, the name given to a style of satin jackets that became popular with GI’s in Japan after World War II. They’re also known as souvenir jackets. They come in a variety of colors and usually have elaborate embroidered designs on the front and back, with ribbed collars and cuffs. The most popular designs are traditional and iconic images such as dragons, tigers, carp, geishas and maps of Japan. Although they are a stylish addition to any wardrobe, for years they have tended to be associated with gangs and rebels in general.

Sukajan Jacket Designs
Sukajan Jacket Designs (1-10)

We’ve sold sukajan for several years and they’ve always been a steady seller. But over the last year or so, reasonably priced sukajan jackets (as opposed to the really flashy ones that go for $300-$500 in Japan) have been increasingly hard to come by. Manufacturers tell us this is due to a big fall in demand for them in Japan, their main market. But this has come just as they are becoming more popular outside Japan and we were seeing more and more emails coming in from customers asking when more stock would be available.

Backed up by these indicators of overseas demand, we approached one major manufacturer and finally managed to get them to sell us a batch of about 300 jackets in a dozen or so different designs and a variety of colors. These are currently selling quickly on the store and the manufacturer is now ready to take us more seriously. We are in discussions with them about future orders and what new designs might be popular. They currently have about 30 different designs to choose from but want to focus on the designs that will be popular overseas.

Sukajan Jacket Designs
Sukajan Jacket Designs (11-30)

We will soon be reaching out to our 10,000 newsletter subscribers to get an idea of which of these designs numbered 1-30 people would be most interested in wearing. Any given design will probably be made in three colors, usually black and two others from red, green, silver, grey and blue. Feel free to comment below – your feedback will be most helpful in figuring out which designs we will be selling in the near future.

5 thoughts on “The Story with Sukajan Jackets

  1. My top 3 would be:
    #8. Luv that white tiger.
    #17. That’s a kabuki mask, right?
    #20. WTF is that anyhow?! A wolf with 7 tails?

    1. #17 is a “hannya” (般若), a mask often seen in noh theatre representing a jealous female demon or serpent.

      #20 is a “kyubi no kitsune” (九尾の狐) a nine-tailed fox. As the fox grows older and stronger it grows more tails. When it gets to 9 its fur turns white (or gold) and it gains the abilities to see and hear anything happening anywhere in the world.

  2. As for me, my favorite ones along with their preferred colorways and details are:
    #6 on black, wine, and silver. I think adding the arm designs on the sleeves as well will make it look really cool as such with your guys original Dragon/Tiger 1 and 2 Jacket. (Looks similar to the Dragon/Tiger/Mt.Fuji jacket out right now in which the red and green colorways doesn’t really match, in my opinion). On the note of this design, you guys should also do more designs that includes the map of Japan and even part of Korea.
    #20 in black, red, and etc. Really really unique design. I have never seen this one before.
    #25 in black, silver/grey, and red. I also think adding designs on the arm sleeves for this one will be a good touch as many of the vintage ones have done so with the Geisha design. They usually used the Cherry Blossom design for the arm sleeves.

    Other than that, I’m really hyped for the upcoming designs that you guys have. However, it would be nice to see some restocks on some of the past jackets you guys put out such as the Dragon/Tiger 1 and 2 jacket (which is getting really big on social media at the moment).

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