Translated by Hilary Keyes
[Souvenirs] Momotarō Jeans - Japanese Denim With A 10 Year Warranty
Written by MICKEY MITSUMOTO
This article features the Momotarō Jeans, made from denim produced in Japan. Besides being extremely fashionable, they would make an ideal souvenir.
When hearing the word "jeans", for most people the first things that come to mind are their American origins or famous brands such as Levi's.
Actually, in recent years, the raw denim produced in Japan's Okayama prefecture has become highly prized around the world, and Japanese jeans brands have leapt in popularity.
A great example of these brands is "Momotarō Jeans" (桃太郎ジーンズ) (*1). Mentioned by Prime Minister Abe in a speech regarding Japan's growth strategies in May 2013 along with artists such as Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Momotarō Jeans are a force to be reckoned with.
With business deals already reaching 20 different countries, MATCHA went to their easy-to-access Aoyama shop in downtown Tokyo, in order to introduce to you the Momotarō Jeans company store as well as some of their items and services.
*1: Momotarō is the main character in a Japanese fairytale; he was born from a peach and, along with a dog, a monkey and a pheasant, rid the countryside of demons that were tormenting people.
This is Momotarō, the boy born from a peach.
Previously MATCHA has written about Japan's sacred jeans place, the Kojima Jeans Street where one brand we featured was "Japan Blue Jeans", Momotarō Jeans' sister brand.
The most popular item in their "Kick Off Label" are the tight, straight leg jeans "No. 0705SP". With the "Kick Off Label" jeans, two white lines are printed across the back pocket; these two lines are said to represent both: "the lines printed on the flag carried by Momotarō on the road as he defeated the ogres", and is a play-on-words in Japanese, 日本, or Ni-hon, which can also mean two parts. By the way, the majority of visitors to Japan that visit Momotarō Jeans choose this particular series as their reason for checking out the shop.
Other than these, there are jeans made with a peach-inspired stitching arranged on the right back pocket under the "Dōtan Label", and the unprocessed denim of the "Vintage Label", which has a 1950s feel and is also quite popular.
Whether you buy your jeans from the flagship store, the company store or even their online shop, every pair comes with a 10 year written guarantee stating that they will restitch any loose threads, repaint the designs and repair/replace any damaged buttons, zippers, etc for free.
2105SP DOUBLE POCKET JACKET
Shop manager Mr. Tezuka is seen here holding the most popular of their jackets, the "2105SP Double Pocket Jacket".
This particular sewing machine seems like a blast from the past; gathered up from sources around the world, these very rare vintage Union Special sewing machines are used to repair the jeans, lending an authentic feel to the denim. This machine is also used for hemming the jeans.
If you'd like to have a completely unique pair of jeans, custom-order designs can be painted on the jeans, starting from 2160 yen and up. If you'd like to choose something other than the standard two white lines design on the back pocket, there are many other patterns in a variety of colors to choose from. Delivery of your finished jeans will take up to three weeks from the time of purchase.
On the left is Ms. Umehara, a shop assistant, and on the right is the assistant shop manager, Mr.Watanabe. If you're looking for something to suit you, you should definitely consult them.
This shop is found in Aoyama, while the flagship store is in Kojima-ajino, Okayama prefecture, another shop at Okayama station and another in Tokyo's Kōenji. Please check the shop list (Japanese only) for more details.
Here is a final message from the shop manager, Mr. Tezuka:
Mr. Tezuka: "I don't mean to brag but if you're looking for a product whose quality exceeds its price, then please take a look at our jeans. If you're looking for something guaranteed to last, Momotarō jeans are the way to go."
So what do you think? If you're looking for a "partner" for the next 10 years, Momotarō Jeans is definitely the place to check out.
Address: Tokyo, Minato, Kita Aoyama 3-11-7, Ao Building 2F
Closed: Open all year
Credit Cards: Accepted
Languages Available: English
Menus in Other Languages: Available
Nearest Station: Subway Omotesandō Station (表参道駅)
Access: 1-minute walk from the B2 exit of Omotesandō Station (表参道駅)
Price Range: 2000 yen- 35,000 yen
Religious Considerations: -
Phone Number: 03-6427-9721
Homepage: Momotarō Jeans (Japanese)