Short Docu: Made In Japan ‘A Japanese Denim Story’

The new short documentary ‘Made in Japan: A Japanese Denim Story’ is directed by Jack Flynn and Nick David. This docu gives an insight into the world of some famous denim mills in Okayama. Actually, this film is a sort of tribute to selvedge fabrics, woven on authentic shuttle looms. They define denim woven on vintage looms as ‘real denim’.

The Second World War

Since the second World War denim was introduced in Japan by American soldiers. They left their old pairs of jeans in the country, or they sold them to thrift stores, or gave or trade them with locals in Japan. Soon, the Japanese youth became fascinated about the American lifestyle, and vintage clothing, with denim as the cornerstone. Next to the pairs of the soldiers, thrift stores began to import second-hand, mainly Levi’s, jeans to Japan. Later they started to produce their denim fabrics, and jeans too.

In Okayama they have a long history in indigo and weaving fabrics, so around the 1960s, they started with the production of their own Japanese fabrics and jeans.

Shuttle Looms

Whilst many big manufacturers started with cheaper mass production machinery, the Japanese looking to create the perfect jeans, experimented with reverting to old techniques, producing selvedge products woven on old shuttle looms. This required more skills and craftsmanship, sometimes it takes days to get an old shuttle loom up and running again.

Kuroki & Japan Blue

In the short docu you will see denim facilities as Kuroki, and Japan Blue in Japan.

Watch the full documentary ‘Made in Japan: A Japanese Denim Story’ here; &

Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine, I'm working as a freelance denim specialist for the industry. Titled as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50. Celebrated my 10th anniversary with Long John in 2021.