Thursday, 9 August 2012

It's Better To Travel

After the devastation suffered by Japan last spring, I promised to visit the place, and inject some money into their economy. I've succeeded, I reckon. In the next few weeks, I plan to upload several stories on denim in Japan. I've learned a huge amount about the birth of the Osaka 5 - the group of jeans companies that put Japan on the map for premium denim - and also about the birth, and evolution, of the cotton spinning and weaving industry, which has left us with such a high-quality legacy of denim production. I'll also provide my own brief guide to denim shopping in Tokyo.

Here are just a few photos to hopefully whet your appetite.

Kurashiki - established as the centre of Japanese cotton spinning in 1888.

 Cotton from Zimbabwe, USA, and other location, in the Nihon Menpu warehouse. 

 Edo Ai-dyed yarns, after one to eight dips, at Nihon Menpu, Okayama Prefecture. 

Cotton ginning machine made by Platt Brothers of Oldham, installed at Kurabo - Kurashiki Spinning Mill - around 1915. 

Intriguingly, it was Platt Brothers who later produced the Toyoda Type G automatic loom under licence in the UK. 
The old Kurabo cotton warehouse, Kurashiki. 

Interior of RHRB - named after JD Salinger's novella,  Raise High The Roof Beam, Carpenters.

Toyoda loom - from the 1920s? - in the Evisu showroom at Daikanyama. It's incomplete, but I believe this is one of the celebrated G-series looms that put the Toyoda - now Toyota - company on the map. 

Hinoya Plus Mart, Ueno

45rpm store, Shibuya


  1. really looking forward to seeing and hearing more about your project, great shots from the off

  2. Oh, this is going to be good.

  3. Raise High The Roof Beam, Carpenters by J. D. Salinger, I believe.

  4. Paul you never disappoint! Hit me up if you know anything about the history of the Real McCoy's. Peace