Japanese-Made WWII Repro Jackets

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Coriu, Mar 2, 2021.

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  1. Coriu

    Coriu One of the Regulars

    ...a perspective concerning certain war-time repro jackets. My intent here is not to disparage the wonderful Japanese people. I happen to be using this as a specific example, but the same discussion could be had for any race of people. It's the overall concept that intrigues me, ie making repro jackets worn by veterans of former enemy nations.

    Numerous pilots were tortured by their captors during WWII. My grandfather survived in Asia and another survived in Europe. Both suffered terribly from PTSD and one had permanent brain damage. Look at the photo at the end of this post and note the flight jacket. Think about this photo next time you are considering purchase of a war-time repro jacket.

    If anyone thinks "Aw, that was long ago and doesn't matter anymore."...we are still uncovering atrocities of the War and are far from healing. Only in recent years are some countries, the US included, able to admit such things.

    Some might say, "I had nothing to do with that, so it should not matter." As a white male, I had nothing to do with slavery in the US and that was 75+ years before WWII, so why should I worry about starting up a "Plantation Line" of African-American clothing?

    I question the sensitivity of certain businesses out there today making war-time repro jackets, especially those of former enemy nations. What would people say if US companies were making Luftwaffe jackets and selling them in Germany for exorbitant prices? If I wanted to honor the veterans of my former enemy by making flight jackets, I would donate them to the homeless of his country, not profit from them.

    The main intent of this post is simply to get people to think. If I wore a Japanese-made repro flight jacket, my grandfather would roll over in his grave. The fact that I refuse to wear one is not a reflection of ill-will toward present-day Japanese people. It is out of respect to him and what he endured that I do not do so. Hopefully there will come a day in the future when it won't matter. But I think we are far from there.

  2. Mich486

    Mich486 One Too Many

    TG3, dannyk and 58panheadfan like this.
  3. 58panheadfan

    58panheadfan Practically Family

    Well, it is always tricky to implement the origin/history of a garment in its functionality. The flight jackets mentioned have developed over time to what they are today, perfect in many respects. In the end, such clothes have been continuously developed (also for clothes that were produced during a war). Seen in this way, we couldn't actually wear anything anymore and would have to walk around naked. The development of many items of clothing is based on its development, whether it was created during war, while flying or while riding a motorcycle e.g.
    dannyk likes this.
  4. dwilson

    dwilson Familiar Face

    Orange County
    I could see this thread being a trainwreck but I'll try and address why to me I have no problems with Japanese culture reproducing WW2 era clothing and jackets.

    The Japanese culture seems to have learned and corrected from the mistakes and atrocities of war. You can even look to popular cultural pieces like Grave of Fireflies to understand they know there are no winners in wartime. There are people in tall castles making decisions that are paid for with human life. I do not live in Japan nor do I follow their modern takes on defense spending but as an outsider they seem to view WW2 as a terrible lesson and something to never happen again. I can see homage to the US fighters by idolizing their culture through clothes as a reminder of this. I see this not in bad taste as there is no outright symbols of pro-facism (some would argue the American flag kind of is ... won't touch that one) like how it is completely not alright to "idolize" German WW2 by wearing nazi symbolism. It is simply the Japanese people taking a completely romantic take on a time in the USA.

    Second we have to address the completely idiotic take that somehow Japanese people reproducing WW2 bomber jackets has anything to do with modern day oppression of African Americans. Big difference here is African Americans in America are still paying for slavery. Yes there is still racism all over America. Yes they get fewer opportunities. Yes they are more likely to be jailed. Yes they by in large attend worse schools. If your grandfather did indeed suffer PTSD from WW2 that is terrible. But that doesn't mean you get generational oppression because of it. If anything it is an indication the US government does not treat it's combat veterns with the treatment they need.
    El Marro, TG3, dannyk and 1 other person like this.
  5. Ernest P Shackleton

    Ernest P Shackleton One Too Many

    I understand your position, and I respect it and your choice. Truly do. I feel your situation is unique, though. Ask any expat living in Japan how well they're treated. How they're embraced with open arms and shown the utmost respect, almost to the wonderment if it is some kind of ingrained submission. It isn't submission. It's grace and esteem. Forgiveness. Rubber hitting the road. Actions, not words. Change. Evolution. Good lessons.
    TG3, Coriu and dannyk like this.
  6. Harris HTM

    Harris HTM One Too Many

    the Netherlands
    There are british companies that make WWII german flight jackets and sell them in Germany for 1100 pounds, excl. tax nowadays.
    And yes, it was not only the Nazi's and their allies that committed war crimes.
    PS - my grandparents fought against the nazi's, the brother of my grandpa was murdered by the nazi's (in the Battle of Crete) and his cousin (a resistance guerilla) was tortured by the Italians.
    EDIT: typo.
  7. Coriu

    Coriu One of the Regulars

    Thank you for your thoughtful response. As you know, there are highly disparate views in the US concerning what constitutes "honoring the past." Look at the present debates concerning team mascots and Civil War statues. Some insist we are honoring the past, while others find it completely offensive. I think what's most important is not who is right or wrong, but rather for there to be constructive discussion. A little advice...implying people have an "idiotic take" on something is probably not the best way to foster constructive discussion:). Many people today suffer because of WWII...not necessarily in terms of modern-day oppression.
  8. Superfluous

    Superfluous My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Missing in action
    I have read similar arguments about Jews driving Mercedes Benz.

    This is a political discussion and it does not belong in the Outerwear section.
  9. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck Call Me a Cab

    In terms of threads that the mods should lock... this one should be locked IMO. As @Superfluous said, this is an entirely political discussion and does not belong here at all.
  10. Blackadder

    Blackadder Call Me a Cab

    What other choices are there? Alpha? Which are now mostly made in China (which some would consider a current enemy or would not consider buying from due to humanitarian issues)? Besides Alpha are fashion wear now.
    Eastman or Diamond Dave? Now those would be in your book exorbitant seeing that they are even more expensive than some Japanese brands or at least at the same price point as BR.
    Also a little bit of information that you may have missed. RM's and BR's garments were first made in New Zealand when they first got into the repro business.
    As to "What would people say if US companies were making Luftwaffe jackets and selling them in Germany for exorbitant prices?" Lets not forget about Eastman's Hartmann jacket which undoubtedly have been sold in European market that include Germany.
    dannyk and dudewuttheheck like this.
  11. TheDonEffect

    TheDonEffect One of the Regulars

    As with many things, intent is everything. I don't get too hung up on things like that, if it looks good it looks good. Vast majority of people have zero idea where the design originated from, if they did, all those people sagging their pants outside of prison wouldn't sag their pants for instance. Or if hippies knew the history of Volkswagen they probably wouldnt be riding around in beetles and buses/vans.
  12. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    London, UK
    Bartender Comment:

    TFL operates a 'no politics' rule across the forum. We try as far as possible to operate it with a light touch so as not to limit things too much (there's an argument that everything is political after a fashion). The issue raised in the OP is a matter of personal conscience, and views, as we have already seen, vary. This is, however, an issue which can (and has in the past) get out of hand very quickly, and so a decision has been taken to close this thread at this point before the inevitable happens.

    Thank-you to all those who have posted thus far for keeping cool heads and not letting it spiral before moderation had a chance to see it.
    seres, dannyk and Marc mndt like this.
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