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What Is the Allure of Japanese Leather Jackets?

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17,145
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Chicago
F
Our very own @regius does the lining that way.

View attachment 465607
My Regius jacket has a paneled interior as well:
DDA027BB-C198-4F08-91CF-A561E27661C1.jpeg
 

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
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4,179
IMG_7649a.JPG


It's not just the panelling. The lining is a mirror image of the shell , and it's very tight fitting to the shell. So fitted together feels like one. I have FW La Brea too. It's nice but the leathertog design doesn't have action back pleats so just paneling, no action pleat lining fitted to the action pleated shell, which I thought was super nice detail that I've never seen anywhere. This was the jacket I sent Greg to get opened up.

These RC horsehides are thick, 1.4mm at least. But wearable straight out of the box.

There was a Golden Bear I was looking at that had these type of lining too. And they did it in some kind of knit. Jacket was suppose to be from the 50s.

These are just some new small details I come to expect from the more expensive jackets.

i-img900x1200-1649339004oxu9d718320.jpg
 

Maxie

New in Town
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4
Am creating this thread to educate myself and others about current Japanese manufacturers as well to elicit opinions as to whether they are a good investment. I have found rather limited information about some Japanese firms.

I realize there may be threads about individual makers, but thought it might be helpful to have a "one-stop shopping" thread for anyone considering a Japanese-made jacket. Apologies in advance if a similar thread already exists.

Please bear with me as I provide some background for the discussion. Just as "American made" is no guarantee of quality, I am not convinced that a leather jacket made in Japan is an assurance of quality. I sometimes wonder if Japanese makers are playing upon stereotypes of Japan to justify higher-priced jackets. Immediately below are some statements found on some popular Japanese jacket maker websites...

"Constructed by Japan’s diligent and hardworking people, products that are ‘Made in Japan’ are praised for their high quality and beautiful design."

"They source custom leathers and fabrics from around the world, with a manufacturing home-base in Japan that sets the standard of quality."


In addition to hard-working people, Japan is also known for low wages and high rates of alcoholism. I wonder if some have this vision of a "hard-working, diligent Japanese craftsman" sewing their jacket when, in reality, it is a low-paid, alcoholic.

If we are going to question quality in China and Taiwan, as we have for many years, I think it only fair to question quality in Japan. Having done business in Asia, I have seen manufacturing operations behind the scenes and just like everywhere, they play games to drive down costs. Tracing the manufacturing history of a product in Asia can be challenging.

I like it when I can look at a company's website and see the person(s) behind the company and a pride in its heritage. I find that lacking when I look at some of the Japanese maker websites.

It concerns me that a company's best jacket maker(s) may be gone tomorrow without our knowledge and we don't see quality drop off until the damage is done. For me, this is a big question. Even if a company is making great jackets today, how do we know that one year from today things have not changed in order to drive down costs?

I do business with a certain leather manufacturer in America. I can talk to the owner and find out the name of the person sewing my product and his/her resume. It raises skepticism when I see a $2000+ jacket and I have no idea who is making it.

So, if some of you have some stories, good or bad, to tell about your personal dealings with Japanese makers, please share! And thank you for doing so.
Interesting! In the USA WPG provide some really high quality jackets made in UAE these for me match very well at a quarter of Japans jacket equivalents It’s now for me like saying Made in Germany guarantees quality
It’s not like that many companies in Japan and Germany source from the globe
Kevin
 

Aloysius

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Interesting! In the USA WPG provide some really high quality jackets made in UAE these for me match very well at a quarter of Japans jacket equivalents It’s now for me like saying Made in Germany guarantees quality
It’s not like that many companies in Japan and Germany source from the globe
Kevin

I’m a bit confused here to be honest. WPG is considered the bottom tier of repros by basically all impressions groups. They do have an impressive range but quality and accuracy aren’t all there.
 

Maxie

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I’m a bit confused here to be honest. WPG is considered the bottom tier of repros by basically all impressions groups. They do have an impressive range but quality and accuracy aren’t all there.
I have my fathers RAF issued Wareing made Irvin WPG is as good in all respects
I have no confusion at all what others think is always subjective
And for me some snobbery exists
 

Aloysius

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I have my fathers RAF issued Wareing made Irvin WPG is as good in all respects
I have no confusion at all what others think is always subjective
And for me some snobbery exists

Oh you’re talking about leather.

I can’t speak to their leather. I was talking about textile garments and the pickiness I was talking about was not from snobbery. By impressions groups I mean those who re-enact the regiments so visual accuracy matters even when it wouldn’t for us as consumers.
 

Maxie

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Oh you’re talking about leather.

I can’t speak to their leather. I was talking about textile garments and the pickiness I was talking about was not from snobbery. By impressions groups I mean those who re-enact the regiments so visual accuracy matters even when it wouldn’t for us as consumers.
Actually leather sheepskin and really good sheepskin
Regarding reenactment my WPG Irvin has been mistaken as a 1940 genuine Irvin at many RAF re unions
 

Marc mndt

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6,858
Let me answer the OP's question now that I've visited Japan. For me the allure of Japanese jackets is simply their availability. Both MTO and OTR.

I've visited five larger cities and in each city there were several stores selling high quality leather jackets. Some only offering MTO but there were also many stores that sold them OTR. We don't have that here in Europe.

Where the allure ends for me is their patterns. A lot of the Japanese jackets come with narrow shoulders, chest and sleeves. Which of course makes sense when you look at the average Japanese guy and how he's built. There are exceptions like Double Helix for instance (I'm not sure whether this is true or not but I think DH is actually more focused on the foreign market) or custom makers like Peter's tailor made who will make a custom pattern. But most of the Japanese jackets I've tried fit me very poorly.

Also a let-down for me are the #5 repro zippers that are used on a lot of Japanese jackets. They're fiddly and cumbersome to operate. Whenever I tried on a jacket there was always a sales associate who quickly jumped in, zipping up the jacket for me making sure I wouldn't brake the zipper.

Eventually I brought home a Schott Perfecto, made in USA. Great pattern: fitted yet comfortable. Also, the 'Ideal' zippers work like a dream. Beautiful Japanese leather (Shinki), which is unfortunately only available to the Japanese market.
 

Jasonissm

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Let me answer the OP's question now that I've visited Japan. For me the allure of Japanese jackets is simply their availability. Both MTO and OTR.

I've visited five larger cities and in each city there were several stores selling high quality leather jackets. Some only offering MTO but there were also many stores that sold them OTR. We don't have that here in Europe.

Where the allure ends for me is their patterns. A lot of the Japanese jackets come with narrow shoulders, chest and sleeves. Which of course makes sense when you look at the average Japanese guy and how he's built. There are exceptions like Double Helix for instance (I'm not sure whether this is true or not but I think DH is actually more focused on the foreign market) or custom makers like Peter's tailor made who will make a custom pattern. But most of the Japanese jackets I've tried fit me very poorly.

Also a let-down for me are the #5 repro zippers that are used on a lot of Japanese jackets. They're fiddly and cumbersome to operate. Whenever I tried on a jacket there was always a sales associate who quickly jumped in, zipping up the jacket for me making sure I wouldn't brake the zipper.

Eventually I brought home a Schott Perfecto, made in USA. Great pattern: fitted yet comfortable. Also, the 'Ideal' zippers work like a dream. Beautiful Japanese leather (Shinki), which is unfortunately only available to the Japanese market.
I find it very rare to find a nice taper at the waist from my experience with Japanese brands. If I get a jacket that is bang on my chest and shoulder, the waist is too wide and looks boxy.
 

Aloysius

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I find it very rare to find a nice taper at the waist from my experience with Japanese brands. If I get a jacket that is bang on my chest and shoulder, the waist is too wide and looks boxy.

The hilarious thing is that this was exactly what many western workwear guys claim about US made jackets but I have never seen a good American jacket with an A shaped pattern! I’ve tried plenty of Japanese ones like that.
 

Canuck Panda

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I love my Japanese jackets, high and low, and I also love my western brand jackets. Does this mean I have a less than adequate A shaped body? (because my love for Japanese jackets)
 

Aloysius

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I love my Japanese jackets, high and low, and I also love my western brand jackets. Does this mean I have a less than adequate A shaped body? (because my love for Japanese jackets)

No one said anything about inadequate bodies. Frankly I think (as an Asian) that the super slim top block and super wide hem looks bad on Asians too. It just so happens that a couple of magazine celebs in Japan like it that way so it’s been imposed as the ‘Japanese cut’ at a lot of brands there.
 

Aloysius

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FW's drop is more significant. Carlos look great in his FWs.

Buzz Rickson’s doesn’t do reverse-drop either. Even RMC at the height of over-slim was never A shaped.

Fine Creek and its sister brand is one of the worst offenders, which makes me think the Mohawk guy from Clutch Magazine is to blame lol.
 

Canuck Panda

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Fountainhead size 42, two inch drop chest to hem, back length is only 25". P2P is 21.5" drops down to 20.5"
IMG_3671.JPG
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Toys Mccoy Elvis, same drop ratio as above just one size bigger, 44, P2P is 22.5" drops down to 21.5"
IMG_9608.JPG
IMG_9637.JPG


The Most drops Japanese jackets I have is actually the Toys Mccoy Durable, drops from 22.5" down to 19.5", size 42:
IMG_3440.JPG
IMG_3464.JPG


The La Brea I have is a 44, drops down from 23" to 21":
IMG_3634.JPG
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All the Japanese G-1 jackets I have have the 5" to 6" drop, all size 42,
Colimbo, Rainbow, Rainbow, Real Mccoys
IMG_2252.jpg


Japanese Half belts have is the same drop 2" ratio, some has the tuck at the waist so no cinch needed, so are straight. I don't like Half belts...

And Let's not forget High Notch, another drop 6", but normal for Cafe Racer, and the J-100 RMC Buco is a drop 5" as well:

IMG_3492.JPG
 

sshack

A-List Customer
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380
Location
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Japanese style "Fit" -- narrow shoulders, chest, sleeves may soon be a thing of the past. Look at the current generation of East Asian men under 40. They are bigger. Average height and weight is way up. Nutrition has not been an issue for these guys. Shohei Ohtani anyone? Another of my favorite Japanese athletes-- Terunofuji. Okay, he's Mongolian, but still... this guy is incredible.

So why do so many Japanese jacket manufacturers still make these small sizes? Because the dudes who can afford them are still on the smaller side. I used to think I was tallish for an Asian guy... but when I was in Tokyo last xmas, most of the younger guys were the same or taller. It was interesting.

But let's talk about average size. I'm 5'10 here, 42-44" size. I can fit in almost any maker, but still prefer Japanese jackets. Why? First, I prefer the leather quality. I like the fact that they still have a high-quality domestic leather tanning industry. Shinki sure, but what about Tochigi! Maybe the raw hides are imported, but everything else is made in Japan. I like that.

Also, they just fit better. A Rainbow A2 in a 44 size fits me better than other blousy A2's I've tried. The proportions of the Double Helix shawl collar jacket fits me much better than the Thedi shawl I used to have. And I have a strong feeling the Flathead Singlerider I'm waiting on is going to fit me better than my Highwayman.

Ultimately, though, aside from fit and leather-- the Japanese jackets I've seen just seem to be constructed better. Fit and finish is more pleasing to me. The overall feel to me is more refined. I've never had an issue with their zippers or loose threads from buttons, or lazy stitching, weird mismatched panels or bulbous seams. But maybe I've been lucky.

Are they too refined? Too polished? Well, that's a good problem to have.

In anycase, this post is all for fun and an excuse to procrastinate. We all like what we like... and yet we still post on these threads??!!!
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
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6,858
Fountainhead size 42, two inch drop chest to hem, back length is only 25". P2P is 21.5" drops down to 20.5"

Toys Mccoy Elvis, same drop ratio as above just one size bigger, 44, P2P is 22.5" drops down to 21.5"

The Most drops Japanese jackets I have is actually the Toys Mccoy Durable, drops from 22.5" down to 19.5", size 42:

These are fine examples of the weird Japanese fit imo. Size 42 with 21.5 ptp or 44 with a 22.5 ptp lol. Doesn't make any sense.
 

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