The History of the Coolest Japanese Souvenir Jackets

Japanese Souvenir Jackets or more famously known as the “Sukajan” (Skajang/Skajan) trace their roots during the World War II when the American troops stationed in the Pacific have wanted to have some “memories” or souvenirs of their foreign assignments to bring back home to mainland. It has sort of become a solidarity uniform or remembrance of their posts and service in the war and their comrades with whom they have spent some of the bravest time of their lives. It is said to have originated from Yokusuka in Kanagawa Prefecture where its name is thought to have come from – “Suka” from Yokosuka and “Jan” from the Japanese term Jumper or ジャンパー or jacket in layman’s term. The famous maker of them during that time is the staunch brand, TOYO Enterprises, which still exists until today.

Artwork by Little Miss Paintbrush

Nowadays, Sukajans have again invaded the wardrobe and closets of famous pop-artists ranging from Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Pharell Williams, Harry Styles and the like – enjoying a massive cult-following among these personalities’ fans. Although this iconic fashion street wear, have been experiencing a more-or-less 5-to-7-year cycle of hyping up and down annals of Street Fashion, for sure, it is here to stay and remain a staunch form and expression of one’s strong inclination and personal statement towards fashion.

In short, for the avid fan and collector of fashion iconic pieces, more specifically, Japan-orginated ones, having 1 or 2 of these sukajan will definitely pay in the long run as they have become treated like vintage and antique collectibles that is bound for many generations to enjoy. The main reason for this is that, for each lot and design, even until now, makers usually do not make more than 200 pieces of each design including all sizes which explains the rarity and value among them.

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Behind-the-scenes of Japan Lover Me Store’s Sukajan Archives + Kaila Sensei Preview

Hello friends!

For today’s post, I will share some behind-the-scenes during the making of Japan Lover Me Store’s Japanese Fashion Sukajan Archives mini project and a preview of Kaila-Sensei.com.

The online Sukajan showcase is just a simple gallery of our entire Sukajan collection at JLM. We started working on this way back end of July and it took a lot of time and effort to make a store inventory and to photograph each Sukajan. Thankfully, Justin (who is now based in Japan as a student and a Food / Travel photographer) helped me a lot with this! ;_;  いつもありがとうね!

JLM Store has undergone a lot of revisions and redirection. But there is only one goal for this one… and it is to make it a successful store so that we can make and come up with more projects. This is the primary reason why I deactivated my personal facebook again and minimized other projects. If you notice / observe me that I have gone slower when it comes to replying, work is mainly the reason. I also disabled my line message / iPhone app messaging notifications because the temptation to slack off… is way too tempting haha (#StrugglesWhenYouWorkAtHome). I’ll be back to the usual “Kaila mode” but for now, my serious self is taking over! 😀

JLM sukajan archives banner

www.japanlover.me/japanese-sukajan-archives

~ Japanese Sukajan Selections from JLM Store ~

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I’m ready for you Autumn! I can’t wait to wear Sukajan when I do OOTD posts, haha!

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We usually get comments about how our Sukajans are so expensive or something to that effect. Well, I do agree that these jackets are not that affordable… but a vintage sukajan jacket is ALWAYS worth saving up. If only you can see the stitches and the art itself (this is why we invested so much effort in professional photography so that you can see the details), you would realize that this is “wearable art”! And of course, “Made in Japan” always means QUALITY. 🙂

In the future, we hope to make and produce kawaii-fied sukajans (to be drawn by Little Miss Paintbrush) but for now, here are our current offerings.

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Break time with kawaii kuma pan!

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First Week of September So Far + Cardcaptor Sakura Necklaces (New Release)!

Hello everybody!

I just got home from a day of reviewing Kanji + physical (and draining) work from 2PM – 7PM!

Tomorrow, I will be attending a yoga session with a Japanese friend (so random lololol). I still have some listings that are already overdue but I’ll do my best to get my pace back. BEEN CRAZILY BUSY THESE DAYS HUHUHU I’m swimming in my own self-imposed endless work… but again, I am in no position to complain. I’ll just enjoy everything while I can still be this “active”! Enjoying the “youth” haha.

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This is our mini van when we pick up boxes / stuff from the rented lockers. We had a major revamp of the inventory today and mosquitos loved my legs. ;___;

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This is my favorite Sukajan from our current collection at the Japan Lover Me Store.

AS OF THIS MOMENT, I still have 50+ Sukajans to list! I’m excited to share with you all the entire collection!!!!

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Chichi painted a Sukajan girl art! This is way tooooo ADORABLE! What do you expect from Little Miss Paintbrush??? *_*

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My Part-time Job at AREA Harajuku (エリア原宿)

Hello everyone!

Last week, I think that I surprised a lot of people when I announced the news that I’ve started working at AREA Harajuku (where Kawaii PH Store items are also being placed). I’ve actually kept this secret for months because I was anxious that it might get jynxed if I told everyone about it. >_< I didn’t want to announce something that might not end up happening in the future so during the entire time, I just hoped and prayed that everything would come into place……and it did! よかったです!

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I’ve always wanted to experience to be part of the fashion industry here in Tokyo even just for a short time. Moreover, it had always been one of my #bucketlist goals to work at a shop in Harajuku, even if I already have my own set of responsibilities here in our family business.

At around April / May, I was contacted by Kazuhiro-san of AVANTGARDE (the shop that started the tattoo tights trend). I’ve met him a couple of times before because I would bring my friends from the overseas to his shop whenever I’d give them a “kawaii tour”. Coincidentally, we also met at a fashion runway event during Kawaii Leaders project (Kawaii Matsuri) and I took a photo with him and his mohawk (tallest in the world lololol). Haha.

When we met up, I didn’t have any idea about this AREA Harajuku shop at all. During our meeting, he then offered me a golden opportunity for Kawaii PH Store. He wanted us to stock some items in this new shop! At first, I could not believe it..! *_* That time, Kawaii PH Store website was not even launched yet. ANDDDD..  also that time, I just thought it was both funny & interesting because (maybeee) I have gotten used to the feeling that sometimes you need to have a lot of “convincing” for others to believe in your entrepreneurial dreams. And then here comes an opportunity that is just waiting for you to say “yes!”. I still do not have any idea why there had been constant blessings for Kawaii PH these past few months but I know that this means something. Being recognized in a place where the kawaii culture roots are… it is just unbelievable. ;_; After that brief meeting, I told him that he should meet my older brother since he is my overall manager / business advisor.

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After the second meeting, I really expressed all my sincere thoughts about this and about how we built Kawaii Philippines from scratch. I do get approached by Japanese companies and interested partners, but there were A LOT of times that I didn’t know how to manage or to make fair deals and negotiations. In the end, I was just used for connections and marketing information (my personality / nature was quite troublesome because I was then gullible… you just really learn, ね?). So I learned from all those experiences. As a community, we all worked hard to build Kawaii PH to be where it is now and as a wiser team leader, I only want it to be involved in projects that are genuine and that would inspire many in our kawaii family back home.

Fortunately, Kazuhiro-san has been very supportive of Kawaii PH. He even allowed ENJI to be placed in their store too (I’m so happy for Anggy! Omg, this was also her DREAM!)… and he approved my recommendation that Satchiko should also work with me there (since I am only available 2-3 days a week).

I consider working at AREA Harajuku as a big challenge for me because this is where all my Nihongo conversation skills will be put into use. I am also fortunate to have the most patient co-workers in the shop. Right now, I really consider this as a valuable work experience and I’ll do my best to maximize and multiply this blessing. We’ve finally gotten a little place in Harajuku, and I cannot wait for the day when my teammates can also see their products of hard work right there too. 🙂

Anyway, enough of the long narration! Here are some photos I’ve taken during my first days 🙂

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Arrived quite early in Harajuku during my first day of work, so I had some iced tea from Island Vintage Coffee.

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