Collection: Embroidered "Sukajan" Souvenir / Tour Jacket
The History of Sukajan (スカジャン）
You’ve likely seen these jackets around. They’re known by a few different names, but are most commonly referred to as Japanese souvenir jackets, Japanese bomber backets, or sukajan. They’ve been worn by a few celebrities and have trended across mainstream fashion in the past 2 years, but they are far more interesting than your average jacket hanging in Zara and their story deserves to be told.
Their history traces back to the end of World War II, when many American solders were stationed in Japan. When the time came for the soldiers to return home, they wanted souvenirs and keepsakes to remember their time with their brothers in arms, so they asked local embroiderers to stitch intricate designs into their flight jackets. These designs were obviously very influenced by Japan and ranged from dragons, to sakura blossoms, geishas, tigers and koi. These soldiers were stationed in Yokosuka, and this is apparently where the jacket gets it’s name. “Suka” from Yokosuka and “Jan”, which means jacket or jumper.
Skip to the 60’s and Japan was engulfed in Ametora, the love of all things American. There was however a large subculture of young, working class people that rebelled against the the American influences and they adopted the sukajan as their standard. Because of these rebellious ties, you’ll find the sukajan in many yakuza movies. Fast forward to the present day and you’ll find everyone from high fashion houses to major clothing makers like Zara drawing on inspiration from the mighty Sukajan.