What kind of image do you have of "Sukajan"? A shiny jumper with large, gorgeous embroidery...I'm sure many people can share the same image, but why do so many oriental motifs such as tigers and dragons appear on clothing? Is it a little unusual to see large embroidery on clothes that men also wear? There are some aspects of fashion that can make you feel strange.
"Sukajan" is actually an abbreviation for "Yokosuka Jumper". An exhibition focusing on Sukajan is currently being held in Yokosuka. In this article, we will introduce the "15th Anniversary PRIDE OF YOKOSUKA Sukajan Exhibition,'' an exhibition that explores the history and charm of sukajan.
During the "Sukajan Exhibition", the souvenir collection is on display at "Dobuita Station" in Yokosuka City's Dobuita Dori Shopping District.
Are roots “souvenirs”? Learn about the history of "Skajan'' from a place of connection
The exhibition is set in Yokosuka after World War II. The roots of ``Skajan'' are said to be a souvenir for American soldiers stationed all over Japan at the time. It is said that ``Japanese'' items such as kimonos, Hina dolls, and Buddhist altar items sold like hotcakes as souvenirs.
At the venue, photos of Dobuita Street, a street lined with souvenir shops for the US military, and souvenirs that were actually sold are on display. Among these souvenirs are cushion covers embroidered with Japanese motifs and place names. It's no surprise that these motifs are popular as souvenirs.
Under these circumstances, it seems that the ``souvenir jacket'' (souvenir jacket) was born, which is a baseball jacket-like garment familiar to Americans with oriental embroidery that would make a great souvenir.
The fabric used is acetate, which has a luster and feel similar to silk. There are also items that are filled with cotton waste from spinning factories instead of batting, and are quilted to prevent the cotton waste from falling down due to its weight. The ``Skajan'' is said to be ``the only clothing made in Japan,'' and it is clear that it was created in a time when supplies were scarce.
From around the 1970s, jackets like this became associated with the image of Yokosuka's ``Gutter Street'' and came to be called ``Yokosuka jumpers'' = ``Skajans.''
At the exhibition, 140 ``vintage skajans'' manufactured immediately after the war will be on display. You can see various motifs such as oriental patterns such as dragons, tigers, and eagles, the emblem of the unit or base you belonged to, the name of the place where the base is located, and the landmarks of the area.
The charm of the craftsmanship of “horizontal embroidery”
One of the characteristics of Sukajan is its large embroidery. This embroidery actually uses a unique Japanese technique called "horizontal embroidery." It is said that this technique was developed for embroidering Japanese clothing in the Kiryu area of Gunma, which has been known for producing silk fabrics since the Nara period.
The ``horizontal sewing machine'' used to create this embroidery differs from regular sewing machines in that it uses a pedal under the foot to adjust the speed and a lever on the right knee to adjust the width of the needle, while skillfully moving the fabric by hand to create the embroidery. Something to go for. This sewing machine requires many years of experience and advanced techniques, and you can see that each and every Skajan was made with great craftsmanship.
There are many skajans on display at the venue, so even if the motif is the same, you can see the charm of each different embroidery expression, such as the delicacy of a fluffy tiger's fur or the three-dimensional appearance of the motif by layering threads.
Nowadays, various brands make sukajans, and you can see sukajans with unique motifs from each brand, such as Chrome Hearts, DIOR, COMME des GARCONS, and Yohji Yamamoto.
In addition, the works of four contemporary artists who utilize the ``horizontal embroidery'' method, which was adopted as embroidery on Skajan jackets, are also introduced.
The works of OZAKI FUMINA, who discovered horizontal embroidery in 2017 and creates art pieces and accessories, reproduce motifs of insects, animals and plants with colorful embroidery. This work allows you to experience the expressive power and charm of horizontal embroidery through the fantastic atmosphere and three-dimensional effect created by the delicate gradation created by layering threads.
If you have the chance, let's try and enjoy Sukajan in Yokosuka!
After seeing all the charms of Sukajan, I want to try it out! That's what you think. At the venue, there will also be a photo spot where you can take photos wearing skajans provided by Tailor Toyo (Toyo Enterprises Co., Ltd.), which is a special supporter of the exhibition.
You can pick up and experience the charms that you wouldn't notice just by looking at the reversible sukajan with delicate embroidery on both sides, and the fluffy, warm and comfortable sukajan.
Additionally, Dobuita Street, which still has many Sukajan shops and promotes its appeal, is just one bus ride (about 40 minutes) from Yokosuka Museum of Art. Special bus tickets are also on sale that allow you to visit the exhibition and Dobuita Street at the same time . Be sure to also experience the satellite exhibitions and American atmosphere.
``15th Anniversary PRIDE OF YOKOSUKA Sukajan Exhibition'' where you can experience the history and charm of sukajan . At the venue, many people of all ages and genders could be seen wearing sukajans, and the exhibit showed the charm of sukajans, which are loved by many people. Please come and experience its charm at the venue.
15th Anniversary PRIDE OF YOKOSUKA Sukajan Exhibition Official Website https://www.yokosuka-moa.jp/Venue Yokosuka Museum of Art Dates November 19th (Sat) - December 25th (Sun), 2022 Opening hours 10:00-18 :00 Closed: December 5th (Monday) Admission fee: 1,300 yen for adults, 1,100 yen for high school students, university students, and those over 65 years old, free for junior high school students and younger *You can also view the collection exhibition and Rokuro Taniuchi Museum. *Free for high school students (limited to those residing in the city or enrolled in school) *Free for those with a physical disability certificate, rehabilitation certificate, mental disability certificate, and one accompanying person
*View at a discount with Sukajan discount!
Those who come to the museum wearing a Sukajan jacket will receive a 20% discount on the admission fee. If you would like a discount, please apply at the ticket counter.
General admission: 1,300 yen → 1,040 yen; high school students, university students, and those over 65 years old: 1,100 yen → 880 yen.