Samurai

Pssst…you know where I can get some fades? Hell yeah, I can get you some fades…

Samurai Jeans are only sold raw which means they’re super-stiff to start. With faithful wear however (and a bit of warrior spirit) they will eventually yield to your will and bring home the blue ribbon in your local fade competition. Founded in Osaka by Toru Nogami in 2003, Samurai Jeans has already become a cult favorite for its fabrics and the accompanying hardware and details that finish off their impeccable creations, crafted in denim weights topping out at a manly 25oz.

The selvedge on Samurai jeans also contains a single strand of silver thread meant to evoke the cold steel blades that sat ever-ready in the sashes of these Japanese warriors of the past, and their standard leather back patch features a famous duel between two of feudal Japan’s most feared and revered swordsmen, Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro, something that actually went down back in 1612. To finish a story, things did not end well for Kojiro, as Musashi first arrived late to throw him off his stride, and then added death to insult by killing him on the spot. Ever the man for a challenge, Musashi even forewent his usual dual-sword technique and instead dispatched his foe with a long wooden stick he whittled from a boat oar on the ride over to the island where the duel took place. Different times.

But I digress. Handmade in Osaka, Samurai Jeans are constantly testing new waters and coming out with special releases, anniversary editions and the like. The selection of buttons and rivets on their jeans is as varied as it is beautiful, with the inside of some of their custom rivets reminding us in Japanese that “all material things must eventually pass”. Essentially true of course, but hopefully not before my pair of Samurai gives up their killer fades.

Samurai also has a project going where they grow small amounts of cotton in the Japanese countryside, allowing them to make the only truly all-Japanese jeans, though they can only produce a few of pairs of these a year. As you might imagine, these particular homegrown models come with a price inappropriate to mention with children nearby, but they sell out immediately nonetheless.

Cool and elegant as a swordsman’s blade, Samurai jeans still have more than enough details to keep even the most discerning denim geek and his magnifying glass entertained for hours. A fantastic blend of traditional and modern, Samurai jeans remain unabashedly Japanese and are still not that easy to get hold of outside their home country.

Check out the interview with Samurai Boss Toru Nogami here.

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