Japanese Streetwear Fashion: From the Land of the Rising Sun

Japanese fashion has been a source of pop culture inspiration since the turn of the century. The Japanese fashion scene has only grown to what it has become in just the last few decades due to globalization. Initially gaining inspiration from western fashion, Japanese streetwear took a greater turn away from traditional attires to what they are today. 

Men’s Streetwear in Japanese Fashion 

Japanese streetwear is believed to have begun in Shibuya. It started in the Harajuku district in Shibuya in the 1970s and 1980s. This period was characterized by young people who chose not to conform to the traditional styles of dressing. It was the ultimate form of self-expression. Over time, this generation of Japanese youths sought to craft a fashion sense for themselves and by the early 1990s, Japanese streetwear was already taking the world by storm. 

Interesting to note, streetwear designers have also taken traditional attires like the kimono and seamlessly included it into the fashion scene of this generation. Japanese street fashion or streetwear has played both roles of the influencer and the influence.

Some common Japanese streetwear clothes are:

The Sukajan

The Sukajan is commonly referred to as the souvenir or rebel jacket. It is also referred to as Yokosuka jackets because this was where the design concept originated from. Yokosuka holds a special place in the military history of Japan and the United States. The town is known for being home to different naval fleets. After the second world war, American troops who were returning home needed souvenirs. But due to lack of packing space, they turned to their jackets. The embroidery on these jackets was handwoven making each one distinct. Sukajan jackets can be worn with Tee shirts, black denim pants, and boots to give off a serious look.

Japanese Sweatshirts 

Japanese sweatshirts and hoodies, and much more are iconic attires in the nation’s streetwear scene. Japanese sweatshirts are mainly designed with Japanese themes. These could be Japanese writings (kanji), pop culture icons, or names of Japanese brands or cities (Osaka), and much more. Although Japanese sweatshirts are more for men, women’s sweatshirts seem to be greatly popular also. 

The Hakama Pants 

The Hakama, much like the kimono, is a traditional Japanese attire that has been incorporated into modern Japanese street fashion. The hakama was originally from China but was absorbed into Japanese culture. The hakama comes traditionally in many styles for men but modern street fashion has made changes to the pants hakama or horse riding Hakama (the horse riding hakama looks like a pair of trousers as it splits into two parts). Modern hakama can be worn with Japanese t-shirts and a pair of sneakers.

Haori Jackets

Haori, better known as short kimono cardigans are also very fashionable and popular. They are the version of casual kimono that can be worn every day. They are a clear example of how much the Harajuku district fashion style has grown.
They are one of a kind and can’t be found in mainstream stores. They are also unisex and you’ll see a lot of women wearing haori in different colors and patterns. If you want to test streetwear items, check out the men’s collection of Japanese hoodies, t-shirts, sukajan and hakama pants today. 


Over the last 50 years, Japanese street fashion has made changes along the way as it has been influenced by many western cultures. Despite all these changes, it has also stayed true to its initial purposes. Japanese streetwear will always remain an amazing style of fashion.


David Rosenberg: A seasoned political journalist, David's blog posts provide insightful commentary on national politics and policy. His extensive knowledge and unbiased reporting make him a valuable contributor to any news outlet.