When talking about denim of the Setouchi area, the Kojima area of Okayama prefecture is well-known.
We have already introduced ‘Jeans Street’ [ link: https://setouchifinder.com/en/detail/544 ] and the denim project [ link: https://setouchifinder.com/en/detail/696 ] that connects makers with users, but this time we’d like to talk about denim from Onomichi city, Hiroshima prefecture, and will introduce a unique project that uses jeans to introduce the people, work and life in the area.
The people central to the Onomichi Denim Project are these lovely ladies: Ms. Hamano (left), and Ms. Ogawa (right).
The day we visited to research this article was the day the denim is changed, so we took a shot of them holding some of the jeans, and I think we caught some nice smiles!
But what exactly does “changing denim” mean?
Onomichi Denim is unique in that it is created in a super analog way by having local people wear it!
People who work and live in Onomichi, such as fishermen, hunters and even monks, wear the jeans for 1 year.
The denim is collected once a week and sent to the denim processing facility in Shimane prefecture where it’s washed after being checked by a professional. After being washed with a detergent specifically designed for denim, the jeans are returned to the wearers. After 1 year, the denim has faded properly and is sold as Onomichi Denim.
The way in which the Onomichi Denim fades perfectly reflects the work and lifestyle of the person who wore it. These particular jeans came from a fisherman. Their special feature is the mark just under the knee, which was left behind by rubber boots.
A person working in a factory wore this pair. Their characteristic color comes from iron powder that has penetrated the fabric.
If you compare them with one-wash denim, you can clearly see how the color has faded.
Worn by a hunter, these jeans that have slight blood-like remnants on them. It’s a kind of work particular to this area, where wild boar are often hunted.
The denim worn by the people of Onomichi is, of course, unique. Every pair of jeans is characterized by how the have been used.
A total of 720 pairs of jeans are worn by around 360 people (including those currently in the making).
Through this denim, customers get in touch with the life, work and people of Onomichi.
In addition to the local ONOMICHI DENIM SHOP, Onomichi Denim is also sold in other regions via the “ONOMICHI DENIM CARAVAN”, a traveling panel and display marketing event. Check their homepage, if you feel interested.
ONOMICHI DENIM SHOP
Location: 1-2-23 Kubo, Onomichi city, Hiroshima prefecture
HP: http://www.onomichidenim.com/ (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writers: Katsutoshi Asai / Minami Asai (Kokohore Japan)
Katsutoshi Asai Producer and member of the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association. Born in Yokohama in 1974, Katsutoshi is married and has a young son. Although he started his career with an advertising agency, he went to join the Tower Records team. Katsutoshi was involved with brand management, sales campaigns, collaboration work, and live events. Through his career, he experienced being the Sales Promotion Manager, and the Manager of the Live Entertainment Department. However, in 2012, Katsuyoshi retired from Tower Records and moved to Seto city, Okayama prefecture - a place where he had no prior friends, connections or relatives. Soon after moving, he joined the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association, and in July 2013 founded Kokohore Japan and began a number of projects to re-task old traditional buildings, invent new specialty products, and work on regional branding. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/ Asami Asai Editor & Writer I mainly write about social news, music, and lifestyles. I was born and raised in Tokyo, but in 2012 I decided on a whim to move to Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture. I contribute to magazines such as Liniere, Inakagurashi no Hon, and ku:nel. I publish books for my 'interesting' friends, too, and direct and write for programs at FM Okayama. Everyday I write about people and things for both readers and listeners. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/
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