6 Under-the-Radar Japanese Denim Brands You Should Know About

If you’ve been into denim for any amount of time you will most certainly have dabbled in (or at least be aware of) the deep, dark world that is Japanese selvedge denim.  Known for producing most of the finest selvedge denim and jeans in the world, Japan is home to many denim brands that pride … Read more

Jeans Review: Tanuki Brings Streetwear to Selvedge

Launched in 2016 in Okayama, where most of Japan’s legendary denim is crafted, Tanuki has catapulted to popularity on the denim scene, achieving serious notoriety in a seriously short span of time. Some will say Tanuki translates as ‘raccoon,’ but it actually means ‘raccoon dog,’ a real animal that looks like its name and has … Read more

Review: Full Count’s Modern Interpretation of Vintage Jeans

Full Count is an enormously esteemed denim company founded by Mikiharu Tsujita in 1992, and it’s so respected that it’s one of the Osaka 5, a group of older, ultra influential brands that includes Denime, Evisu, Warehouse & Co, and Studio D’artisan, which I’ve also reviewed. The company is named, by the way, after the moment in … Read more

Review: Why My Samurai Jeans Are My Japanesiest Jeans

Founded in 1997 by Toru Nogami, Samurai Jeans was launched a fair amount of time after the Japanese denim scene kind of debuted in the 1970s, but while that’s when it started it really exploded in the 90s. That’s when Nogami-san starting out making cuts inspired by vintage Levi’s jeans, and they expanded into a … Read more

Pure Blue Japan Review: The Slubbiest Jeans on Earth?!

Pure Blue Japan, or PBJ, or is a beloved Japanese denim company that was founded in 1997 and is based in the Japanese denim capital of Okayama,  right between Hiroshima and Kyoto. Note that it is not the same company as Japan Blue, or Blue Blue Japan, this is Pure Blue Japan and perhaps more … Read more

7 Reasons Japanese Denim Is So Expensive — And Why It’s Worth It

It’s no secret that Japanese denim can be pricey, often over $300 a pair, but what makes this so? Before we can determine if these jeans are ‘worth it’ (a wildly relative concept), we first have to understand what Japanese denim is, and what sets it apart from the ubiquitous cheaper options, which may at … Read more

Iron Heart Review: The World’s Toughest Jeans?

Heavy ass denim. That’s the specialty of the cult Japanese denim brand Iron Heart. After 20 years of working in Japan’s garment industry, Shinichi Haraki established the brand in 2003 and today it’s headquartered in Hachioji, just outside of Tokyo. Iron Heart specializes in smooth, heavyweight denim that has its roots in Japanese motorcycle culture, … Read more

Oni Shin Secret Denim Review – Stretchy Selvedge Jeans?

Believe it or not, stretch selvedge is a thing. I took a trip to New York’s denim mecca Blue in Green to see what kind of unusual offerings they had this season, and I was treated to this unique, almost sea green colored denim from the secretive Japanese brand Oni. Meaning “demon” or “ogre,” Oni … Read more

Studio d’Artisan G-003 Denim Review & Discount: The Hairiest Jeans on Earth?

We’re branching out at Stridewise with our new series on raw denim — because if you know anything about rugged boots, it’s that nothing goes better with them than some tough, raw denim. So today I’m looking at a pair of Studio d’Artisan G-003 jeans. They’re not fresh off the rack; I picked them up … Read more