When you find a piece of clothing like this, you also find someone’s story. Sometimes, you also find how that story relates to history! In researching the place names on this jacket, I learned that Misawa, Japan was the starting point for the world’s first trans-Pacific flight. (Source: “Then and Now“) After World War II, it served as an Air Force Base and the Navy also had a presence there too. This jacket tells the story of someone called “Chi Chi”, who was in the 6920 Security Group for two years in the 1970’s. Looking at the patches and the embroidery, you get a better idea of this person’s hobbies and activities:
Whoever Chi Chi was, he loved sports: Basketball, baseball, and he was apparently from California. From the map on the back of the jacket, you can see how far to the north Misawa is: At the northern tip of the main island (Honshu) in the Aomori prefecture. The fleece lining on this jacket likely helped keep Chi Chi warm in the winter, as it can get pretty snowy in northern Honshu. Another way to warm up in this region of Japan is to visit an onsen (hot springs bath), but there’s no patch for that.
If you’re interested in history and souvenir jackets, please find more detail views of the other patches here.