Everybody has a different name for this vivid shade of pink. I call it “hot pink”. Schiaparelli had a similar color called “shocking pink”. The important thing is, we have here a very brilliant pink quilted cotton-like vest with the word “Syobenkozo” on it, edged and lined in a fun fur. Not only the brilliant color, but the print stands out. You can see mischievous boys doing mischievous things with lower-case sentences reflecting on the mischievous nature of children and boys. Some of these sentences are pretty clear, while some are a bit more cryptic: The children played a trick on the oldman. It’s left to your imagination to decide if that included ringing the doorbell and running, egging the house, hiding something valuable, or whatever pranks were popular in the 80’s in Japan. Although the vest seems to be cut for men, due to the size and color, it could easily double as a women’s garment, but we here are Monster Vintage think it’s always a nice shot in the arm to see a man’s garment in such a lively color. There are many more views of this great vest. Click here to see them and for sizing information!
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.
Fun fact: The word “kimono” in Japanese means both the traditional clothing you see at festivals and it is also a general word meaning “clothing” or “a thing you wear”. This one is a robe or loungewear in vibrant warm colors. Click here for more views!