Stylesight at Inazuma Festival, Okayama

Last weekend we re-visited the amazing Okayama region of Japan to see a unique event in the heart of this “Denim City.”

The Inazuma Festival takes place every year on the outskirts of Tokyo but for 2012, the organizers decided to move location farther south, past Kyoto and into Okayama. For those not familiar with this area, please read our earlier post on the area of Kojima (right next to Okayama) and its deep links with all things indigo.

Inazuma Festival is organized by Lightning magazine and targets the denim community, local denim manufacturers and brands, and locals. The event was far more about community and relationships within the denim industry than sales for most people.  And it was also a chance for brands to sell off old stock, giving locals a sweet deal on products that are made right in their hometown.  The crowd of denim heads was joined by people from the countryside around Okayama and Kojima, and a lot of families were excited to be a part of the festivities.  The dates of the festival fell at the beginning of “Golden Week” in Japan, one of the biggest holidays of the year that people spend with their families.

The weather was great and despite the hot sun, some of the diehards were still head to toe in denim.  A few of the denim brands participating were Senio, Kamakaze Attack, Samurai, Momotaro, Full Count and Flat Head. The guys from Flat Head, Full Count and Lightning were even thinking up some great ideas about hosting a big party in Nagoya in the summer, so watch this space!

Since the devastating earthquake last year, there has been a sense of quietness and caution  that could be sensed in all areas of life, including fashion.  But as a year has passed, people are ready to come together and celebrate…and celebrating Japan seems to be the best thing to do. Two young guys from Kobe joined the festival selling handmade skateboards and denim bracelets they are making in Okayama, with proceeds going to the Red Cross.

All the shops that were open along Jeans Street in Kojima and even those off the main festival path like D-Mall were buzzing with people. We’ll be bringing you a full report on Stylesight within the next few weeks – stay tuned!


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