"Man, this guy really likes Tanuki!"
Honestly, it's very difficult for me not to like Tanuki. I do not, on principal, think you need to remain brand loyal, but when you find a brand that fits you well, whose style suits you and to top it off, they keep putting out killer fabrics, I can't think of a single good reason not to be brand loyal in this situation.
The garment I'm reviewing today is the perfect example of how Tanuki is killing the raw denim game. I love this piece, from the uniqueness of the fabric it's made from, to the execution of all of it's elements sewn together.
Before I get into the details, I have to express just how honored I am by Tanuki and Toshi-San. A little over a month ago I reviewed Tanuki's Red Cast denim, it was a significant review for me because the denim had been originally released several years earlier and steadily held it's spot as my favorite fabric in my denim career. I am told that Toshi-San (the man who created the Red Cast as well as this Amagumo fabric) loved my review so much that he and Tanuki wanted to gift me with this jacket for me to wear and love; not to review, there was no expectations of me reviewing this piece. They even went above and beyond to send this jacket back and forth across Japan for Toshi-San to write a little note to me on the inner pocket.
It reads: "Dear Isaac, thank you always! Toshi"
Toshi-San, my friend, you honor me with this kind gesture, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I beg you, please keep creating awesome fabrics, and I promise you I will always wear and fade what you create with pride!
Cut and Fit:
This isn't my Type II jacket from Tanuki, so I am very well acquainted with the cut of this jacket. Of all of the denim jackets that I own, 70% of them are Type II's. It is inarguably my favorite denim jacket style, and while I know many purists are against the addition of hand warmers in such a style, I prefer having them vs not having them, and I think Tanuki's hand warmer placement is perfect.
Note- This denim is beautiful, if reading on a PC, right click any picture - "view image" to see the pictures up close and in all their glory.
Something to keep in mind is that all of Tanuki's jackets are unsanforized but are sold in one-washed condition. This means that most if not all of the shrink has already been taken out of the garment for you, but you still get that marvelous character from the unsanforized fabric. You might notice that the sleeves on this jacket seem a bit short for me. I'm a tall lanky dude, and this is not an uncommon issue for me, however I do want to note that as the jacket has broken in, and with just a little bit of tugging on the sleeves, I've managed to pull out another inch of length in the sleeves (sorry no picture.)
Here is another fit pic in a different light. The length of this jacket is perfect for my style, if you were a vintage purist, you might find that it's a touch too long because your pants are likely near your belly button, but for 99.9% of people, this length is going to work great for your modernized vintage look. Short boxy jackets work on some, but they don't work for me, I'm very pleased with the sizing of Tanuki's Type II jacket.
Btw, peep those Red Cast jeans! Fades are coming along nicely.
Tagged size 42
Pit to Pit: 22"
Length (down center back measured from the bottom of the collar): 25"
I am 6'2 approximately 180lbs 42 or XL is the size I choose for 99% of my Japanese made shirts and jackets, it is usually equivalent to a slim US large.
There are several consistent details that you can come to expect from Tanuki's newer releases, they all have their branded buttons.
Another signature detail that you'll always find is the "NI" symbol stitched onto the garment somewhere, in the case of their jackets, that's on the right shoulder. A simple detail which I think adds a lot!
The stitching proves to be quite a detail on this jacket as well. The contrasting thread color is the perfect vehicle to really show off how clean the stitching is.
The sleeve button holes have been stitched with a bright blue thread, a detail that also exists on my Tanuki Indigo/Indigo type II. That same bright blue colored thread can also be found along the inseam of the body as well as the sleeves.
It is the little details like these that in my opinion, set the brand apart from the rest.
The hand warmer pockets are stitched with a tonal colored thread so that they do not stand out any more than they have to. They're there to serve a function, and in my opinion the stealth placement doesn't detract from the classic silhouette of the Type II jacket.
With Tanuki, I always feel like the fabric is the main event. The fit and the details are important, but once you already know what to expect from those, then it all boils down to the fabric. This jacket's Amagumo fabric is quite special, you don't need to hear all of the details about it to understand why, you just need to look at it and handle it. In the same way that when a juicy cheeseburger is in your hands you can tell it's going to taste delicious before it even hits your lips, with this jacket you know right down to your core that it's going to fade in a very special way.
If you remember the story about Toshi-San and his father in my red cast denim review and how the red cast fabric found its revival in the son of the retired denim master, then you might remember me mentioning that Toshi-San was to have his first original denim creation coming soon. Amagumo is that creation, and it is very clear that he put a lot of passion and care into it..
Amagumo literally translates to "Rain Clouds", this is conjecture but I would guess that the name's inspiration comes from the color of the weft. I have heard it described in several online store's listings as being a grey weft, however, in my opinion, that is an inaccurate description of what is actually a very interestingly colored weft. The weft is arguably one of the most interesting aspects of this fabric, being that it was dyed with an all natural dye derived from black beans!! Black beans (and I had no idea about this prior to receiving this jacket) actually create a blue dye!
The uniquely dyed weft can be seen here alongside the selvedge ID.
When looking at the weft, the way it is speckled with bits of the very dark warp showing through, I feel like I am staring into a stormy sky filled with rainclouds of varying depths of blue and black, the clouds are backed by the sun so there are highlights of a lighter blueish grey showing through. That is my interpretation of where "Amagumo" may have come from anyway.
The warp of the denim is extremely dark. In some light it is near black! This is especially true when seen next to my faded double indigo jacket, which is very blue by comparison. The weight of this denim is 15oz which is a good middle weight denim for jeans and jackets alike. The weave is tighter initially than the red cast denim and it can be difficult to see much of the weft through the warp, but I feel like that will change as the garment evolves.
I am told that this fabric was developed to be a fast fader, which is not necessarily something I normally care about because I enjoy all of the stages of the fading process, but I have to admit, in regards to a jacket, I find this quite appealing. Jackets generally don't get as much wear as their jean counterparts, and thusly they tend to fade more slowly over a much longer time period. Also, with all of the denim fade contests that have been becoming far more prevalent, fast fading fabrics are increasing in appeal and popularity.
The Amagumo fabric is available not only in jacket form however, you can also find it in their very popular High Tapered as well as standard Tapered cuts as well. These pieces are currently available at retailers around the world.
I hope that you enjoyed my review of this wonderful piece. I will be enjoying the jacket for years to come and look forward to posting an update down the road!
Thank you once again to Tanuki and Toshi-San for this very generous gift and for creating articles of clothing that bring joy to their owners.
All of the Amagumo pieces can now be purchased directly from Tanuki here.