Home Denim Distressed Japan’s Newest Craze: Fisherman Jeans, and we LOVE it!

Japan’s Newest Craze: Fisherman Jeans, and we LOVE it!

Japan’s Newest Craze: Fisherman Jeans, and we LOVE it!

fisherman jeans

The latest jeans craze in Japan now is year-old used fisherman jeans!

No one breaks in a pair of jeans better than a man who breaks through the ocean.

Now it seems a new obsession is sweeping the nation. No longer do people crave to spend their money on jeans meant for schoolgirls, instead they want to buy jeans that have been worn by fishermen for over a year.

“Just think – you could be the proud owner of one of these pungent, salty pairs of pants!” {note from the editor: no problem, can I please get the uber-baggy jeans from that first guy on the left ;-)}

The jeans come from the city of Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture. Fishermen are given free pairs of jeans to wear by the “Onomichi Denim Project,” and the company takes them back after a year of being “aged” through their daily work. The jeans sell for up to 48,000 yen (US$408) each.

You may think it sounds crazy, but the used jeans are popular with tourists and denim aficionados. Many are from overseas, and repeat customers are not uncommon. Apparently the daily work of the fishermen, combined with the way they stuff their jeans into their boots, breaks in the jeans in a unique way, giving the wearer an incomparable pants experience.

One fisherman who wasn’t sure what to think about the project at first, but then heard that his pants were being sold for 42,000 yen, had this to say about it:

“I decided to try it since I could wear the jeans for free and wouldn’t have to buy any for work. But who is buying my pants at that high price?”

In addition to fishermen, the Onomichi Denim Project also sells jeans from farmers, professors, chefs, eyeglass makers, and more. The story behind each pair of jeans is given alongside the item, such as “the bleach stains from when the chef washed the kitchen floor” or “the rips from when the eyeglass maker dropped pieces into his lap.” {guys, I love this glass rips idea, why haven’t I thought about this before, d’oooh!}

A photo of the inside of the Onomichi Denim Project store, which looks more like an art gallery than a jeans store.


  1. Very interesting article.

    In USA where it seems a large number of people are so into guns maybe someone will start selling used camo that has been through a hunting season.

    Just kidding.

  2. The baggy jeans the guy on the left is wearing do look cool and I bet you would replace his socks with fun socks if you had those jeans.

    Hopefully the fish smell would be gone.

  3. I looked at the link you provided but I did not see any photos of jeans with glass rips. Perhaps I overlooked them. If you have photos of what that looks like I would like to see them.

    If it is easier to post them in the forum I will look there too.


    • I haven’t seen any either – best way to find out is DIY probably – go girl!!!

  4. Other than the blood splatter, I like the concept. Maybe a denim company in LA could engage the services of local disadvantaged people to wear their jeans for a couple of years. That way our needy locals would get new jeans to wear and fashionistas would get real distressing.

    This brings me to a thought that I have been having. After a year of trying and failing to find denim that keeps its shape and holds up to wear, I should look for styles that will look even better after a year of sitting on the floor, sitting at a desk, and climbing trees. I would love to see an article about that.
    Maybe denim should be denim and when I want pants that won’t change, I need to get them in a different fabric. The denim I have in mind at the moment is low rise or over sized high/mid rise, maybe wide leg, certainly designed not to hug in the seat and made out of prewashed and dried fabric that either has no stretch or stretches equally in every direction. No rips no faux lightened areas and long enough so that anyone can choose the inseam that works for them with a pair of scissors or a quick stop to a tailor.

Comments are closed.