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This movie shows why Japanese jeans are widely considered the best in the world.

Treasured by jeans fanatics around the world for its exceptional quality, Japanese denim gets the cinematic treatment in a new documentary, directed by American filmmaker, Devin Leisher.

The documentary, Weaving Shibusa, offers a glimpse into the country’s unique and somewhat mysterious jeans industry, and includes interviews with some of the most legendary and widely-respected figures in Japanese jeans.

▼ Check out the theatrical trailer below!

In recent years, exceptionally high-quality jeans from Japan have become highly-sought after by fashionable people around the world, and they frequently command a high price at top boutiques in cities like New York, Paris, and London. Expensive European brands like APC and G-Star Raw boast of the “raw selvedge” Japanese denim they use in their premium products.

It’s little wonder considering that many premium Japanese denim brands still employ techniques long since abandoned by American manufacturers in favor of speed and convenience.

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Weaving Shibusa celebrates this painstaking adherence to traditional weaving and dyeing techniques, while showing the obsessive craftsmanship that makes Japanese “raw denim” synonymous with excellence amongst fashionistas across the world. The title of the documentary contains the word “shibusa,” which refers to the traditional Japanese concept of a mature and somewhat subdued aesthetic — a concept of “cool” that first emerged in Japan centuries ago owing to stringent sumptuary laws that dictated what common people were allowed to wear and not wear.

Though this aesthetic might appear effortless, it is anything but. The documentary’s trailer shows how some modern-day denim manufacturers in Japan have even gone so far as to import vintage shuttle looms to ensure absolute fidelity to the techniques used decades ago to make authentic, high-quality jeans. Others have incorporated the country’s centuries-old methods of indigo dyeing (called aizome) using fermented indigo to achieve a deep, rich quality unrivaled in the world of fashion.

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Japanese companies started manufacturing jeans and denim clothing beginning in the 1960s, in order to suit the demands of youth of the day, who were hungry for American fashions transmitted via pop culture like rock music and Hollywood films. Over time, many Japanese companies gradually earned a reputation for the high quality of their goods — cheap knock-offs these were not. Nowadays, increasing numbers of denim-devotees from around the world are even making the trek to Kojima City in Okayama Prefecture, a place they regard as the Mecca of Japanese blue jeans.

People interested in learning more about the fascinating world of Japanese denim should definitely check out the film, which opened at the famed Castro Theatre in San Francisco on August 6th.

Sources: Weaving Shibusa (Official Site)Heddels, New York Times
Images: Youtube/Weaving Shibusa Trailer