Drawing on cool traditional details and the mystical power of kotodama to help you pass any test in style.

When it comes to Japanese jeans, Edwin, whose name is an anagram of “denim”, with the “m” turned upside down, is one of the most famous and affordable brands on the market.

Like a lot of Japanese-born brands, Edwin knows how to market to local tastes, and its latest release, Juken Jeans, is a perfect example.

“Juken” means “exam“, often referring to the high school and university entrance exams undertaken by students at the end of the year. While a lot of middle schoolers will wear uniforms to their exams, those sitting for uni entrance exams can wear casual clothes, and that’s a section of the market where Edwin now slots in, with the Juken Jeans containing lucky details to help students pass their exams.

▼ Edwin wants its jeans to be just as auspicious as katsudon (“katsu” means “win”), red sea bream, darumas, and omamori talismans.

The luck of the jeans is present in seven special ways, starting with the denim itself, which is designed to be fade-proof, using a colour called Aikatsuiro, a darker-than-navy-blue shade that matches the auspicious colour favoured by samurai.

The second lucky feature is the pentagonal label. In Japan, the word for pentagon, “gokaku“, is the same as the word for “pass“, as in passing an exam, making this an auspicious shape for exam-takers.

The next lucky feature, non-slip tape, is as inspiring as it is practical, keeping your shirt tucked in at the back while maintaining your spirits with the messages, “You can do it” and “Your efforts will be rewarded“.

▼ Non-slip tape is commonly used in business attire such as slacks, to keep you looking spick and span.

The next lucky feature is a bit of a stretch, both literally and figuratively, as the jeans are made with stretch material that’s so comfortable you won’t notice it when studying, taking exams, or sitting for long periods of time.

▼ Edwin says it hopes your academic ability will stretch like the material.

The fifth special feature is the tab, which highlights the “win” in Edwin” using thread in red, an auspicious colour in Japan.

Next up, we have an “Omamori Pocket”, which changes the specifications of the coin pocket to make it wider to fit an omamori amulet. Many test-takers in Japan keep a lucky amulet on their person, and this pocket helps to keep it secure with a special red loop.

Finally, we have another instance of kotodama, which is the Japanese belief that words contain mystical powers. It’s the reason why things like “katsudon” and “KitKat” (pronounced “kitto katsu“), as well as sea bream (“tai”) are considered auspicious, as the associated words “katsu” (“win”) and “medetai” (“auspicious”) are believed to be imbued with fortuitous energy.

So, with that in mind, the straight leg of the jeans is also considered lucky, because, in the words of Edwin, “Wear these and you’ll go straight to school or university“.

Lucky puns are not to be underrated in Japan, so if you’re studying or about to sit any type of exam or interview, you won’t want to wear anything other than these Edwin jeans. Well, you will want to wear a top, of course, which, if we’re going by kotodama traditions, should help you go straight to the very top, just by the nature of its name.

As an added bonus, test-takers who do pass their exam while wearing the jeans are encouraged to contact the company in order to receive a special “congratulatory gift”. The Juken Jeans are available in extra small through to extra large sizes, and can be purchased at Edwin Tokyo Harajuku and online, priced at 11,000 yen (US$77.32).

Source, images: Edwin Jeans via PR Times
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