So, many of you may not know this, but the only reason I have this job is because I am acting as an ambassador from GPR (Gamer People’s Republic) to the Weeb Nation. I’m sorry I lied to you all, it was not my limited and inferior knowledge of old anime that got me hired. I am a fraud.
But I want to make it up to the glorious Weebs. I wish to be forgiven. And as such I would like to introduce to you a peace offering. A combination of our respective cultures. A dope ass jacket.
Seriously look at this thing. It’s so cool. The jacket is a promotional piece, a recreation of a set of original jackets given to the development team of Mother 2, or Earthbound in the states. I’ll try to avoid getting into the history too much but that will inevitably happen. If you are interested in that, wait till the end of the article. For everyone else, I’ll tell you when that’s going to start.
The jacket itself is called a sukajan, or a souvenir jacket. It is a style of jacket that emerged in Japan after world war two, during the United states occupation of Japan. To give a quick summary of events, American troops in japan wore bomber jackets on base in Japan and would sew Japanese designs into them. Other records show American G.I. sewed the remains of parachutes into something similar to varsity jackets and embroidered them with Japanese designs.
The point is that american styled jackets took japanese elements and incorporated them into their design. The jackets became popular with the local population, and were also sold as souvenirs to passing sailors. Thus the name souvenir jacket. Though the japanese name sukajan is one that we do not know the origin of. You’ll want to hire a linguist for that one.
As I mentioned above the jacket is a recreation of one given out to the development team that originally worked on Mother 2. They were meant to be a kind of personal treasure for the original development team and by all accounts they are. Former president of Nintendo Satoru Iwata is quoted as calling the jacket one of his prized possessions on twitter back in 2013.
“[Iwata] Hello, this is Iwata from Nintendo. Continuing from yesterday, we have a look at more goods from Mother 2. This Sukajan was specifically made and distributed to the staff. The logo is firmly reproduced by embroidery. This is also one of my most prized possessions”
The jacket is priced at about $843 USD or 88,000 yen and is slated for a release February 2021. If I had that kind of money available I would buy it in a heartbeat. The jacket is going to be released on the Hobonichi Store, which has an online shop. Yes, it’s the one with the planners. I’ll just link the actual page for you below.
Fun fact, Satoru Iwata, the guy who’s tweet you see above, actually worked at the store as IT manager. Unfortunately Satoru Iwata passed away back in 2015. A fact that immediately depresses me.
Hey- This next bit is longer than I meant. If you’d like to learn more about the game, this is a good opportunity! If you have no interest in video games or the Mother series, you don’t have to read it. There are better ways to spend your time.
Introduced to the states as Earthbound, Mother 2 is surprisingly the second game in the Mother series. The title had to be changed to Earthbound in the US due to the fact that the original Mother game was never released here. Which is a real shame because it’s a great game.
The series is, at this point, a bit dated and hard to come by. It’s also long and potentially not something a lot of people want to play outside of those interested for nostalgia reasons, but it’s definitely worth the play.
The game never earned a huge western following, partially because of its more bizarre sense of humor and style. Spoiler alert, it’s very Japanese. Which is half the reason I want to talk about it. If you happen to have dual citizenship between both the GPR and the Weeb Nations as I do, it is worth your time. The games are emotional and enrapturing with the script of the first one really carrying it. The protagonist of Earthbound, Ness, has actually made it into mainstream pop culture with him being featured in Super Smash Brothers. Also that one YouTube video. The Sans one. The one we don’t talk about.
The games can be difficult to find nowadays, depending on where you are looking. All three were rereleased on the Wii U virtual console if you are into that sort of thing, but outside of that it can be iffy.
On an unrelated note, did you know that modern computer systems are capable of emulating older video game systems up to even the PlayStation three? Another fun fact, did you know that online there are repositories of copies of old games as ROM files that could theoretically be run on said systems. Did you also know that I can not and am not endorsing the downloading of both of these, of which reliable sources can be found at your internet forum of choice, in order to play these games? You did? Well don’t act on that knowledge, because then you would find yourself immersed in a wonderfully moving plot in one of the most underappreciated game series.
Houston based Sequential Art student who is stuck in the past. Has a habit of going off topic. Loves Berserk, Video Games, and literally nothing else.