Ever wonder what Japan's formidable samurai warriors wore under their suits of battle armor? Of course you haven't, that would be weird and creepy... which just happen to be the two qualifications that make today's samurai underwear an ideal Japanese product!
Available in 10 designs, the SIDO brand armor underwear from Rogin looks to the leading warlords of the pre-1600 Sengoku Period, also known as the Warring Era. This time period saw centuries of near constant warfare between Japan's numerous provinces.
Often used as the setting for the country's annual, 50-episode Taiga Dramas, the Warring Era saw the rise of warlords like Uesugi Kenshin, Takeda Shingen and Ieyasu Tokugawa - the latter of whom finally succeeded in unifying Japan in 1603 when he named himself Shogun.
In these troubled times of economic stagnation, both men and women are looking back to the Warring Era, a time when blood ran hot and men were men. It may be a backlash the current trend of so-called "herbivore men", those who are mild in manner and focus more on friendship and fashion than sex and money-making. In fact, a new trend known as Reki-jo, or "History Girls" is bringing a flood of young women to historical bookstores and tourist attractions dedicated to those manly figures from the Sengoku Period.
In any case, this brings us back to samurai armor underwear. Who's buying it? Not just men it seems - according to Rogin president Shiro Nogi, 80 percent of buyers are women! Explains Nogi, "As a result of the history boom, our underwear seems to have gained popularity as gifts."
When asked what he thought of the underwear, one shopper said "It's flashy-looking. I think of Father's Day gift." Well, better than another loud, flashy-looking necktie I suppose.
Want to gird your loins (or those of your significant other) in the style of the samurai? Prepare to fork out 9,240 yen or just under $100 per pair. The way of the warrior doesn't come cheap. (via Shibuya 246 and Mainichi Daily News)
EDITOR'S NOTE: A limited selection of Samurai Underwear from Japan is available also on Amazon.