Google "Beatles," "Japan," and "1966" and you will see the JAL Original Happi Coat in action, worn by the Fab Four while getting off the airplane on their first visit to Japan. What you probably won't see is that Japan Airlines didn't have these traditional happi overcoats made especially for the arriving musicians: they were presented to all celebrities before disembarking as a gesture of omotenashi (hospitality) back in the 1960s. Now you too can own one - and with it, a piece of mid-20th-century history.
A full replica of the 1960s version, the JAL Original Happi Coat is mainly white, decorated with black Yoshiwara Tsunagi pattern from the Edo period and with black lapels featuring the legends "JAL" and the kanji for Nikko (the Japanese abbreviation of the company). On the back, it has a big red kanji character read "kotobuki," which means "best wishes" and "longevity," and is a standard decoration for celebratory items. It comes in one size (see dimensions below), is made of 100% cotton, and even has a handy pocket. But best of all, it's as vintage as it gets and therefore it deserves a spot in every Japanophile's wardrobe!
Specs and Features:
- As worn by the Beatles and other celebrities
- "JAL" in English and Japanese on the lapels, "best wishes" in Japanese on the back
- 1 pocket on the left breast
- Classic Yoshiwara Tsunagi pattern
- Length: 86 cm (33.8")
- Width: 68 cm (26.7")
- Sleeve length: 35 cm (13.7")
- Material: 100% cotton