露店街に集まる米兵たちの姿を目の当たりにし、港商の社員が考案したのがオリエンタルな刺繍を施した土産物としてのジャンパーだった。アメリカ人に親しみやすいベースボールジャケットを模し、刺繍は桐生や足利の職人に依頼。当時は戦後の物資統制で絹糸の入手が難しく、生地はシルクに似たアセテートを使用した。港商はそれを露店に向け販売し、瞬く間に人気を博す。やがてそのジャケットはPX(米軍基地内の売店)の買い付け担当者の目にとまって日本各地の基地に納入され、その人気は海外の米軍基地にまでも及んだ。当時の納品伝票には、“SOUVENIR JACKET”という商品名が記されており、このジャケットが後に「スカジャン」と呼ばれるようになる。スカジャンの全盛期とされる1950年代、港商は納入シェアの95パーセントを占めるほどであった。




Post war Japan, during economic revitalization, General Headquarters GHQ carried out dissolution of Japanese financial business conglomerates that were dominating the Japanese financial circles. This major political resolution resulted in the birth of multiple new businesses, Kosho & Co. Koshoshokai being one of them. Kosho & Co. originated as an import/export company for clothing fabric, and is the predecessor of Toyo Enterprise, as we know it today. In the midst of the post war chaos, the streets of Ginza, Tokyo became flooded with street stalls selling traditional Japanese items such as kimonos to American officers. Soon, the streets were swarmed with Americans hunting for souvenirs to take back to their home country.


Seeing the vast amount of U.S. military soldiers surrounding the street stalls, an employee of Kosho & Co. came up with a radical idea. The employee devised the creation of a jacket featuring embroidered oriental designs. In order to implement this, craftsmen from cities of Kiryu and Ashikaga were gathered for the embroider. They incorporated the details of a baseball jacket, an already familiar design to the Americans. Due to the scarcity of silk, acetate was used as a substitution, a very similar material. Kosho & Co. sold these jackets on the street stalls, and immediately saw a spike in demand. The word spread to the PX Post Exchange of the U.S. Army base, and the jackets were shortly supplied to all the bases located in Japan and even internationally. Upon inspection of payment sheets, we can see that these jackets were labeled as a ‘Souvenir Jacket’ back then.