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Brimming With Quality – A Guide To Japan’s Heritage-Centric Hatmakers

Japanese makers have a way of taking a western archetype, extracting the best parts of its form and story, and creating a new, exciting product whilst still respecting its history. That’s pretty much how most modern raw denim jeans became the product they are today — early makers like Big John and members of the Osaka Five took an iconic and somewhat defunct American product and reproduced it with insane levels of detail that could only be achieved by totally geeking over original articles. But at the same time, those brands created something fresh, exciting, and uniquely Japanese.

Now, the ballcap is an American classic. Conceived in the early days of baseball, it transcended the sport to become a staple for those outside the ballpark. However, just like with raw denim, many Japanese makers have taken the ballcap and made it their own, imbuing this American stalwart with a certain type of quality, charm, and nuance that can only be found in Japan. Japanese hatmaking doesn’t stop at ballcaps, either. Beanies, berets and flat caps, wool caps, and even formal felt hats can all be found in a scene that’s making waves in the West as well as the Far East.

In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at the Japanese hatmakers relevant to our niche, from RoToTo to POTEN, H.W. Dog, and more.

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