As many of you will already know, the Japanese are one of the world leaders when it comes to fashion. Tokyo in particular has some of the most forward thinking fashion the world has ever seen and is now one of the world leaders along with Paris, London, Milan and New York City. People, however, when they think of fashion, particularly men’s fashion, they seem to forget about that most important of clothing. I’m talking of course about underwear and the Japanese have a long and traditional history of underwear for men as well as some of the top modern brands in the world. So here we are going to take you through a list of three of the best modern brands and a look into the traditional underwear named Fundoshi.
Cover photo credit:CES
We are starting off with possibly the most popular men’s Japanese underwear brand around the world. BETONES is for everyone but their mens underwear is what we are talking about today. They have an extensive range of different types of undergarments for men including the traditional short boxer, the long boxer and the hipster boxer. You can certainly get these types of boxer shorts all over the world but it is the design of the BETONES that set them apart. They have a rainbow of colour scattered over their range along with vibrant picture ones. As a Japanese brand that is known world wide you can also order them from the United States of America, Europe and even the United Kingdom and parts of Asia. BETONES use a unique blend of materials that consist of Polyester:65%, Nylon:25% and Polyurethane:10%. This blend of material makes for an easy fit, comfortable and breathable under garment. Their price is on average around two thousand Japanese Yen which is around the eighteen United States dollar mark. Which is not bad considdering the quality of the items in question.
TOOT is another of the leading brands in Japan for men’s underwear. TOOT is a little different than BETONES. Where BETONES focusses on the young hipster style boxer shorts TOOT offers more variety in the briefs category. This allows them to fill a hole in the market for sporting athletes such as swimmers and/or divers. This also allows them to focus on male models for underwear adds and magazines which is very popular the world over. Their briefs for those who prefer that style to a boxer short is made from nylon and elastic around the waste area. They are advertised primarily as male bikini bottoms. Which, for any man that knows, is an are much less explored than beach shorts when it comes to beach wear for men. The idea being that it is secure enough to do beach activites without fear of either hurting yourself or accidentally coming out of them. One thing to note is this brand is big with the gay community the world over. These briefs (or men’s bikini) cost around three thousand eight hundred Japanese Yen which is the equivalent to thirty five United States dollars. These are also available in a multitude of colors and patterns and instead of being one size fits all they come in four distinct sizes: small, medium, large and extra large.
GX3 is another leading brand that almost does the best of both worlds. Where BETONES focussed on everyday underwear and TOOT focussed on beach style underwear, GX3 takes the best of both and puts it into one underwear brand. GX3 has a multitude of different underwear styles and types on their official retailer Male-HQ’s website. Just some of the types that they do include the trunk which is a tighter fitting boxer style under garment to jock strap style ones for sporting enthusiasts to even plain old briefs and low rise trunks. They primarily come in packs of three in a variety of different and colorful patterns. One of these packs of three usually retail at around sixty United States Dollars which is about the same as six to seven thousand Japanese Yen which makes them a bargain in Japan so the next time you are there you may want to pick some up for yourselves gentlemen. The material used in their under garments is 87% Polyester and 13% Polyurethane which is again almost the best of both worlds from BETONES and TOOT.
Now we are away from the brands a little bit now because we are going to talk about the traditional Japanese underwear for men named Fundoshi. Fundoshi is said to have originated a long time ago as it was first mentioned in the ancient historical Japanese text named the Nihongi and on ancient clay figurines. This was the main form of underwear in Japan before the outbreak of the second world war which had a dramatic effect on politics in Japan changing from Communist Politics to a Capitalist Democracy which saw an influx of imports from around the globe, but in particular the United States of America.
This underwear is traditionally made from cotton only but other modern materials are sometimes used now. There are four main types of Fundoshi, the Rokuyaku Fundoshi, Etchu Fundoshi, Mokko Fundoshi and a fourth type for women named simply Fundoshi for Women.
Rokuyaku is the oldest form of Fundoshi which simply folds a strip of cotton fabric around the waist area covering everything then tieing off at the end. This is the simplest and oldest form and many people still use it to this day.
Etchu is a type of Fundoshi that is rather simplified. It is said to have originated in the Samurai era and is popular omongst men in the hot climates of Japan’s tropics due to it only being one piece of cotton in the front tied with one knot at the back. It allows for comfort in extreme heat and because of this was very popular with troops during the second world war also.
The third type of mens Fundoshi is the Mokko. The Mokko is the one that is used most commonly in modern times. It is a hybrid between modern under garments and the traditional Fundoshi. It is simple because you just put it on and tie up both sides. Some say it is the same style as modern underwear because of the way it looks when it is tied but has the same feel as traditional Fundoshi because of the cotton material and the fact you have to tie it still.
So, there you have it, Japanese underwear for men. If you don’t find something you like here then I would be very surprised. There is something for everyone whether they want a taste of Japanese tradition in the form of a Fundoshi or some modern beach under garments from TOOT or something for daily modern use like BETONES. You are all covered here.
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