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Thursday, August 13, 2020

1950s America survives... in Japan

A fascinating phenomenon that William Gibson first noted in his "cool hunter" novels some years ago turns out to not only be real, but a viable business in Japan:
Takashi Tateno keeps an office in a simple studio above his wife’s hairdressing salon on the outskirts of Okayama, a medium-sized city in central Japan. In fashion circles, Okayama is famous for one thing: making the world’s best denim, using looms that date back to the 1950s. But Tateno isn’t a denim head. His brand, called Workers, adapts all sorts of American work wear from the 1900s to the ’60s—railroad jackets, canvas dusters, flannel shirts, double-kneed pants. Moreover, he’s obsessed by the American workers who manufactured these garments in their heyday, and the skills, techniques and tools used to produce such high-quality clothing on an industrial scale.

Before he hatched the idea of his own collection, Tateno spent years making clothes himself and working in a factory. At the same time, he launched a Japanese-language website that was absolutely alone in its single-minded pursuit of knowledge about the plans, patterns and procedures that old American work-wear manufacturers used to make their garments under such labels as Crown, W.M. Finck & Co. and Can’t Bust ’Em. Tateno journeyed to the United States multiple times to sift through archives and contact heirs to now-defunct clothing manufacturers to see if they had information about their ancestors’ businesses, and to buy up examples of the old clothes he loved so he could dissect their construction.

Tateno ushers me into his upstairs space. One room is filled with all kinds of clothing, everything from the work wear he collects to contemporary Italian jackets by Boglioli. There is also machinery, including an ancient riveting machine, plus old sewing-machine accessories that Tateno purchases so the factories he hires to produce his collection can make things to the exact specifications of, say, 1924 or 1942, with the same tools in use back then.

“When I learned to sew and tried to make these garments myself, I began to realize just how intricate the work was, what kind of tremendous skill level was required to turn out such huge quantities of high-quality garments,” Tateno says. “These were produced at a time when American workers were the most knowledgeable and skilled in the world.”

Though the kind of skilled manufacturing he admired in these garments had largely disappeared in the United States—a consequence of apparel production moving abroad and garment workers no longer finding work—he saw older Japanese people around him in Okayama with high-level sewing skills. And so he realized that if he could unearth the manufacturing secrets behind these old garments, he could make them in Okayama—and perhaps make them even better than the originals.

The cult of the artisan is ensconced in contemporary urban American culture. This is the ideal of a person who can handcraft a pair of jeans or a necktie, conscious of the most minute details of fabric, workmanship and authenticity. The era Tateno’s clothing harks back to is not the age of the lone artisan laboring over a single creation, though; it’s the era of packed factories in Pennsylvania, Virginia and California churning out thousands and thousands of high-quality garments at a reasonable price, all because of the workers’ skill. The irony is that this ideal of the American worker, which sounds like something lifted from old-school union advertising copy, can be hard to find in America today.
If I had nine lives, I like to think that one of them would have been involved staying in Japan and getting fluent in the language. As Spacebunny says, 95 percent of the weirdness in the world comes out of Japan. It's the one place in the world where the present is as fascinating as the past.

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70 Comments:

Blogger The Observer August 13, 2020 6:18 AM  

The high trust, social capital, low time preference and homogeneous people that made this possible are still present in Japan, so it's not surprising.

Blogger yoghi.llama August 13, 2020 6:42 AM  

Amazing how America dropped a nuclear bomb on them, but they don't hate America.

Some other special chosen tribes have never been harmed by America yet the hatred is boundless.

Blogger American Spartan August 13, 2020 6:55 AM  

“ can make things to the exact specifications of, say, 1924“

I think we can as well, say things like immigration policy.

The Answer to 1965 is 1924

Blogger Mirko i Slavko August 13, 2020 6:59 AM  

tremendous skill level was required to turn out such huge quantities of high-quality

Definition of white supremacy.

Blogger buzzardist August 13, 2020 7:02 AM  

Japan is not an easy country to live in. The bureaucracy needed for the simplest tasks can baffle even Japanese people. With an aging population and slowly spiraling deflation, the country faces some serious challenges economically. Socially, there are many strains and frayed edges. And Tokyo is little more than a multicultural hellhole at this point.

But outside of the big city center where foreigners have taken over, Japan remains an intact nation. It’s most valuable resource remains its own people. These artisan subcultures and companies that exist all over Japan are a reflection of proud people who doggedly pursue perfection and quality in everything.

To this day, the best Mexican food I’ve ever eaten was at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in a small, out-of-the-way city in Hokkaido. Nothing I’ve ever had in Texas, California, New Mexico, or even Mexico remotely compares. The woman running the shop spent five years abroad with the sole aim of learn to cook Mexican food well. That kind of geek pursuit of excellence to the degree that Japanese people take it is hard to find anywhere else in the world. If you know where to look, you can find world-class artisans in just about anything hidden in little, nondescript offices, shops, and homes all over Japan.

Anonymous Anonymous August 13, 2020 7:18 AM  

There is a whole subculture of these companies that make expensive but authentic reproductions of American clothes from the 1940s-1960s - Real McCoy, Buzz Rickson, Sun Surf.
You can still get high quality, locally manufactured versions of most products in Japan. Unfortunately, Japan is going down a bad path. They have doubled the number of foreign workers since 2013. Of course, those foreigners then become activists advocating for more migrants. A local councilman - an Indian - was in the press recently demanding the Japanese lift the COVID restrictions on entry so a thousand Indians could re-enter Japan. The larger Japanese corporations have been targeted by shareholder activists and have started implementing non-discrimination, feminist and other left wing policies. The English language press screams racism accusations and advocates for open borders non-stop, although I don't think it has much influence with the natives.
Fortunately, COVID has given them some breathing space. The borders are shut. If foreign residents leave, they won't be allowed back in except in a few limited situations. Foreigners with visas who left before the lockdown are only now being allowed back in. Hopefully, the Japanese will take advantage of the situation and reduce the foreign population.

Blogger Coffee Man August 13, 2020 7:24 AM  

I love Japan. Lived there for 10 years while in the Corps. They are obsessed with detail. Even the "Bento" lunch boxes are designed just so, everything in its place. An amazing country and people.

Blogger Damelon Brinn August 13, 2020 7:37 AM  

I contrast two of my chainsaws. One is a typical modern saw that I bought at the hardware store last winter. The other is a 1955 model that I picked up at a farm auction for $12. The 1955 weighs about 50 pounds and has a couple hundred parts, but it started as soon as I freed up a stuck primer plunger. Everything that can be solid metal is, and it could be running in another 65 years. The 2019 saw has as much plastic as possible, but it has very few moving parts. The fuel system and drive are much simpler than the 1955 (which has an actual gearbox), so it's easier to work on if necessary, and on paper, it could be more reliable and lasting. But there's no way anyone will be using it in 65 years, because it's cheaply made junk.

If we had kept manufacturing in America, we could have had that 65 years of improvements in design and engineering, but combined with the craftsmanship and quality of that 1955 model. And flying cars, maybe.

Blogger Yossarian August 13, 2020 7:38 AM  

buzzardist wrote:Japan is not an easy country to live in. The bureaucracy needed for the simplest tasks can baffle even Japanese people. With an aging population and slowly spiraling deflation, the country faces some serious challenges economically. Socially, there are many strains and frayed edges. And Tokyo is little more than a multicultural hellhole at this point.

Fortunately for them the japanese government does not hate the japanese people.

Tokyo: population 9.3 million people, 336 covid deaths, 2% mortality rate
New York: population 8.4 million people, 23602 covid deaths, 10% mortality rate
Percentage of population tested: Japan = 0.75%, USA = 20%

Blogger Mr.MantraMan August 13, 2020 7:40 AM  

Article from 2014 and not a hint of the Poz which is the American Empire's chief export, often at gunpoint. Culturally it is too damn bad that conservatives have been trained to tailgate after the Left seeking that all important "respect", what a waste of a people's lives.

My advice FWIW learn and practice a bit of snobbery, especially to the ambassadors of the Poz.

Blogger JamesB.BKK August 13, 2020 7:44 AM  

@buzzardist: Got the name of the city and establishment? I hope it's still there. Other than Sapporo I see one in Niseko, but neither is a small out of the way city of course.

Anonymous Anonymous August 13, 2020 8:07 AM  

"And Tokyo is little more than a multicultural hellhole at this point."

Tokyo has declined a lot over the last 20 years but I wouldn't be that harsh. I live in Chuo-ku right in the middle of Tokyo and the welcome materials informed me that the area is 97% Japanese. It seems the most "diverse" areas are on the outskirts of Tokyo. I don't know if you are here now but with the foreign language schools being closed, the tourists being gone and the border shut, central Tokyo has improved considerably.

Blogger JACIII August 13, 2020 8:39 AM  

There's are reasons your favorite jacket/shirt/garment is the one you always reach for. Tateno knows why it's your favorite and how it was made to be so.

Blogger Argus Bacchus August 13, 2020 8:42 AM  

The Japanese have a knack for this kind of thing.

In addition to denim, if you want the most beautifully preserved, best sounding versions in the world of vintage classical music recordings from the 50's and 60's, you'll likely have to import them as DSD Superaudio discs from Japan, where the remastering was done, usually by a Japanese audiophile engineer.

The fact that these are made for the discriminating classical music fan in Japan while lots of fans in the west aren't even familiar with the technology says a lot.

And it was a Japanese clasical guitarist, of course, who had the interest and took the time to make transcriptions of some of the most famous pieces of the orchestral repertoire for the instrument.

Blogger CM August 13, 2020 8:44 AM  

There are some fascinating western things Japan has kept up in textiles.

I have a couple tatting books in japanese. They are my most up-to-date pattern books I have from 2014-2016. Most of my western patterns were published in the 60s-70s.

Blogger NateM August 13, 2020 9:00 AM  

Hey, there's plenty of weirder and less wholesome things people obsess on in Japan....

Blogger Guy Jean August 13, 2020 9:03 AM  

"The cult of the artisan" describes Japan well. In few cultures has the art of the artisan reached the heights it did and has in Japan. Tho much diluted, and many skills have been lost, much still remains.

Blogger Guy Jean August 13, 2020 9:03 AM  

"The cult of the artisan" describes Japan well. In few cultures has the art of the artisan reached the heights it did in Japan. Tho much diluted, and many skills have been lost, much still remains.

Blogger rikjames.313 August 13, 2020 9:11 AM  

When I was stationed there I was impressed how seriously the Japaneses took everything. From the perfect cocktail to the perfect experience at A&W Root Beer Drive Ins.

If Lawson's convenience stores in Japan were what 7-11s in the US were like, I would shop there every day

Blogger Happy Camper August 13, 2020 9:37 AM  

Clothing used to be worth something in America.

Wise people do not buy high fashion names that the teeming masses are obsessed with, but bespoke, well made classic style.

Blogger MagaJapan August 13, 2020 9:42 AM  

Yes it has improved. I live in Ikebukuro, and there's still a few indian "students" floating around but nothing like it was previously. I love seeing only Japanese walking around now instead of hordes of fat sloppy western and Chinese tourists.

Make Japan Great Again! This ridiculous virus reaction has definitely had some positive side effects!

Blogger Brett baker August 13, 2020 9:52 AM  

+1. When work ethic is part of "white supremacy", a country had better embrace it.

Blogger Brett baker August 13, 2020 9:54 AM  

With Trumpslide, we might get more manufacturing back.

Blogger Ska_Boss August 13, 2020 10:00 AM  

The Nips are honorary Aryans. That isn't to say they don't have their own problems with postmodernism like everyone else.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd August 13, 2020 10:20 AM  

buzzardist wrote:That kind of geek pursuit of excellence to the degree that Japanese people take it is hard to find anywhere else in the world.
You need a culture that allows and encourages that sort of eccentricity.
buzzardist wrote:If you know where to look, you can find world-class artisans in just about anything hidden in little, nondescript offices, shops, and homes all over Japan.
You also need the culture to allow and encourage spending what it costs to buy those artisans' products. For example, the culture has to value owning one perfect, expensive pair of bonsai scissors, and must deprecate owning cheap, junky bonsai scissors.

Blogger Azimus August 13, 2020 10:26 AM  

The irony is that this ideal of the American worker... can be hard to find in America today.

Happily, I live in an area of Wisconsin where the families that owned the major manufacturing facilities never sold to the private equity ghouls and kept their plants and grew their businesses here. Consequently, even a HS dropout makes a pretty decent - and honest - living. That has important implications for the community from crime to abortion to drug abuse to religion to politics to marriage rate, but the real power is the skilled workforce.

Because the plants never closed, the workforce never lost their skills, or rather, never lost the ability to replicate and pass on their skills. New plants (and other support businesses) are built and started HERE, even though the entire workforce is employed, rather than in Milwaukee where there's 40,000 unemployed available and looking for work. The difference? Skills - and an appetite for real, hard work and getting the job done right.

Sure people move here from Milwaukee, and we hire them, and they do alright from a standpoint of "put the slug in here, push this button, take it out, and stack it on the skid" perspective, but the difference is the people here know we have to ship 500pcs at 7pm, and the machine sensor errored again, but a local has been tinkering with touchy industrial machinery their whole lives and fixes the issue themselves so they can get the order out, while the 18yr old from the big city just stands there and waits for some supervisor to happen to wander by, and couldn't care less, and wouldn't know what to do even if they did.

I think this was a fatal flaw in Trump's idea to bring manufacturing back to the US - just because there's hundreds of thousands of unemployed in cities like Milwaukee, Cleveland, Detroit, etc, etc, does not mean that those people can be employed in manufacturing. Some can, yes. But there is a critical limit to the number of basically useless drones you can absorb in a factory, and I would put it at 20-25% maximum (depending on if you're pouring steel or assembling alarm clocks). For the rest you need that competent, responsible corps of people that 1) know what they're doing, and 2) give a damn about what they're doing, and for too many of America's towns its been 40 years since those skills were cultivated, and they've dried up and gone away.

Its both encouraging and sad that it takes an eccentric Japanese person to recognize the great value of such knowledge and skills from generations ago - too bad we collectively decided we'd rather buy a ChiCom toaster for $9 that lasts a year instead of the American one for $30 that your grandson will take to college with him.

I'm glad the Japanese never forgot the value and the reason they buy (and sell) Japanese products. I sincerely hope Americans will re-learn this value, too.

Blogger riffer73 August 13, 2020 10:30 AM  

I would just settle for a pair of jeans from a non-converged company :(

Blogger Macs August 13, 2020 11:29 AM  

They actually sent a delegation to MacArthur to request Statehood, being a conquered nation. Would have been pretty cool to have Japan as the 51st State!

Blogger Ahărôwn August 13, 2020 11:56 AM  

I sincerely hope Americans will re-learn this value, too.

Manufacturers need to re-learn the value of training their workers, too, instead of expecting ready-made workers out of school. Companies used to do this, and those 18 year olds from Milwaukee would likely make fine workers if properly trained.

Of course, that takes time and money, which is why so many companies pulled up stakes and went overseas to begin with. I think there's going to be lots of local manufacturing opportunities in the future as the converged global corps die off and get replaced.

Blogger The Lab Manager August 13, 2020 12:04 PM  

Damelon Brinn wrote:I contrast two of my chainsaws. One is a typical modern saw that I bought at the hardware store last winter. The other is a 1955 model that I picked up at a farm auction for $12. The 1955 weighs about 50 pounds and has a couple hundred parts, but it started as soon as I freed up a stuck primer plunger. Everything that can be solid metal is, and it could be running in another 65 years. The 2019 saw has as much plastic as possible, but it has very few moving parts. The fuel system and drive are much simpler than the 1955 (which has an actual gearbox), so it's easier to work on if necessary, and on paper, it could be more reliable and lasting. But there's no way anyone will be using it in 65 years, because it's cheaply made junk.

If we had kept manufacturing in America, we could have had that 65 years of improvements in design and engineering, but combined with the craftsmanship and quality of that 1955 model. And flying cars, maybe.


Its both encouraging and sad that it takes an eccentric Japanese person to recognize the great value of such knowledge and skills from generations ago - too bad we collectively decided we'd rather buy a ChiCom toaster for $9 that lasts a year instead of the American one for $30 that your grandson will take to college with him.

But 'muh free trade' and 'muh cheap labor.' Don't tell this to extreme libertardians at the Economic Policy Journal. All cultures are 'equal', don't you know. And if we could only have the stupidity of open borders and even lower standards, why hell, that would be even better for 'Merica'. Everyone knows that a 75-IQ violent Muslim Somali is just as capable of running a functional first world society as an old WASP. Or maybe one of those guys that wears a hardened gourd over his penis.

But yes, most stuff is junk these days. I still have my dad's Craftsman ratchet set he bought in the late 50's or early 60's. It was a modest one, but I'm sure it was easily the equivalent of a $1000 back then.

Blogger JovianStorm August 13, 2020 12:47 PM  

I live in Kanto and university and manufacturing areas here are lousy with Indian and SE Asians who steal from the stores and boost Hi Aces to resell in Pakistan.

I'm never going back to the US (I'm an eijuken holder) but I'd like it here a lot more if there weren't any foreigners. * It's good for them to visit but they really drain the areas they inhabit and they strain the tolerance of the natives, who'd like to see the lot of them deported permanently.

*as stated before, I'm half-Japanese.

Blogger maniacprovost August 13, 2020 12:53 PM  

I bought my toaster from Goodwill for $4, 11 years ago. All I know is it looks like 1993 and is made mostly of sheet metal.

Blogger Unknownsailor August 13, 2020 1:09 PM  

yoghi.llama wrote:Amazing how America dropped a nuclear bomb on them, but they don't hate America.

Some other special chosen tribes have never been harmed by America yet the hatred is boundless.

I spent a grand total of 7 years in Japan, two tours on Okinawa and one at Yokosuka. The Japanese civilian workers I worked with all understood the massive number of lives saved on both sides by doing that. It was the shock needed to drive the one man capable of stopping the slaughter into capitulating out of a concern over saving the lives of his subjects. MacArthur doesn't get nearly enough credit in the US for the way he ran the military occupation after the war, either, with his butting heads with Eisenhower during the Korean war being what most people remember, if they remember anything at all.

I enjoyed my time there. A unique and interesting people, the Japanese.

Blogger VFM #7634 August 13, 2020 1:11 PM  

I've said before, the Japanese are the closest thing we have to an extraterrestrial civilization.

To this day, the best Mexican food I’ve ever eaten was at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in a small, out-of-the-way city in Hokkaido. Nothing I’ve ever had in Texas, California, New Mexico, or even Mexico remotely compares. The woman running the shop spent five years abroad with the sole aim of learn to cook Mexican food well. That kind of geek pursuit of excellence to the degree that Japanese people take it is hard to find anywhere else in the world.

@5 buzzardist
The Japanese famously did the same thing with Scotch whisky over a hundred years ago. And Japanese whisky such as Yamazaki is quite expensive and has won awards, which hints at the quality.

Blogger ADS August 13, 2020 1:24 PM  

"In Japan, the ability to perfectly imitate—and even improve upon—the cocktails, cuisine and couture of foreign cultures isn’t limited to American products; there are spectacular French chefs and masterful Neapolitan pizzaioli who are actually Japanese. There’s something about the perspective of the Japanese that allows them to home in on the essential elements of foreign cultures and then perfectly recreate them at home."

Wait, we don't have to let ourselves be overrun by infinity brown people to have good tacos?

Blogger Azimus August 13, 2020 1:32 PM  

29. AhărôwnAugust 13, 2020 11:56 AM
Companies used to (train their people), and those 18 year olds from Milwaukee would likely make fine workers if properly trained.


I assure you, training is not the problem. For tasks that the average person could pick up in about an hour, we spend days pairing new employees with an experienced volunteer facilitator. I personally designed several pieces of offline "training" equipment so employees could get comfortable with the rhythm and speed of the lines at their own pace, and they could feel comfortable stopping and asking questions rather than stopping the whole line to do so. We spend, just in the labor wage, $1500 - $2000 training an employee for a single department, of which my plant has 6 (most new employees train in 1 department). Specialty jobs get a ton more hands on training, and skill-and-ability jobs like setup are trained for 6 months working side-by-side with our masters.

Having worked in operations for 5 years now, the main problem with Milwaukee employees is what I said - lack of ownership and responsibility, and a total bewilderment of how equipment works and an indifference to learning it. That, plus an inability to string together more than 4-5 days of showing up to work. And they seem to be well-versed in how to work the OSHA Recordables and light duty, workers-comp rules. I could tell stories but I think you get it.

To be fair, there's that "revolving door" portion of the local population who fits that exact description as well, but they are the bottom 2% of the workforce, plus maybe 3-4% of our workforce that manages to be just mediocre enough to stay on the payroll.

If I could open up the brains of the useless drones and put something in, I would put this in: do your best. If the paperwork says you should be able to make 50pcs/hr, shoot for 55. If the machine breaks, even if you can't fix it, go find your supervisor. If your car broke down on the way home Tuesday, call us Tuesday and tell us whats going on, don't just fail to show up for work Wednesday. Your intelligence, and your training don't count for sh*t unless you put it to use. Put it to use.

Blogger Avalanche August 13, 2020 1:46 PM  

@26 "I think this was a fatal flaw in Trump's idea to bring manufacturing back to the US - just because there's hundreds of thousands of unemployed in cities like Milwaukee, Cleveland, Detroit, etc, etc, does not mean that those people can be employed in manufacturing."

Yes, as a manufacturer, back in Feb I laid in a year+ worth of parts I buy from McMaster-Carr and Grainger and the like. I don't import directly from China, but the folks I buy from do. I realized last month that figuring on a year, year and a half, of parts wouldn't do! Between the virus and deaths in China, the massive flood-season flooding already wiping out a large chunk of China, the likely death of Three Gorges that will insanely increase the flooding and a lot of that 'through' the MFG centers directly in the path of reservoir-to-sea; China may not be making and shipping for more than a year.

Add to that the whole re-shoring efforts that are now being focused on by the God Emperor -- which I support and applaud -- which no doubt will take several YEARS if not longer to get back into operation. To the extent I have been able, I source from America: I was doing "buy American" long before Trump. I am adding to what I get here by e.g., getting my machinist subcontactors to make for me parts I have been buying from importers. So long as we can still get the metal to make the parts out of... all is good.

Building up a cadre of young, diligent, and able workers is the stumbling block, as it has been since our schools were subverted. My machinists are desperate to hire folks who can do the work; but they aren't out there. My subs can't afford to hire and train "future workers"; the schools for metalworkers are ill-funded, and usually too caught up in diversity to actually do much training.

Gonna be a hard hard few years coming up... Maybe a decade. Look around and think of what you might need that you won't be able to get! Still, we get by because we must! Americans usually pull it off, whatever "it" is! Americans are still more than 50% of the country!

Blogger Azimus August 13, 2020 1:47 PM  

29. AhărôwnAugust 13, 2020 11:56 AM
I think there's going to be lots of local manufacturing opportunities in the future as the converged global corps die off and get replaced.


In my opinion, there's an opportunity coming for micro-factories. I'm talking about low-capitalized, employee-owned, turn-on, turn-off type operations, like screw manufacturing. Picture a 3,000sq ft pole barn on the back of your property, wired for 480-3, that has the capacity to process 1,000lbs of screws per day maximum. Maybe you're tooled up for 10-12 products only, plus a couple different finishes, a couple different packaging configurations. Two, three guys run the place PT and maybe you can supply all the needs for a medium-sized hardware store chain or the guy who assembles American-made flashlights in his mini-factory 10 miles away. Something like that. So much easier to flex with demand than these 3,000 employee, $10 billion plants.

Blogger Jordan August 13, 2020 1:51 PM  

This kind of reminds me of Neil Stephenson's "Diamond Age" novel where the neo-Victorian or city-states - I forget the specific term used - and their economic leadership decided to employ people again to produce physical consumer items like clothing and carpentry products - not mass produce them. It seemed to posit the idea that the elites, when left with a disintegrating society (largely their own fault) and economy, would invest in people with "Traditional Values" provided they understood their place in the hierarchy. Almost a social-contract form of voluntary government or at least how I remember it.

Blogger Jose Miguel August 13, 2020 2:30 PM  

My wife and I have an American made modular mixer/grinder/other kitchen appliance from 70 years ago that my abuela gave me when she died 12 years ago. American-made was a luxury that everyone wanted in Latin America back then.

Blogger Balam August 13, 2020 3:10 PM  

''I think this was a fatal flaw in Trump's idea to bring manufacturing back to the US - just because there's hundreds of thousands of unemployed in cities like Milwaukee, Cleveland, Detroit, etc, etc, does not mean that those people can be employed in manufacturing''

Start with simple manufacturing first to build the skills for more advanced stuff. I think in the book ''free trade doesn't work'' the first building block is textiles and agricultural byproduct

Blogger Unknown August 13, 2020 3:31 PM  

Hooray for the artisans of the world.

The echt Boomer might buy the products of artisans if he is engaged in a snobby status war with his peers, but he would never choose to be an artisan himself, to learn any but the easiest skills, or to encourage his children, if any, to be artisans. For the echt Boomer, the correct goal in life is to get rich quick. His notion of economic value can be stated in one word: efficiency, meaning cheap and fast. His vocational philosophy is expressed in his calling artisans "geeks" and asking, "Where are you going with that?", i.e., How will you get rich quick doing that?

His food, year by year, becomes chemical slop in a trough, his dwelling becomes a pre-fab trailer, and his apparel ends up being threadbare Chinese trash that lasts a month. His country ends up as a multiracial hellhole because "immigrants are good for the economy." That last belief is the result of his kind's unwillingness to study history. After all, you history nerds, where are you going with that?

Ortega y Gasset was on to something when he wrote _The Revolt of the Masses_ in 1930. He foresaw the rise of the Boomer.

Blogger Roddie Piper August 13, 2020 3:43 PM  

If only Japan had the birthrate of 1950s America...

Blogger Angantyr August 13, 2020 3:59 PM  

Ska_Boss wrote:The Nips are honorary Aryans. That isn't to say they don't have their own problems with postmodernism like everyone else.

Indeed. Given that it took sinking practically the entire IJN (including the largest battleships ever built), shooting down some 50,000 aircraft, and killing some 2+ million of their soldiers, combined with the firebombing of every significant city with a population of over 40,000, along with the outright vaporization of two cities with primitive atomics, I'd say they've earned the title...

Blogger Azimus August 13, 2020 4:23 PM  

41. BalamAugust 13, 2020 3:10 PM
Start with simple manufacturing first to build the skills for more advanced stuff. I think in the book ''free trade doesn't work'' the first building block is textiles and agricultural byproduct.


That is a VERY good thought - basically the East-Asian playbook for evolving a manufacturing sector applied in the US. The fact that you are not starting with cheap labor might be a challenge though.

Blogger Haxo Angmark August 13, 2020 4:55 PM  

unfortunately, postwar Japan also adopted Jew-ruled 'Murka's kosher

Culture of Death: abortion, porn, faggotry, miscegnation, and especially

Judeo-"feminism". Result: Jap women have stopped having babies.

Blogger eclecticme August 13, 2020 6:09 PM  


@29. AhărôwnAugust 13, 2020 11:56 AM
Companies used to (train their people), and those 18 year olds from Milwaukee would likely make fine workers if properly trained.


In the US the Griggs v. Duke Power SCOTUS case put a big dent in hiring and training out of HS. They screened applicants with a test. Blacks did worse than whites (disparate impact) so they could not use that anymore.

After reading Free Doesn't Work I came up with a simple 'proof.' A skilled, disciplined work force is an asset as are stable families.In the beginning there was a skilled US force and stable families. After free trade the males are unemployed, they turn to drugs and booze, women prefer to marry the govt and stay single. The sons are feral and the girls single moms in waiting.

The economists like to use numbers and models (physics envy) but the destruction of the above assets don't show up in their models.


IMO this topic is one the best. Also the comments.

Blogger crescent wrench August 13, 2020 6:19 PM  

Fashion is a strange animal.

There's an entire scalper market here in the states for special edition basketball shoes, and people are willing to pay 10k for wal-mart sweats with tape on them marked "off white".

If you can establish clear product differentiation and a premium cachet the costs of production are a non-factor.

Blogger crescent wrench August 13, 2020 7:07 PM  

@45

any manufacturing returns will be highly automated.
What once employed thousands in 1964 would probably employ dozens with today's technology.

The bigger issue is corrupt tax policy and other carve-outs.
Corporate personhood should be leveraged here by every Amazon competitor through lawfare. If the supreme court can rule companies have first amendment rights, then it's time to rattle sabers under the 14th to get tax and anti-trust carve-outs thrown out for violating equal protection.

Blogger Sam Spade August 13, 2020 7:27 PM  

Aside from Tale of Genji can you recommend another japanese historical novel or history book?

Blogger Ariadne Umbrella August 13, 2020 8:09 PM  

Here's the online magazine devoted to excellent, longlasting clothing: https://www.heddels.com/

Here's a Canadian company that sells a pattern for men's jeans: https://threadtheory.ca/

Here's a website with quality hardware: https://www.taylortailor.com/store/

Here's a good women's jeans pattern company: https://www.closetcorepatterns.com/. She sells video classes on learning to sew, and a separate class for learning to sew your own jeans, as well as hardware kits.

There are other women's pattern companies with tutorial videos, but this website tends to be consistently useable by new artisans.

Mood in Los Angeles has quality denim. There's an organic cotton co-op in Texas. I want to say there's a new denim factory in Louisiana, but I haven't checked recently.

Singer sells a heavy duty sewing machine for less than $150. I prefer Janome. Janome has machines in that price range, I think? Maybe $200?


Blogger Jazz The Boxer August 13, 2020 9:22 PM  

Unknownsailor wrote:yoghi.llama wrote:Amazing how America dropped a nuclear bomb on them, but they don't hate America.

Some other special chosen tribes have never been harmed by America yet the hatred is boundless.


I spent a grand total of 7 years in Japan, two tours on Okinawa and one at Yokosuka. The Japanese civilian workers I worked with all understood the massive number of lives saved on both sides by doing that. It was the shock needed to drive the one man capable of stopping the slaughter into capitulating out of a concern over saving the lives of his subjects. MacArthur doesn't get nearly enough credit in the US for the way he ran the military occupation after the war, either, with his butting heads with Eisenhower during the Korean war being what most people remember, if they remember anything at all.

I enjoyed my time there. A unique and interesting people, the Japanese.


I can't let this slide

Japan made numerous attempts to surrender but the U.S. refused anything other than unconditional surrender. The last attempt the only condition was the Japanese Emperor wasn't to be touched. Let's use that attempt as the point of where every single person killed was unnecessary.

Japanese military didn't care one iota about the nukes. Not one iota. They merely noted that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed. The unconditional surrender occurred because the Soviet Union declared war on Japan and the Japanese feared being occupied by the Soviets far more than the Americans who didn't commit as many war crimes as the Soviets would have.

No need to get angry at me for mentioning Allied War Crimes committed against Japan. That was Curtis LeMay as recounted by McNamara

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDT8NdyoWfI

That's before you look into the Cave of the Negroes or do a deep dive into the many crimes committed against Japanese civilians by servicemen that were never prosecuted.

Blogger thethirdcoast August 13, 2020 9:42 PM  

crescent wrench wrote:
If you can establish clear product differentiation and a premium cachet the costs of production are a non-factor.


Yup.

Just look at the Supreme clothing brand.

Blogger Ahărôwn August 13, 2020 10:01 PM  

I assure you, training is not the problem.

Thanks for the insider's perspective, Azimus. Offshoring certainly decimated soft skills like work ethic along with the hard skills.

In my opinion, there's an opportunity coming for micro-factories.

Indeed - I've had a similar conversation with someone just within the last week.

Blogger Storm Rhode August 13, 2020 11:49 PM  

Japan's treatment of allied prisoners as well as civilian prisoners in China and the Phillipines were rife with war crimes. Of course the US was not going to give the Emperor a pass on that prior to a total unconditional surrender. Look up the rape of Nanking.

Blogger The Pitchfork Rebel August 14, 2020 12:33 AM  

@28

"They actually sent a delegation to MacArthur to request Statehood, being a conquered nation. Would have been pretty cool to have Japan as the 51st State!"

Civnattery without the magic dirt?

@43

"If only Japan had the birthrate of 1950s America..."

If only we did, or half of it.

@51


"Singer sells a heavy duty sewing machine for less than $150. I prefer Janome. Janome has machines in that price range, I think? Maybe $200?"


Interestingly, my grandmother, a professional seamstress until macular degeneration made it impossible for her to continue in the 1970's (for several years, her coworkers threaded her needles for her) used a Singer machine that she described as almost identical to the machine she had at home, and used periodically with assistance until she was almost 80.

Flash forward to fifteen years ago, I was employed in the fiscal operations of a corrections environment. They had shops that produced things with inmate labor with the idea of teaching some sort of work skills-and more importantly the habits. One of the female facilities had a garment shop that produced inmate attire. The machines there were Juki industrial machines and as I recall they costs North of a grand. I don't think a Singer home machine would survive the incessant pounding of eight hour a day operation.

Blogger scimitar August 14, 2020 12:45 AM  

The Japs love our stuff...They know our stuff better than 'Mericans. Classic Japanese move to make known things better. Many such cases e.g scotches and whiskies. Some of the best scotch etc is now made in Japan. They didn't import Kentucky hill people to make their corn likker but they perfected the stuff themselves. Another is our clothes and fashion especially vintage stuff. They make the best US military reproductions like Flight jackets, shoes etc. RedWing shoes have Japanese made versions . Check out the sites "Standard & Strange " and "The Real McCoys " expensive but excellent stuff.....

Blogger crescent wrench August 14, 2020 1:15 AM  

Ahărôwn wrote:
Offshoring certainly decimated soft skills like work ethic along with the hard skills.


In fairness, after decades of dishing out layoffs in return for loyalty and hard work, should this be any surprise?

If a soldier were rewarded for a mission flawlessly executed with a month of KP, do you think they'd bother to care how they operate by the 3rd punishment?

Anonymous Anonymous August 14, 2020 1:32 AM  

I don’t know why he hates me - I never did anything for him!

This saying recognises the tendency of people to resent their moral debts and repay their benefactors with hatred. This is the real reason American blacks hate America and especially white people.

Blogger Angantyr August 14, 2020 1:53 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Anonymous August 14, 2020 3:15 AM  

Every single high military officer at the time is on record as saying the Japanese were helpless and begging to surrender.

The fact that they were utterly unable to prevent, or even symbolically oppose, the firebombings and nuke drops, demonstrates the truth of these assessments, incontrovertibly.

Who cares what some johnny-come-lately apologist for empire says? I mean, who should we believe? How many world wars did Giangreco fight? What was his role? (Hint, he edited a military journal. In other words, he's a professional pentagon propagandist.)

Pfft.

Blogger VD August 14, 2020 5:29 AM  

Seriously, read Giangreco's exhaustively researched book and educate yourself.

You're an ignorant idiot. The Japanese had been trying to surrender for six months. The US government repeatedly turned them down.

Blogger Steve Canyon August 14, 2020 7:17 AM  

Replacing traditional part time labor historically done by teenagers with 3rd world immigrants certainly did nothing to instill a work ethic in future generations either.

Blogger Brian Dean August 14, 2020 7:50 AM  

@8 "And flying cars, maybe."

You notice how people drive like shit with cars that don't fly and now you want to add to that, flying cars?

Blogger Brian Dean August 14, 2020 7:53 AM  

"For proof of this, consider that it took TWO BOMBS to get the point across, and even then THEY ALMOST DIDN'T SURRENDER."

They weren't even given enough time to figure out what the fuck was going on after the first bomb before America dropped the second bomb.

Blogger Th3 J3st3r August 14, 2020 10:32 AM  

Interesting. Here in Sweden we have an entire subculture that is dedicated to maintaining the 50's cars, dressing in 50's-esque fashion, drinking like crazy, and waving rebel flags.
We call them raggare. They've existed for several decades.
Did I mention that they are also very loud, just like Americans?

Blogger Ariadne Umbrella August 14, 2020 8:16 PM  

#56 I listed home machines because I had listed sewing patterns licensed for home use. Professionals would use professional patterns & professional machines. Juki makes pro machines. They also now sell a line of home machines in America. I am not familiar with them. Serious seamstresses love them.

I learned about Janome when I was trying to get my Kenmore repaired. It was over 20 years old at the time, and simply needing a yearly checkup. I learned it was a Janome machine from the legendary Ryushu sewing machine factory. Yes, Japanese. Every time I read about the Ryushu factory I read the word "legendary" in front of it. I don't know what it was like; I do know I had a machine that sewed everything I ever threw at it for 25+ years, and then I lost it. I hope whomever has it takes good care of it. It still looks new. It still runs. Everything includes: precision heirloom sewing, wedding dresses, stagewear- lycra, spandex and sequins, denim, tee-shirt material, RPL- light stuff- silk, lace, and leather, costume plastic fabrics, fleece, diaper material, PVC, and paper. The first machine, different brand, I tried to replace it with choked on denim and fleece, so I did not even try anything else.


Kenmore used four different companies to manufacture their house brand. I think the Janome house ones are the only ones that people say they loved. I know I still see them for sale online, at $100+, even twenty years later. You can buy a brand new sewing machine from Michaels or Walmart that cost less than that.

The future looks like micro-factories shipping directly to consumers. This avoids the federal regulations that all trigger on the 51st employee. There are already factories constrained from growing because they can be profitable at 49 employees, but bankrupt at 51.

I listed the information so that someone who was interested in premium denim, but could not afford to buy them already made, could have the resources to make their own jeans.

Also: on the Heddel's site, somewhere, there's an interview with William Gibson. He collaborated with a Japanese fashion brand to make some really, really nice clothes.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash August 14, 2020 8:23 PM  

Pro tip re: sewing from my daughter, who recently made a dress on a treadle-powered singer from 1928;
"I never thought using a treadle sewing machine for a few days would shape my butt up so much."

Blogger Daniel August 16, 2020 9:17 AM  

Isnt that the north italy model?

Anonymous Anonymous August 29, 2020 8:41 PM  

And Fred will be spewing pro-migrant nonsense in his next pose with not a hint of self-awareness.

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