Samurai Jeans – The king of heavy denim and more

Among lovers of Japanese denim, the brand Samurai Jeans is a true legend. The company was founded in Osaka in 1997, and the first product was released in 1998. At that time, enthusiasts producing Japanese jeans were completely absorbed by such a phenomenon as “repros” – reproducing vintage American jeans as close to history as possible. The famous “Five from Osaka” (Studio D’Artisan, Denime, Evisu, Warehouse and Full Count) have been the subject of cult and worship among classic jeans and vintage lovers.

The Samurai Jeans brand took a different path, which at the time seemed very risky. The creator of the brand Toru Nogami decided not just to reproduce vintage American jeans, but to make his product unlike anything else.

So in the details, along with recognizable elements of vintage American jeans, symbolism began to appear rooted in Japanese history and culture.

Often Samurai Jeans produce limited editions, dedicated to some historical event of medieval Japan or famous historical characters. The Samurai Jeans symbol depicted on the patch is the famous duel between samurai Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro. 

As for fabrics, Samurai Jeans did not limit itself to medium denim. It was the use of heavy denim, somewhat reminiscent of samurai armor, that distinguished this brand from many others. Nowadays Samurai Jeans uses not only the classic 15oz medium denim, but also 17oz, 19oz, 21oz and even 25oz. Yes, now Samurai Jeans is not the only brand that uses heavy denim, but it was once the first among Japanese manufacturers to set the trend for experimenting with the density and texture of the fabric.

When it comes to limited editions and collaborations, these jeans look like a true work of art. Perhaps it is difficult to find other jeans as detailed as these.

In this publication we will try to review the main types of fabric, the most characteristic details of Samurai jeans and the main models of this manufacturer. Believe us, Samurai Jeans does not have simple and ordinary jeans, any of the models will be absolutely different from the other model. This is what makes Samurai Jeans a very distinctive brand and if you have bought at least one pair of jeans, you will almost certainly increase your collection, each time getting a very interesting and different product.

Some interesting information about Samurai Jeans details


The classic Samurai Jeans series is characterized by the image on the patch of two famous samurai, Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro. Note the moon image on the patch in the upper left corner.  If the jeans have a narrow fit, there is an image of a crescent moon in the corner, if the jeans have a straight wider fit, a full moon is depicted.

If you want to know the year your jeans were manufactured, look for the number in the upper bottom corner with a LOT written on it. Add it to the year the brand was founded, 1997, and you’ll get the year your pair of jeans was manufactured. For example, if you see the number 25, that means these are jeans from the 2022 collection.

Back pockets

Older Samurai Jeans releases were characterized by the use of arches and red tabs. Nowadays, the arch + tab combination is only characteristic of limited or anniversary editions.

For the classic basic series, a dark thread is used with which the arches are embroidered. Instead of the red tab, a blue label is used with the word SAMURAI embroidered in pink.

For the new basic series in 15oz Otokogi denim, the 2024 collection uses blank pockets without arcuates or blue label. This applies to the S0710XX 15oz, S0510XXII 15oz, and S0510XXII 15oz models.

The Yamato series is characterized by the rounded bottom of the back pocket. The arcuate style is somewhat reminiscent of vintage Lee jeans.


Basic style of buttons with the symbolism of the rising sun. Used on most classic models.

Vintage style donut button style. Used on the base model S5000VX. The change symbol on the front is a perfect reference to the changeability of denim.

Silver buttons used for Yamato jeans.


We will look at some examples of the most commonly used Samurai Jeans fabric types. It won’t just be heavy denim. We will also list the jean patterns that are available in our store.

Otokogi 15oz Denim 

Despite the medium all-around density, this is probably the stiffest type of Samurai Jeans denim, which becomes comfortable pretty quickly though. Texas cotton with short fibers is used here and the yarn is very heavily twisted. Very pronounced vertical texture and nap elements. 

This type of denim holds the shape of the jeans very well, and has a relatively fast fading as the yarn is dyed shallow.

Selvedge line in silver color, symbolizing the blade of the samurai.


Classic straight cut in the 50’s style. A great option for classic lovers.


The 710 is one of the most popular Samurai Jeans styles outside of Japan. An elegant straight cut that tapers just slightly at the bottom.

Yamato 15oz Denim

This type of denim is the complete opposite of Otokogi denim, despite the same density. Here, cotton varieties with long fibers are used. This results in a low twisted, soft yarn that will appeal to those who prefer tactile comfort and less texture.

Selvedge line with silver thread and indigo thread.


Straight slim fit low rise style. Very detailed jeans with vegetable tanned leather patch, silver buttons and triple stitching.


A version of the previous model with a slightly more spacious hip cut and a higher waistline. 

Zero 17oz Denim

A heavier denim with a pronounced heterogeneity of texture. Perhaps it can be called slubby. However, this denim is not woven very tightly, so you are unlikely to have problems with wear. The 17OZ density allows for a lot of texture and at the same time it is a very versatile denim. It is not very heavy. Very dark and rich indigo and fast fading.

Selvedge line using silver thread and pink thread. This symbolizes the samurai sword and sakura flowers.


Straight classic, not too wide and not too tight jeans. In fact it is a balanced urban style.

Kiwami 19oz Denim

The word “Kiwami” should be understood as “the superior degree of something”. This denim is the real pride of Samurai Jeans and it is the type of denim that is very often chosen by those who would like to get heavy Samurai Jeans. Here a mix of short to medium fiber cotton varieties are used. The threads are dyed very shallowly, making Kiwami Denim 19oz jeans start to get fading almost as soon as you start wearing them. Here we see very thick yarns and an expressive large vertical texture in the form of “raindrops”.

Selvedge line using silver thread.


The 710 model is a favorite of many denimheads. The versatile cut with a gently tapered pant cut works equally well for those who prefer boots and those who prefer sneakers. In 19oz Kiwami denim, this model is probably the most recognizable of all Samurai Jeans products.

Kiwami Cho 21oz Denim (Super Kiwami)

Despite the similarity of the name, this type of denim is markedly different from Kiwami 19oz. It is a denim with a more even texture where there is a very slight heterogeneity. It also has a thicker and darker indigo color than Kiwami 19oz denim. The fading of this type of fabric is also very fast.

Selvedge line using silver and pink thread.


This is still the same classic 5000 model, but in heavy 21oz denim.

25oz Denim

An extra heavy denim from Samurai that can only be found in limited editions. Requires a deliberate and informed choice. But if your heart starts beating more often at the sight of heavy jeans, you should definitely be satisfied. A tight weave of yarns without a pronounced slubby texture. Dark indigo color, beautiful noble fading. 

Selvedge line with golden thread.


The 510 model in extra heavy 25oz denim. If you are a fan of heavy denim and want the most detailed limited release possible, this would be a great choice. Typically these limited releases go unsold quickly, so we always recommend making a decision quickly.

“AI PLUS” 18oz Denim

An experimental and very interesting type of denim from Samurai Jeans. Two types of dye are used here. The classic synthetic indigo and vegetable indigo. This gives a very beautiful and saturated color. In addition, for this type of fabric a mix is used that includes cotton specially grown in Japan on its own experimental farm. This is Samurai Jeans’ own “home made project” cotton. 

This type of denim has a relatively light shade of indigo, a pronounced heterogeneity of texture and a smooth gradual fading.

Selvedge line – indigo colored yarn is woven in, which emphasizes the idea of this AI Plus release.


Comfortable Straight Regular Cut. This model embodies Samurai Jeans’ idea of using its own “home-made” cotton. Extremely interesting product for real connoisseurs of the brand.

This publication has a general introductory purpose and is mainly dedicated to the basic series of the brand. Samurai Jeans has produced a lot of models in its history and it is probably the most productive brand that has made a lot of limited and limited releases. We could hardly cover all this variety. We just tried to emphasize that every Japanese jeans brand is unique and different. Even within the same brand you can find very different jeans. At this point we would like to wish you a pleasant journey in the boundless ocean of Japanese denim on the waves of indigo color.


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