Fade Friday – Real Japan Blues D103 (Eleven Months, Many Washes)


Real Japan Blues (RJB) is one of Japan’s most distinguished denim brands, yet there’s an air of obscurity to the Nagano-based company. In Japan, RJB‘s policy is to sell none of their products online – so that each customer can experience the garment up close and in person before buying.

It’s easy to admire the company for a policy that maintains the brand’s integrity at the expense of additional online sales. But this also puts most of the RJB collection out-of-reach for denim fans outside of Japan. Fortunately, a few retailers, such as Self Edge and Rivet And Hide, put select pieces from RJB‘s collection within reach of an international audience.

While today’s featured jeans, the D103, are not officially sold overseas, the denim and cut are identical to Self Edge‘s 103BSP. Worn by a staff member, these jeans have been washed dozens of times since first worn in February 2013. The contrast is less pronounced compared to our previously featured SExFHxRJB, but the frequent washing has brought out a terrific roping effect at the hem.

It’s also easy to see the impressive quality of the loomstate 14 Oz. Zimbabwe cotton denim, which has a distinct, powdery blue color that’s different from Flat Head‘s 14.5 oz Pioneer denim. And the worn-off leather diamonds from the back pockets are proof that these jeans have been worn often and worn hard.


  • Name: Real Japan Blues (RJB) D103
  • Weight: 14 oz
  • Fit: Slim tapered
  • Denim: 100% Zimbabwe cotton loomstate denim
  • Other details:
    • Red RJB embroidery at back right pocket
    • Black leather diamonds
    • Deerskin patch
    • Rolled belt loops and back pocket edges
  • Length Of Wear:  Since February 2013, but roughly nine months of actual wear
  • Number Of Washes:  Many washes, about once per week


Front - Real Japan Blues D103 (Eleven Months, Many Washes)

Back - Real Japan Blues D103 (Eleven Months, Many Washes)

Front Closeup - Real Japan Blues D103 (Eleven Months, Many Washes)

Back Closeup - Real Japan Blues D103 (Eleven Months, Many Washes)Honeycombs - Real Japan Blues D103 (Eleven Months, Many Washes)

Hems - Real Japan Blues D103 (Eleven Months, Many Washes)

Thighs - Real Japan Blues D103 (Eleven Months, Many Washes)


Kyle lived in Japan for several years and has worked in the denim industry. He likes writing, playing electric guitar, and listening to Japanese indie rock bands.

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  • Chris

    I like a lot, shame they have restricted availability but at the same time I appreciate why they have made such a decision.
    Interesting to know how much wear before first wash? The more I read the less this seems to be as important as always made out…

  • Davil

    Always nice when there is something different of FF. Maybe all the washing has helped to maintain them structurally because the denim looks good and there is lots of contrast left. Still, I can’t help but wonder what they would look like if not washed so often. That seems like a lot of washes in a year.

  • CVanDriel

    I quite like this pair. The fading of the jeans suspects the denim to be heavier, also shows that waiting years to wash isn’t (always) necessary.

  • Martin

    Not impressed with those at all. Over washing them has stripped all the personality and contrasts out of the denim.

    • Guest

      “stripped all the personality.” Sorry, but this is the most idiotic post I have ever seen on this website. Moreso that devan’s posts.

    • Grandier

      for the past 1-2 years, devan could probably be the most hated person on rawrdenim comment section….

      …but he would never, EVER said overwashed denims are stripped of all personality.

      • Devan Prithipaul

        Yep that is about right. They cant be devoid of personality because the amount of washings IS the personality. I love me some high contrast fades, but these reflect the attitude of the wearer just as much as any others featured on FF.


          good to have you back, buddy.

  • Brian


    • BillygoatsGruff312

      Its all about that roping. The atari is weak, but they earned FF on the roping alone.

  • frank

    there’s more to a pair of rjb’s than just the fades. its hard to put a finger on, which is why they want you to experience them in person. theyre pretty fucking majestic. but i think a wash every two months is dumb. unless they stink. why waste water unless you smell and look like shit?

  • frank

    sorry, meant a wash every week. i prefer, every two months.

  • Jim

    Real Japan Blues, Pure Blue Japan. Lack of imagination or what?

  • Guest

    wow @ all the people commenting on this post. Since when did all these swagfags start posting on rawrdenim? lol highly contrasted fades are not what everyone desires, and some actually prefer the vintage look.

  • swissjeansfreak

    Nice denim evo on those jeans. Keep go rock them hard for another long time

  • Adam

    People are so full of shit. Every single person on here spits the same story of how “I love denim because it’s so personal and wears to reflect the individual life of it’s owner” and then as soon as someone steps outside their tiny world of how-to-denim-wearing they get all upset. I mean, how is it dumb to wash your jeans more than twice a year, but perfectly acceptable to wear them in the ocean or sleep in them? Seems twisted to me.

    • Grandier

      THANK YOU. i’ve been waiting for someone to speak some sense to these hypocritical masses who can’t differentiate “breaking in raw denim in my personal and natural way” with “omg i’m so gonna make sik fadez on mah raw duhnimz yo”


        sick fadez in da hood dawg


      preach! I enjoyed this FF and RJB’s. if you cant see the amazing wear on these jeans you must be blind.

    • goldushapple

      Ssshhhh! Sometimes the raw denim world can seem like a cult that doesn’t practice sound logic & reasoning.