This little number has a wonderful story behind it. One day in Harajuku my partner and I stumbled upon an op shop on Cat Avenue. Outside this shop there was a ¥500 rack full of random second hand items, one in particular caught our eye and we thought "well it's only ¥500 what do we have to lose" and decided to buy this Happi.
Later that night we decided to go out for dinner to Ebisu because the burger cravings were real and I decided it was the perfect time to go out wearing this not knowing what it said on the front and back. The walk from Shinjuku to Ebisu was quite long and I don't know why I thought walking there and back was a good idea but it did mean I could buy cartons of sake to make the walk enjoyable.
Every person who saw me pointed and caught going "HA HA SYSTEM KITCHEN" and i'm thinking to my self "what the hell is system kitchen!?" I get to the restaurant and the guy serving us talks about how much he likes my outfit. Seeing as his english was good I asked him what I was wearing and he just laughed and walked away. By then I was thinking somehow I turned into an Japanese hipster, it's like if I were to walk down the street wearing the Neighbourhood Watch logo on a crewneck in Melbourne - epitome of hipster. After eating my meal I went to pay for my food and asked again what I was wearing, the same guy replied with "I like your outfit, I think it's very cool". I think by then I just gave up and accepted I had no idea what I was wearing but hey I thought it looked pretty so whatever.
That same night I tried googling system kitchen japan only to find images of kitchens and kitchen installations which didn't help my cause at all.
Months later at work I was telling this story to some friends and one of them knew someone who knew Japanese so instantly i'm thinking this is my chance I can finally find out what this damn thing means!!! I send some photos through and got a reply. Turns out this was someones work uniform from the 80's??? I don't even know but I want this as my work uniform
A few weeks ago I wore this to Japanese Class because now i'm learning the language and my teacher explained how this item is called a Happi and is worn by companies when promoting their company at festivals in Japan.
It only took just under a year but I finally got my answer.
Hat: Urban Outfitters
Happi: Op Shop in Japan