With the exception of jinbei and yukata being worn at summer festivals, you may not have a strong association between traditional Japanese clothing and modern fashion. And while kimono, yukata, and hakama are certainly alive and kicking, Wazigen Shizukuya is hoping to make them bigger and cooler than they have been before with their beautiful and bold modern styles for men. So when it came to celebrating their tenth anniversary since opening, the company put out a fashionable limited-edition line of badass kimono, yukata, and hakama, punctuated by their tenth and final release in the series--100% leather hakama, or the traditional pants worn over a kimono.

The series finale had big shoes to fill, with previous entries featuring stylish themes designed after Godzilla, James Bond films, and even Asura. Things seem to have wrapped up fittingly with an understated but striking finish, as these kosode (short sleeved kimono) are tied together with imposing 100% leather hakama that'll make you a sure-fire stand out no matter the occasion. Wazigen Shizukuya is hoping to make dressing well cool again, and these are definitely some awesome efforts put in that direction.

Real Leather Hakama “Akatsuki”

"Red dawn", as the deep burgundy hakama's name translates to, is a a welcome addition for anyone who happens to own a red kimono. A closer look at the detailed stitching and craftsmanship will help you appreciate the extensive effort that went into producing this series, which the maker says actually needed 1.5 cowhides per hakama. Despite having a certain bold flair to it, this authentic leather version of the traditional wear as an understated look that could easily be pulled off at both formal and casual events--or for some very ambitious cosplay.

The second entry in the Opus.10 series is Hayabusa, or "falcon." Hayabusa is pure black leather, which may be a bit more flexible in terms of pairing with kimono or other wear. Wazigen Shizukuya poses the question "why don't Japanese people wear kimono as much today?" and answers by saying that kimono lack an image of "being cool." Because of that, they've done their best to create a sleek hakama that conveys the image of being a fashionable adult, and something that can translate into everyday fashion.

Real Leather Hakama “Hayabusa”

This fantastic craftsmanship comes at a hefty price, however. Akatsuki is listed at 480,000 yen ($4,224.56 USD) and Hayabusa comes in just a little bit cheaper at 420,000 yen ($3,697.53 USD). When you keep in mind the intensive labor and attention to detail that went into crafting these limited edition pieces, that price is a bit more understandable, but quite steep nonetheless.

Those interested in seeing the other entries in the series can take a look at Wazigen Shizukaya's website, which has all styles on display. If anything, they may just serve as proof that Wazigen Shizukaya's mission to make traditional Japanese wear "cool" isn't so much a difficult task as it is a pleasant reminder.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.