A fashion analyst living in Tokyo will introduce Tokyo's fashion, food, art, design, nature, etc. from the perspective of locals.

A report on the "THE FUTURE IS IN THE PAST" exhibition featuring NIGO®'s vintage archives, and my favorite shellfish soup ramen in Shinjuku.

Hello. My name is Koji Yamada


I have been working in the fashion industry in Tokyo for many years, and recently I have been working as a fashion analyst, mainly on my blog. 

For my job, I have visited countless fashion-related stores and continue to research regularly and explore new stores. 

In this blog, I would like to introduce some of the fashion stores I have found during my research, as well as some of the delicious and reasonably priced restaurants I have visited during my research.

The locations that appear in this article are shared here on Google My Map.


NIGO® Archive Collection Exhibition in Shinjuku

This time I visited "THE FUTURE IS IN THE PAST" at Bunka Gakuen Fashion Museum in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The exhibition will be held from September 14, 2022 (Wed) to November 13, 2022 (Sun).

The exhibition features items selected from the archival collection of NIGO®, who is also known as one of the best vintage collectors.

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A post shared by 𝐍𝐈𝐆𝐎® (@nigo)

This is the catalogue of the exhibition.

The afterword to the catalogue describes how the exhibits in this exhibition were selected, so I will quote from it.

In June, NIGO®, Kenji from SUNTRAP (a vintage store in Koenji), Atsushi, and I spent two days in NIGO's VINTAGE ARCHVE ROOM sorting items for the photo shoot for this SUKIMONO BOOK and for the exhibition at the Bunka Fashion Museum. We looked at the large collection of items one by one, and asked ourselves questions such as, "I miss these items," "What's this? What's this?" "Did you have something like this? We were so excited like children and had a lot of fun. I made this book with the hope of capturing that feeling in this SUKIMONO BOOK. The knowledge that NIGO® gave me at that time and the two members of SUNTRAP are introduced in this book and in the exhibition.

This text was written by Manabu Harada, stylist.

Mr. Harada is the selector of "THE SUKIMONO BOOK," a book series, and the catalogue of "THE FUTURE IS IN THE PAST" is one of the books in "THE SUKIMONO BOOK The catalogue for "THE FUTURE IS IN THE PAST" is part of the "THE SUKIMONO BOOK" series.

Here is the lineup of "THE SUKIMONO BOOK" already published.

And as mentioned in the text, SUNTRAP is a thrift store in Koenji with a strong vintage focus.

While many thrift stores have recently moved their information dissemination to Instagram, this thrift store updates its blog frequently, which makes me, a blog lover, happy.

In particular, I look forward to his blog, which describes his buying activities in the U.S., as it gives me a sense of the real American atmosphere.


I'm not really interested in vintage, but the clothes are fascinating enough for me to look at them.

Now, let's get back to the main topic, the introduction of the exhibition, but unfortunately, photography was prohibited inside the venue.

Only the visuals on the wall at the entrance and the section with comments from NIGO® and other people involved could be photographed.

NIGO®'s impetus for this exhibition was his appointment as artistic director of KENZO last year.

The atmosphere inside the venue can be seen to some extent from Mr. NIGO®'s Instagram above.

You can also see part of the exhibit here。

Here are my impressions of the exhibition.
To begin with, I don't have a strong interest in vintage American casual wear.

I am of the generation that experienced the vintage boom in the 90's, but at the time, I only owned a few vintage replica jeans and sweatshirts.

Soon after that, I became passionate about Comme des Garcons and other designer brands, so I don't have any particular admiration for vintage items.

The items on display this time were mainly American vintage items from the 1920s to 1960s.

There were several items annotated with "this is rare because it is XX", but since I do not place much importance on the value of "rare" in the first place, I could only say "Oh, I see".

However, this exhibition was so good that even I could not stop looking at it.

Design, silhouette, details, fabrics, prints, accessories, sewing.

The clothes themselves are very attractive and informative, as they were carefully selected by NIGO®, a genuine vintage collector, so after a quick look around the venue, I took a good look at each item on display.

If you are interested in fashion, we encourage you to visit the venue if possible.

Incidentally, there is a video on YouTube introducing Mr. NIGO®'s collection room, which gives a small taste of the atmosphere of this exhibition.

Furthermore, by the way, this past article shows Mr. NIGO®'s office in 1999.


Young people's reactions to vintage items

I visited on a weekday. I arrived at the venue a little before the opening time of 10:00 a.m., and was surprised to see a large line of fashionable young people waiting in line. But this was an extracurricular class (probably) for students of Bunka Fashion College, which is located next door.

I followed this large line of young people and entered the venue, so I was surrounded by many students around 20 years old.

I thought this was a good opportunity and observed how the young people reacted to the burly vintage archives.

Surprisingly, many of the girls said, "This is so cute! "

It seems that even the standard vintage items, such as Aloha shirts, Sukajan, and Peanuts sweatshirts with pop body colors, were well-designed and appealing to the young people.

After all, the excellence of good clothes can be transmitted across generations.

This was another benefit of my visit to the exhibition.


My most beloved ramen shop is closing!

For lunch that day, we headed to Kaika-ya, a Chinese noodle restaurant in Shinjuku with shellfish soup base, which we introduced in a previous article.

In fact, the night before this, the closing was announced on Twitter in a hurry.

"We have an announcement to make.

Kaika-ya will be closing its doors tomorrow.

We are very sorry for the closure and the sudden notice.
We are very sorry for the sudden announcement.

We are currently looking for a new place to open.

We will post an announcement here when we reopen.
Thank you very much for your cooperation."

Kaika-ya is my favorite ramen restaurant right now. So I wanted to make sure to try it one last time, so I visited just after it opened that day.

I asked for the thick asari.

One-and-only. Especially this soup is really good.

"Last thick asari at my favorite Shinjuku restaurant @kaikayakaidashi, which was announced to be closing today.
According to the owner, there is a possibility of reopening if they can find a property.
It was still very good and I definitely want to try it again."

It appears likely that they will reopen, and we look forward to the day when we can eat there again.