This paper reveals the transformation from a manufacturing base for military and school uniform into a manufacturing hub of the world for high quality casual clothing, and discusses this transformation from a stand point of urban sociology.
The research object is Kojima area, Kurashiki city, Okayama Prefecture, West Japan. Kojima was salt field until 1580's. After the reclamation projects in the Seto Inland Sea, Kojima area moved toward a transformation into cultivation area of cotton until 1800's. In addition, after the WWI, Kojima area developed as a manufacturing base of army uniform. Furthermore, after the WWII, Kojima developed as a manufacturing base of school uniform.
However, in the decades after 1970, local economy of Kojima declined due to excess production of school uniform. So that, some manufactures in Kojima area shifted to production of high quality clothing made by denim, with their original technologies and new design skills. These shifts have made a success due to increase the demand for high quality clothing from the design sectors in Paris, Milan, London, New York and other major cities in the world.
In conclusion, this paper discusses this regional transformation from a stand point of urban studies. Therefore, we will understand that contemporary urban clothing culture developing not only based on design sector in the global cities, but also manufacturing sector in the local cities of western Japan.