The Kanji Tee




Endurance. Patience. Fortitude. Denim faders know that, if we want great fades, we’re going to have to wait for them. Our patience is rewarded. We see the fruits of our labours after months of waiting. We must endure. We cannot flag or fail. We must hold our nerve.

Emblazoned in red on the back of the second collaboration between Okayama Denim and the Indigo Invitational Fade Competition is the Japanese kanji for shinobu, which means endurance or patience. Shinobu, which combines the symbols for heart and katana, is one half of the kanji for ninja. Ninjas are more than just warriors. They are masters of stealth, waiting patiently in the shadows for their moment.

Like the ninja, those in the Indigo Invitational must bide our time, waiting patiently for our fades to emerge from the inky shadows.

We’ve kept the same striking colour combination for the front of the shirt, but we’ve reimagined the competition crest as a pair of vertical brushstrokes over the heart. The combination of crest and kanji is striking, and, since the garment is heavy and exceptionally well made, we know that this shirt will, like our competitors, endure. It is as passionate as the heart, and as strong as the katana blade.

Our first sixty tees sold out remarkably quickly, so we’ve ordered a little bigger run this time, but numbers are still limited to 90, so these won’t last long. The 100% cotton, 180 GSM, made-in-Japan bodies are back in black and, for the first time, in white as well. For the white bodies, we’ve added a new size (XXL). Each shirt is screen printed by hand by a father/son team of Japanese artisans.




Year 1 Contest






Endurance and fortitude are guiding principles in the world of well-made denim, and that goes double in the Indigo Invitational Fade Competition. When we were looking for a design for our first contest tee, we wanted to use images that connected tangibly with these principles. We found the perfect fit in some of the iconography surrounding Le Mans. 

Like the Indigo Invitational, Le Mans is not about speed as much as it’s about endurance. For both events, it’s not a matter of who crosses the finish line first — it’s about who has covered the most ground when the flag drops at the end of the event. 

For them it is 24 Hueres Le Mans.

For us it is 365 Jours De Nimes.

Please show your love and support for this community by buying a shirt and wearing it proudly.

These are limited to 60 pieces, and pre-order closes at midnight on July 14th.

Shirt Details:

* Original body made in Wakayama, Japan
* Heavyweight (180 GSM)
* Hand printed (minimum 3 coats of hand-applied paint per design element)