The Levi jacket worn by Ken Takakura as Ken Tanaka in Japan set thriller The Yakuza (1974, costume design by Dorothy Jeakins) is not Japanese denim. It was not made in Japan but is nonetheless representative of a time when denim as symbol of burgeoning Americana in the East would take off into the stratosphere, and has remained so ever since. Although Levi products were imported into Japan before the 1970s (Levi International was created in 1965), it was not until mid-decade that a Tokyo office was established. This was in response to growing popularity of all things American in Japan, especially denim and especially Levi. There was no single…
Denim legitimises Warren Beatty's character as a man capable of more than posing.