The Bitchu Bingo region (Ibara City and other parts of western Okayama Prefecture, Fukuyama City and other parts of eastern Hiroshima Prefecture) is known as a production center of high-quality Japanese denim where denim-related businesses are collected together. Here, as the “Bitchu Bingo Japan Denim Project,” the local government and businesses are working together to advance the promotion of this denim production center. As part of these activities, the project developed a movie called “Bichu Bingo Japan Denim Story,” using “denimation,” a unique animation style using denim.
Using the strengths of this production center, where many businesses in the industry are collected together, the animation was created using various shades of numerous pieces of denim that were provided by several denim producers. This animation is something that has never been seen elsewhere in the world. The content of this “denimation” (“denim” × “animation” = “denimation”) depicts the history of denim in the Bitchu Bingo region and of the world-renowned Japanese denim.
Different from the final product, jeans, the denim material itself has the potential to be used in various fields. This animation is one such example of this. For the further development of their industry, this denimation was made using denim provided by several companies, working together despite their position as rivals in the industry in certain situations. Ten companies provided denim for the animation, and including those who gave advice and suggestions, a total of fifteen companies (including three associations) were involved. This light-hearted animation expresses the history and manufacturing process involved in making high-quality denim.
Production of the animation took five months, with each scene delicately created. The illustrations of each scene were line drawn, then the denim material that was scanned into a computer was arduously added one sheet at a time. In particular, the denim weaving scene took over twenty-four hours of work for each second of the scene.
While unraveling the threads of the history of Bitchu Bingo denim, this animation tells the story of the denims’ creation until it used around the world. Zooming in on the scene that shows women with Bingo kasuri (Bitchu-jima), that design turns to rain and the story develops. Following the path of a blue bird, you see the creation of denim in the stages of spinning, dyeing, and weaving. One piece of denim is spun, then it goes international—the single piece of denim created in the Bitchu Bingo region is worn as jeans by a model walking on a runway.
■About the Bitchu Bingo Japan Denim Project
The Bitchu Bingo region, the production center for Japanese denim, has thrived since long ago through its indigo-dyeing production and thick fabric production. Because of this, the denim culture has strong roots in the region. Local government and companies worked together in this project so that people in Japan and abroad can learn more about the history, story, regional characteristics, finely tuned technology, and minute craftsmanship of Bitchu Bingo denim.
▽Bitchu Bingo Japan Denim Project Web
Fukuyama City Administrative officer（Industry Promotions Division）