Wasedaya Shirt brand returns, but not in Japan

A Japanese businessman has revived the established Japanese shirt brand Wasedaya Shirt – in Vietnam.

His first outlet is in the Aeon Mall Long Bien in Hanoi, run by Japanese retail giant Aeon and its subsidiary Aeon Mall.

Founded in 1903, the Osaka-based company provided custom-made shirts to Japanese consumers for more than a century. The founder was a graduate of  Waseda University in Tokyo.

However, the tailored shirts gave way to low-priced shirts, and in 1998 the company became a subsidiary of a major Japanese shirt company. Wasedaya Shirt went out of business in 2009, but trading house Itochu acquired the brand and is behind the Vietnam comeback with its textile subsidiary Prominent (Vietnam).

“I’d like Vietnamese customers to know more about Japan’s high-quality shirts,” says Hiroshi Morita, who as president of Prominent decided to revive the label.

Its shirts are made from fine Japanese fabrics at a factory in Japan, and carry a price tag of 1.2 million dong ($54) each. Contemporary features have been added, such as photocatalyst-based deodorant and anti-bacterial technology in collars and cuffs to suit the humid climate in Vietnam.

Itochu set up a capital and business agreement with Vietnam Kowil Fashion last year, which has helped Wasedaya Shirt obtain data about Vietnamese body shapes and preferences.

A second Wasedaya Shirt has been opened in Ho Chi Minh City, and Morita hopes to expand its sales network to other parts of the country as well as Cambodia – and is thinking about reimporting the shirts to Japan.


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