• Ametora

  • How Japan Saved American Style
  • By: W. David Marx
  • Narrated by: Brian Nishii
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (68 ratings)

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Ametora  By  cover art

Ametora

By: W. David Marx
Narrated by: Brian Nishii
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Publisher's Summary

Look closely at any typically "American" article of clothing these days, and you may be surprised to see a Japanese label inside. From high-end denim to oxford button-downs, Japanese designers have taken the classic American look - known as ametora, or "American traditional" - and turned it into a huge business for companies like Uniqlo, Kamakura Shirts, Evisu, and Kapital.

This phenomenon is part of a long dialogue between Japanese and American fashion; in fact many of the basic items and traditions of the modern American wardrobe are alive and well today thanks to the stewardship of Japanese consumers and fashion cognoscenti, who ritualized and preserved these American styles during periods when they were out of vogue in their native land.

In Ametora, cultural historian W. David Marx traces the Japanese assimilation of American fashion over the past 150 years, showing how Japanese trendsetters and entrepreneurs mimicked, adapted, imported, and ultimately perfected American style, dramatically reshaping not only Japan's culture but also our own in the process.

©2015 W. David Marx (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Ametora

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  • Overall
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You must read for anyone interested in Japanese and American style

While I hoped that this book would go into more detail on contemporary Japanese americana like Kapital and Visvim, Improvided every step of the way to the foundations of these brands that we know and love today. This book highlights so many key players who pushed the American aesthetic in Japan, and worked to develop the Japanese Fashion industry we love today. There are wonderful passages about finding vintage Levi’s in cellars of stores in American west. They discuss the Japanese obsession with how to guides and catalogs. The book shares information on how selvage denim came to Japan. As a fashion enthusiast I find myself pulling information from this book out of my brain on a weekly basis.

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Must read for anyone who’s into fashion

What a book. This book nicely tells the story of why Japanese fashion and craftsmenship came about and why its world class. I especially loved the chapter where the book talks about Nigo and Hiroshi Fujiwara. Great read for anyone who loves fashion in a deeper level.

1 person found this helpful

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Great story but terrible narrator.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The narrator.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Weak.

How could the performance have been better?

As a professional Japanese linguist I felt the narrator should have used the Japanese order of last name/first name instead of following the western style of first name/last name. Why follow the western style in names when he pronounces Japanese words as a Japanese speaker would while speaking English? At some level pronouncing Japanese words with English inflections is okay - the narration sounds stilted and unnatural when he switches back and forth from English to pronouncing Japanese words as a Japanese native speaker would. Don't mean to be pedantic but linguists will know what I am referring to. The narrator's narration is not smooth plus monotone - which makes for dull listening.

Was Ametora worth the listening time?

No. I should have gotten the hard cover book.

Any additional comments?

I was tempted to return the book based on the narration but enjoyed the content so decided not to.

1 person found this helpful

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Absolutely Fantastic!

Ametora is easily the best book I’ve ever read about Japanese Americana. The book has a fantastic pace to it and packs so much education within each chapter.

10/10 would recommend.

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Fantastic, fascinating book. Great narrator.

The book itself is a fascinating and colorful topic. If you're into menswear you will love it. I also found the narrator to be very easy to listen to. He did a great job of infusing the words with the right emotions.