Osato’s Charcoal Suit

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Osato-Charcoal-Suit

Though black is now the prevailing colour for the lounge suit in Japan, that is not shown to be the case in You Only Live Twice back in 1967. Mr. Osato (Teru Shimada), the head of Osato Chemicals and Engineering and a SPECTRE agent, wears a charcoal grey suit for his meeting with James Bond, or rather “Mr. Fisher”. Though black would suit his complexion well, charcoal is just as flattering and gives Osato a more approachable appearance. Osato’s outfit, though not ostentatious, is fitting for a man in charge of a large company.

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Though weather can get hot in Japan, Osato’s suit is made of a heavy, fuzzy woollen flannel. The suit jacket is cut to make Osato look larger than the short man of no more than five and a half feet that he is. The button two jacket is cut with a full chest and a gently nipped waist. The shoulders are straight and narrow with a lot of padding, to give Osato’s shoulders a little extra height. The jacket is too short to cover his rear, but since Osato’s legs are very short in comparison to his torso, the shorter jacket length actually gives his body better proportions. The a short length also makes Osato’s legs look longer to help make him look a little taller. The jacket’s button stance is low by today’s standards, but it helps to give him the stronger look someone in his position desires to show authority. The jacket has jetted hip pockets, four buttons on the cuffs and no vents. The trousers have tapered legs and plain hems with no break.

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Osato’s cream shirt has a wide spread collar and double cuffs. He wears two different ties with this suit. During his meeting with Bond he wears a dark grey satin tie, tied in a windsor knot. Because the tie is narrow and has a lightweight interlining, the windsor knot ends up being a respectable size. However, it could possibly be a half-windsor knot. Later in the film in Blofeld’s volcano lair, Osato wear the same suit and shirt with a navy tie with subtle self-stripes ascending from Osato’s right to left. This tie is also tied in a windsor or half-windsor knot. With both ties he wears a silver tie bar straight across the tie in the middle of his chest. It should ideally be on the lower half of the tie so it doesn’t distract from the face. Osato also wears a white cotton or linen handkerchief with a grey border in his breast pocket. With the grey tie Osato angles the handkerchief to point towards the face, and with the navy tie he angles it to point toward the shoulder. Osato’s shoes are black plain-toe derbys with either three or four eyelets.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. One of the better dressed henchmen in a decent business suit. Very much in the Bond style, i.e. pared-down look. Suits him because Osato belongs to the less memorable Bond villains. -“He’s merely a front” as Bond says.

  2. “The button two jacket is cut with a full chest…”
    That’s because Mr Osato believes in a full chest.

  3. “The suit jacket is cut to make Osato look larger than the short man of no more than five and a half feet that he is.”

    Hey, I can relate. I wonder who his tailor is….

  4. Hi Matt, this isn’t necessarily Bond related but would you consider doing a post on different suit cloth weights? Obviously there’s the contrast between the heaviest cloths with a nap like Dominic Cooper wears as Ian Fleming and the lighter suits worn these days, but I’d like to see the gradual change over the last 80 years, with Bond’s suits as a constant example.

    • Ooh yes please, that would be interesting to read.

      I’ve always preferred a heavier weight in my clothing so I always end up frustrated when I get something marked “Medium/Heavy Weight” and it ends up at barely 280g. Apparently that’s heavy for the tropical wool suits that are standard today. I’d love a traditional heavy flannel suit. The one Bond wears in the Thunderball pre-title sequence is by far my favourite of the franchise.

      • I’m not sure how I can write about this topic in relation to Bond’s suits. I can tell heavier cloths from lighter cloths, but writing about them in any depth would be difficult to relate them to what Bond wears.

    • Matt. Mabey you could write about the properties of the heavier vs. lighter fabrics in relation to how Bond’s suit-fabrics have changed since the Connery days? If I’m not mistaken, the last Bond to wear a flannel suit is Timothy Dalton in TLD.

      Personally I think it’s a shame that there are so few heavier wool fabrics today, even in MTM.

    • Matt, I’m sure, given the “suits” bit in the title of the blog, that sometimes you could widen the goal posts occasionally (as I feel you have in the past discussing The Saint and The Avengers) to allow you to talk about general suits rather than just Bond suits. We’ll lap it up so long as we learn something new 🙂
      Maybe illustrate it with the heaviest and lightest examples of Bond suits so far.

  5. Teru Shimada was always well dressed for his roles (Hawaii Five-O, Hawaiian Eye and his appearances in Perry Mason in particular). I have to wonder if he used his own clothing for most of them (a la Roger Moore in The Saint), but I suspect he did.

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