Tiger Tanaka’s Grey Suits



M’s Japanese counterpart in You Only Live Twice, Tiger Tanaka, dresses more like James Bond than M. Tanaka, played by Tetsuro Tamba, likely wears Japanese-tailored suits in a style that appear to be inspired by what Sean Connery wears as James Bond. It is also possible that the suits are English-tailored. Tanaka wears a charcoal grey lightweight wool two-piece suit when he first meets Bond, and later he wears light grey lightweight pick-and-pick wool suit.


Like Bond’s suit jackets, Tanaka’s suit jackets have two buttons with a low stance, a full chest, suppressed waist and narrow lapels. Like many of Bond’s suit jackets in other films, Tanaka’s jackets have straight, jetted hip pockets. Both the charcoal grey and light grey suit jackets have three buttons on the cuffs. The charcoal grey jacket has a single vent whilst the light grey jacket has no vents.

Tanaka’s suit jackets differs from Bond’s primarily in the shoulders. Whilst Bond’s jackets have soft shoulders, Tanaka’s jackets have extended, straight shoulders to give him the look of a man in power. The jackets’ shoulders, however, are too conspicuously built out. Building up the shoulders can indeed make a man look more powerful, but it must be done in moderation. The jackets look big on Tanaka, and indeed they have the intention to make him look bigger, but they still have mostly a neat fit. There is excess drape in the back, but it was likely accepted due to the desire for a full cut.


Tanaka’s suit trousers have pleats like Bond’s suit trousers have, but Tanaka’s trousers have a single reverse pleat instead of double reverse pleats. The waistband has an extension with a hook and eye closure. There are likely adjustable tabs at the sides since Tanaka needs neither a belt nor braces. Compared to Connery’s more traditional tapered legs with turn-ups, Tanaka’s suit trousers have more fashionable straight legs and plain hems.

With both suits Tanaka wears a white shirt with a spread collar and double cuffs. The ties that Tanaka wears with each suit are printed and held against the shirt with a silver tie bar. With the charcoal grey suit, the tie is a navy and burgundy print, with the two colours fading into each other. With the light grey suit, the tie is a light grey geometric print. Tanaka knots his ties with a windsor or half windsor knot. Tanaka also wears black slip-on shoes and a white folded linen handkerchief in his breast pockets, an item Bond stopped wears a few years earlier.



  1. Tanaka have a look more 50s that 1966.
    Look also to the light gray printed tie.
    He seems come out from 1955-58 circa.

    • Tanaka’s suits and ties do recall fashions of the mid or late 1950s over the then contemporary mid-to-late 1960s suits and ties often seen about. I also collect vintage neckties from the 1950s (as well as ’60s, or also ’40s, ’30s, ’20s, and one from before), so those do remind me of the earlier styles a little more than mid-1960s. Suit shoulders were a little more padded in the 1950s, generally, than the next decade, in which more suits were made with the trim, narrow aesthetic in mind. It’s very reasonable for Tanaka to have worn suits that were holdovers from the later half of the 1950s, though. Many of them weren’t that different from suits ordinary people wore in 1967, compared to one made around 1951, which would have likely looked more distinctively 1940s. Besides the possible era in which Tanaka’s suit may have been made, it does look a little too wide in the shoulders and chest, as well as too long.

  2. Tanaka’s jackets are very long, especially the light grey one. The lenght is just as bad as the mid-90’s Brioni jackets. While Osato’s suits show masterful tailoring Tanaka’s suits has a fit that makes them look shop-bought. The fabrics are nice though.

    • Better too long than too short, in my humble opinion. I seem to recall ties of the type of the grey one around 10-15 years ago.

    • I’d say it’s equally bad. However today most people’s views on what is “too” long is based on the awful current trend of having jackets way shorter than the lenght of the jacket arms. I have read several times on the internet about Roger Moore’s “long” jackets, wich is absolutely ridiculous and shows the lack of insight of theese writers. As much as the 70’s details of his suits look dated the fit was never anything but classic. Now, the Goldeneye and Tomorrow never dies suits is something else, where, IMO, the jackets are too long to look good. As Always, it could have been a lot worse, as Brosnan’s take on the 90’s oversized fit was modest compared to how most people wore it, but I still can’t say it looks good. The awful cut of the LTK suits aside, the LENGHT was good and looked balanced on Dalton. Oversized jackets, IMO, makes the wearer look like they simply couldnt find a suit their size, just as the shrunken look of today does. When fashion starts to dictate not only style but FIT then its gone too far, in my opinion.

  3. Not a very good look. The length in combination with the shoulders simply make the jacket look ill-fitting.

    I also wonder now… why DID Bond stop wearing pocket squares?

    • I think it was one of the trademarks of Connery’s Bond’s style, so, the differenciation’s need, etc… but they are back since QOS, and Brosnan wore some at some occasions.
      I think Brosnan had the merit to use another folding technique. The old TV fold is great, but let’s be crazy, Craig could use a pointed angle with his dinner suit, for example.

      About the suit, the shoulders are clearly too wide. Even I, who likes built-up shoulders, dislikes them. First, Tanaka isn’t so weak so he needs such a shoulder. Also, it’s not by having wider shoulders that one will look taller. Osato’s suits looked better, yet Osato was, I guess, both shorter and weaker than Tanaka.
      Another importance of good tailoring !

    • I agree, Le Chiffre, Osato’s two suits are GREAT examples of how masterful tailoring can make anyone look great. Someone with the physique of Connery or Lazenby look ok in most anything, but for men with bodies like Osato, Goldfinger or Largo a great tailored suit can work wonders, as Matt’s articles have pointed out.

    • I think Jovan’s question is actually “Why did Connery’s Bond stopped wearing pocket squares?” Because he didn’t wear any pocket squares in Thunderball either, not even with his dinner suits. Is the pocket square considered too old fashioned by the time Thunderball came out? But other characters still wear them. Maybe the costume designer didn’t like them anymore?
      Anyway, I agree with the others that the jacket shoulders are too padded. It has the effect of making his head look small.

    • “…Osato’s two suits are GREAT examples of how masterful tailoring can make anyone look great.”

      I understand the point, but I would say that masterful tailoring can make someone look better, not necessarily great. By that I mean that the suit can look great, but as a good suit can only accentuate strengths and mask (not eradicate) flaws (and only to a degree) there’s a limit to what good tailoring can do.

      I remember a men’s style website saying that there were really two rules to looking good in a suit – buy one that fits (and get it tailored to fit even better) and keep yourself in good shape.

      Obviously there are limits to that, and comparing Tanaka and Osato shows that extremes of ill-fitting suits look bad on anyone.


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