Attire & Weapons: Insights and Historical References

Jaken's attire and the original weapon he used to wield has always been something I thought was quite interesting. Although he's portrayed as a servant, his clothing actually depicts a much higher status. Below are some information on what his clothing could mean in relation to his background and character.

Attire Description:

General AttireJaken is basically decked out in light brown "puffy" trousers that latches at his ankle (sometimes shown as beige or pink) and with a dark brown tunic robe worn over it on the outside.

The sleeves are sewn on to only the lower part of his clothing, creating a gap where the kimono shirt underneath can be seen around the shoulder area. You should be able to see the gap that I'm talking about on the illustrated picture. The tunic/robe is then cinched at the waist by a belt or a sash of some sort. The tunic also splits on both sides of his body, hence making the trousers he wears visible.

There are no patterns or designs on his clothing, just a two-tone color to distinguish it. He doesn't wear any shoes or socks either, but he does sport a little black hat on the top of his head like a crown. His hat is kept in place by a thin string that wraps down and around from both sides of his head.

Historical Reference:

Noble ReferencesThe first thing that crossed my mind when I noticed Jaken's clothing was how it reminded me of what a Shogun would wear. A Shogun is probably best described as the ruler of Japan during the times from 1192 to the Meiji Era in 1868. Also said to be govenors or military generals who, once again, ruled over Japan during the old days. I think it was the hat that reminded me of Shoguns even though a Shogun's head gear is in actuality a different kind.

In any case, Shoguns aren't the only ones in historical Japan to wear this similar style clothing. Jaken's attire actually fits the bill for the dress code of imperial court nobles, from the trousers and the tunic to the hat. The main difference is probably how Jaken doesn't wear socks or shoes whereas the nobles do. As you can see from the illustrated picture, Jaken really does dress like a noble.

What does this mean? It adds weight to his position as the ruler of his kind before he began traveling with Sesshoumaru. He was a noble/lord of some sort and hence dresses like one. I guess Jaken never thought to change the style of his clothing even after so many years.

His Weapon:

WeaponsWhen Jaken flashes back to when he was still a ruler of his people, we actually see him carry a sword of some sort. This seemed to be his primary weapon as the flashback also shows scenes of Jaken using the sword to fight. You can see him slashing a youkai with it on the center picture of the top image in the current layout. Doesn't it almost look like his sword had transformed into a larger version like the Tessaiga? I don't think that's really the case, but it was what crossed my mind when I first saw the scene. ^^;

One thing to note was the fact that Jaken appears to be the only one in his clan that was carrying a sword. All his "people" actually carried something that looked like spears and fought with them. Jaken, on the other hand, seems quite handy with the sword- slashing away fiercely so I would say he probably had at least some skills in sword fighting. In Japanese historic reference, the sword was often seen as a symbol of honor and justice- and those who wield them would be considered as people of such. Not to mention the fact that you'd need to have a certain skill to be able to properly use one. So it's interesting to see that Jaken dressed like a noble and actually wielded a sword (which is obviously special in his case because no one else in his clan used one).

It's a shame that he no longer uses a sword as he had apparently abandoned it along with his clan when he began following Sesshoumaru. I would've liked to see him fight with one. Heh. These days, he can instead be seen using another weapon- The Staff of Heads. More information on that can be viewed on this page.

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