Clothing and Shoes


Below are some common words you might see on clothing labels:

cotton – 綿 (men) OR コットン (kotton)
linen – 麻布 / 亜麻布 (mafu / amafu) OR 麻絲 (asaito) OR リネン (rinen)
polyester – ポリエステル (poriesuteru)
acrylic – アクリル (akuriru)
rayon – 人絹 (jinken) OR レーヨン (rēyon)
spandex – スパンデックス (supandekkusu)

wool – 羊毛 (youmou) OR ウール (ūru)
lambswool – ラムウール (ramuūru)
cashmere – カシミヤ (kashimiya)
pashmina – パシュミナ (pashumina)
mohair – モヘア (mohea)
angora – アンゴラ (angora)
silk – 絹 (kinu) OR シルク (shiruku)
fur – 毛皮 (kegawa) OR ファー (fā) (unfortunately real fur is still popular in Japan)
feathers – 羽 (hane) OR フェザー (fezā)


There are many non-leather (although perhaps not completely vegan) shoes in Japan. The only thing that can be a little difficult is if the shoes don’t have a label showing what they are made of. In that case, you will need to check with the staff. Useful words when shoe shopping are:

leather – 革 / 皮 / かわ (kawa) OR レザー (rezā)
synthetic leather – 合成皮革 (gōsei hikaku)
imitation leather – 擬革 / 擬革紙 (gikaku / gikakushi)

Of course you might also see one of the following pictograms (image from the Somijas Apave website):

Shoe pictogram


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