Japan is one of the most fascinating countries on earth; with a culture so complex, dense and unique that you could spend your life trying to unpick it. It also produces some of the most unusual, avant-garde and just straight-up dope clothing you can possibly find.

The downside to all that cultural madness is that it’s hard to keep track of exactly what’s going on in the country. The Japanese media is very inward-looking, as are its brands, and there’s a colossal language barrier to get through, too.

In the second edition of Meanwhile In Japan, here are a few notable store openings, collaborations and collections to keep your eye on. Pro-tip: the Yen is down af right now in comparison to Western currencies, so if you have a Japanese proxy plug, consider hitting them up to cop overseas products at a great exchange rate.

Readymade Collaborates With Fear of God

Following up on the super-limited Readymade x Fear of God backpack that saw just 15 pieces hit Los Angeles store Maxfield, the vintage-inspired Japanese label, known for its use of exquisite time-honored military fabrics, once again teamed up with Lorenzo's grunge-inspired contemporary clothing line on an exclusive collection.

Consisting of olive green bombers, coats and other military-inspired staples, the collection hit retailer United Arrows & Sons on November 26.

UNDERCOVER Reinterprets the Levi’s Trucker Jacket

The Levi's Trucker Jacket turns 50 this year, and one way the venerable jeans company is celebrating is with a super-sick collaboration with designer Jun Takahashi of UNDERCOVER.

The capsule collection takes the iconic Type I, Type II and Type III silhouettes and filters them through Takahashi's predilection for punk style and slogan-based graphics. It will be available from December 1-11 at Hiroshi Fujiwara's THE PARK-ING GINZA concept shop.

Supreme Japan Gets Into the Christmas Spirit

Japan is full of quirky holiday traditions. For instance, thanks to a successful marketing campaign, fast-food chain KFC is now synonymous with Christmas dinner. And so is the practice of decorating Supreme's Japanese outposts to get into the Christmas spirit.

Since 2012, Japanese graffiti artist Sneakerwolf has dispensed his unique brand of holiday cheer to Supreme's six stores in the country. Featuring Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman, there are plenty of true-to-form pop culture flips in the art — like references to Looney Tunes and KAWS' "Companion."

THE NORTH FACE PURPLE LABEL Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Fun fact: THE NORTH FACE PURPLE LABEL exists in Japan through a licensing deal with absolutely bonkers performance wear company nanamica.

Known for sartorial interpretations of GORE-TEX and plenty of windproof garments, the partnership celebrates its 50th anniversary with a new collection of Japan-exclusive goods, like the quilted down pullovers pictured above.

THE NORTH FACE Japan Unlimited Sees Stateside Release

Can't get to Japan to cop PURPLE LABEL? Here's the next best thing. THE NORTH FACE just announced a new Japan Unlimited collection, inspired by the hardy, timeless appeal of the PURPLE LABEL goods.

From cozy down shirts to some of the warmest parkas this side of the Pacific Ocean, the Japan Unlimited collection gives American consumers a small taste of what they've been missing out on.

The POOL Becomes NikeLab MA5

When Hiroshi Fujiwara closed down his POOL concept shop in Aoyama, NikeLab saw a ripe retail opportunity and gave the place a slick facelift. The recently opened NikeLab MA5 incorporates Japanese traditions like Tatami mat floors, and infuses them with modern technology, courtesy of Nike Grind, a flooring material made from recycled sneakers.

There's even a store-exclusive scent, and shoppers will be able to peruse the latest ACG offerings.

nonnative Designer Fujii Takayuki Speaks to Eyescream

Japanese label nonnative is known for exaggerated takes on military staples, long flannel shirts and a slight Wild West influence on its garments. Despite being around for a relatively long time, nonnative's limited stockists and high price point keeps it one of the country's best kept secret brands.

Eyescream recently interviewed designer Fujii Takayuki to talk about 15 years in the game, longevity and his inspirations.

BEAMS Shows 40 Years of Japanese Trends in Five Minutes

Venerable Japanese retailer BEAMS just celebrated 40 years in business, and used the opportunity to drop a slew of covetable exclusives. But perhaps one of the more interesting projects they did was shoot a five-minute video that shows the evolution of Japanese style trends over the past 40 years.

The beautifully shot, craftily edited film features iconic Japanese music artists of each era alongside some of the most stylish models who perfectly embody the looks of the time.

Why COMME des GARCONS Matters

Rei Kawakubo is about to be the focus of the 2017 Met Gala, and have an entire exhibition dedicated to her lasting influence on fashion.

If you want a deep dive on Kawakubo's importance to the fashion industry and how her COMME des GARCONS label left an indelible mark on the way we look at clothes, definitely read this great profile on Grailed — and if it gets you in the mood to get some older COMME pieces for yourself, they've readily selected a few key items you can shop right from the site.

Birvin Uniform Drops Sweet Jackets at Kinfolk

Brooklyn-meets-Daikanyama retailer, nightclub and café Kinfolk has earned a reputation for finding some of the best Japanese labels and breaking them into the American market. One particularly worth checking out is his Birvin Uniform.

Kinfolk's brought some great outerwear stateside, including a colorful knit double-rider jacket worth salivating over.

Alessandro Michele Designs Japan's First Gucci Flagship

Gucci opens its first Japanese flagship with a store in Tokyo's ritzy Roppongi Hills neighborhood. Tapping creative director Alessandro Michele to help guide the design, the new shop does a great job of fleshing out the kind of new age baroque appeal that's garnered his iteration of the label critical praise and consumer success.

Check out last month's installation of Meanwhile in Japan here.

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