Mystery: How did MN hockey tournament pins end up on shorts in Tokyo?

What we have here is a mystery that will require all of the internetiness of the internet to solve.

How does a pair of cut-off jeans festooned with pins from the Minnesota state hockey tournament end up on a rack in Japan?

We think the shorts are merely the display device for the pins, leaving the question of how the pins got to Tokyo.

Do that thing you do, Internet.

  • clockwork
    • This is everything I love about doing NewsCut all in one picture.

  • Phil

    Eveleth Golden Bears? Those pins are getting up there in years, we merged school districts with Gilbert while I was still in elementary school.

  • Jerry

    Those shorts look incredibly uncomfortable to wear

    • DavidP

      Talk about being on pins and needles!
      They’d keep ya awake on a long drive.

    • Postal Customer

      Perhaps the most Minnesota thing to say :p

  • Gary F

    I was in Tokyo in 2001 and anything obscure, eclectic and American went for a lot of money in their equal to a rag stock store.

    Lots of tee-shirts and sweat shirts from every D-3 college went for big bucks. Old Little League shirts, rec league sports tees, concert tees, booze shirts all went for amazing prices.

    If I ever return I’m going to fill an additional suitcase with size medium shirts we would use to wipe dipsticks and varnish furniture and sell them to one of these stores.

    • DavidP

      An excellent idea. You could just about pay for your airfare.
      American pro sports teams are very popular with teens and young adults in former Soviet countries. The team names and cities are mixed up – LA Broncos, Chicago Tigers, Boston Dodgers…I’m guessing it is to avoid copyright.
      No matter, the kids are strutting proud in their Detroit Raiders gear.

    • bri-bri

      Gary is on the money. I lived in Japan for a couple years and ‘vintage’ stores in Sapporo were chock full of old clothes from the US. T-shirts from various high schools’ athletic departments were particularly common. Clothing with English on it has a certain cachet in Japan, analogous to Americans hanging loosely-translated Chinese characters on their walls (or inking them on their bodies). This can have tragi-hilarious results: I saw a cooking show whose hostess was wearing a T-shirt that said, simply, “F_CK”.

    • Tim

      Yeah, it’s interesting to see things like this. Back in 2008, I saw a boutique in Osaka selling Minnesota State t-shirts for a couple different campuses, which was pretty random. Another store was selling men’s Minnetonka Moccasins, which I understood a bit more, but I was still surprised by the 10,000 yen retail (or about $125 USD at the time) for which they sold.

  • Maybe there are just more Minnesotans who wind up in Tokyo or Japan, in general?

    This is purely anecdotal but when our family lived in Tokyo many, many years ago (1970-1977), Minnesotans were disproportionately represented among the many other US expatriates living there. (California might’ve been the only other state with more stateside connections.) In my own school class of 102 students, in an international school with 25 different nationalities represented in the student body, I had five classmates with some tie to Minnesota (parents, birth or prior residence).

    Between the classes of 1971-1976, there are currently ~60 people I went to school with in Tokyo who are currently living in Minnesota.