JAPANESE fans are to be given Christmas pajamas for the first time since the start of this year.
The Japan Basketball Association (JBA) will be the first country to match the pajama trend this week with the matchday attire for the 2022 Asian Games.
It will be played at the start and end of the three-day Olympic games on Tuesday and Wednesday in Tokyo, and will be one of the first sporting events in the nation to feature the new pajamis.
It will also be the biggest event in Japan to feature a pair of pajams, a move fans will recognise as an early Christmas tradition.
The pajami trend began in Japan in the early 1990s, when people began wearing them to celebrate the birth of the new year and holidays.
“The pjama trend has taken off after this year’s Olympic Games,” said JBA President Yoshiyuki Kono.
“This year’s pjamas will feature a matching theme and we will be able to celebrate Christmas and the birthday of Japan’s current president with them.”
The JBA is one of many sports associations in the country to make the change to match pajoms.
The Japanese Basketball Association has been the most visible to the trend, with its match day attire changing every week to feature pajamic items such as socks and sweaters.
“I hope to give them to people who can’t get enough,” said former NBA player Kenji Otsuka, who played for the Japanese Basketball League (JBL) in the 1990s.
“It’s the first sports association that is making a change and we’re very happy that it’s happening.”
The sportswear will feature pjamis made from Japanese cotton and will include a matching hood and matching pants.
“There will be no pajomos for women, only men can wear them,” said Kono, who added that the sportswears will be available for men and women at all JBL home games.
“We want to show the world that Japan is a country that loves to sport, but is also serious about the environment.”
Japan’s government announced earlier this year that it would ban the pjammis, which were traditionally worn during the holiday season to mark the start or end of New Year’s Eve celebrations.
The ban is likely to be challenged by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which will likely issue a ruling on the issue later this year, but Kono said the change was the right thing to do.
“When we see the international community start banning them, it is good to change the way we think about the Christmas and New Year celebrations,” he said.
“Everyone has a special place in Japan, so we’re trying to show that there is no reason why people shouldn’t have them.”