Clothes of the Seventies, Jap Flaps

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Type of clothing:
When it was popular:
Description: This is the first time we saw flip flops with a twist. Jap Flaps had the straw weaved insoles with the velvet thong. In the school hallways all you heard was flap, flap, flap of people walking around in their jap flaps.
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The following are comments left about Jap Flaps from site visitors such as yourself. They are not spell checked or reviewed for accuracy.

H. Stowe - March 01, 2008 - Report this comment
I had a pair of these and when my Mom heard what I called them she grounded me for a weekend. From then on, they were just my sandals or as we called nearly all flip-flops back then: zoireez! Our best friends and neighbors were Japanese-Americans and my Mom was mad that we would use such a derogatory name for shoes. Two weeks after I bought them, a girlfriend permanently "borrowed" them without permission! :-/ Tami, you're still a stinker for that!
Barbie - June 25, 2008 - Report this comment
My "Jap Flaps" were blue rubber soled w/thick blue canvas-type nylon thongs. My best friend and I got matching ones in high school in 1975. I still wear them today! They don't make shoes that good anymore!! I can't find any more like it anywhere. My new puppy just chewed through the thong part! OH NO! Bad puppy!
Val - June 02, 2009 - Report this comment
These bamboo thongs w. velvet straps were super popular in So. Cal in 1972-74 or so. I was an exchange student to Venezuela, wore them there, and they didn't last a week - in the tropical climate the bamboo rotted and the velvet strap pulled right out. I LOL'ed at the description here of the flap-flap in the school hallways! At my school they were also called (even more politically incorrectly!) "Slap Jap Crap Kickers".
Susan - January 08, 2012 - Report this comment
Where can I get a pair??
Dom - November 05, 2012 - Report this comment
I have started selling tatami (woven rush) flip flops online and at weekend markets in Australia... Very bemused at all the comments "I used to have a pair of these Flaps/Jandals back in the day". You can re-live the '70s at !!! They are sourced from a community project in Cambodia that fights sex trafficking so they thongs are extra feel-good :)
Lesley Redman - November 14, 2012 - Report this comment
Here in Australia we called them Happy Slaps.
Janet - September 05, 2013 - Report this comment
I wore these sandals in HS, 74-75 in Scottsdale, AZ but we called them Ho Chi Minh Racers.
Elizabeth - January 28, 2014 - Report this comment
I don't remember what we called them but I had some around 1975 that had thick patterned black velvet straps.
Steph - March 11, 2014 - Report this comment
Wouldn't that name be considered racist today?
Louise - June 29, 2014 - Report this comment
this is an offensive term based on the history behind the first word "Jap"
Mark - December 02, 2014 - Report this comment
These were my very first pair of flip flops when I bought them in the summer of 1980. I believe I was part of the trendsetters as few young males my age dared to wear something like these around town where I lived.
carmel smith - February 16, 2015 - Report this comment
katare mart have the happy slaps from the seventies but only can get from them and not deliver to Australia sandels
Elizabeth - March 23, 2015 - Report this comment
I saw a vendor selling these at the Santa Monica pier a couple of weeks ago.
Jon - May 23, 2015 - Report this comment
Wearing a pair now! Purchased at Ala Moana Mall on Oahu in 2008(?). There was, at that time, a fellow still making them by hand on Oahu. I exchanged mail with him and he was retiring and seeking a buyer for his tooling.
Cyd - December 07, 2015 - Report this comment
I get mine from Karate Mart. Search under "karate mart" and "zoris".
Ted - April 16, 2016 - Report this comment
My first pair was black liked them so I also had them in blue and brown
mike - July 18, 2016 - Report this comment
I grew up in California in the 60's and 70's we called them "jap slaps". As kids we did not think about this stuff too much. I made a mistake one day at the beach and asked for them by name instead of for my flip flops...priceless...people need to get a life.
HeeHee - May 05, 2017 - Report this comment
Jap Flaps sound racist :0
Debby - June 15, 2017 - Report this comment
I absolutely loved mine, this was in 1974 when I went off to college I had a pair of black ones red ones and playland and went to school in Phoenix AZ from Tacoma,WA and they lasted through the year and more… I never realized by calling them j__ flaps that it was a derogatory term until years later… I just never thought of it… They were very comfortable…
david - August 01, 2017 - Report this comment
Loved Jap Flaps. Wore almost every California day from 1973-79-ish. Bought them for about $2 per pair at Pier One Imports......Moved onto adidas 78-79, little late in the game. Adidas now has a retro series and got several pairs 4-5yrs ago!! Wish Jap Flaps or as now call them Flip Flops had a comeback would pay $10 a pair LOL
Patrice - February 16, 2018 - Report this comment
Yep,I went thru heaps of them in 1976ish in sunny Brisbane. They were a big fashion hit & thelocal Coles & Woolies variety store sold them really cheap.We called them "slaps" & the cool way to walk in them was to purposely drag your feet
Pam - May 05, 2019 - Report this comment
Does anyone know where to buy these slaps in Sydney or anywhere in Australia now please?
Vince Texas - August 04, 2021 - Report this comment
I bought a pair during the summer of 73 or 1974 on a trip to Port Aransas Texas to visit the coast with friends. Mine were the maroon color straps and they were very comfortable and inexpensive at five dollars. Does anyone know where I can get an identical pair? I recently bought a pair from fat rolls on Etsy. They are good but they are not the same item.

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