Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Randoseru are Japanese leather backpacks worn and used by elementary school children. They not only last all through elementary school but lots of people will save them through adulthood. The general rule is you would never be caught dead using one in junior high or high school. However, that rule does not apply outside Japan due to anime collectors snatching them up and wearing them. The other rule is red is for girls and black is for boys. Although, they have just recently starting making all different colors of Randoseru for the Japanese kids of the 21st Century.

Hunter and Bryn were extremely lucky to each receive a used one in Japan from Emi's family. They are still in good shape and I'm predicting many more years of use in them. They are quite costly but when you think they last many many years of abuse by school children they end up a pretty economical option. Plus think of all the saved resources by not buying a new backpack every year. One my favorite things about receiving the backpacks is that they are indeed used and worn because I've always preferred that look over the brand new ones. Hence the reason I make my kids wear their new school shoes at least 2-3 weeks before school starts.

The kids in Japan also attach charms (or sometimes called straps) to their backpacks which I guess is practice for their cell phones straps as adults. Bryn's came with Hello Kitty and she's since added Totoro and Turtwig. Hunter's still working on his charm ideas.

I can't ever imagine falling out of love with these bags. The straps... the clasp... the hidden pockets... the durability... red leather.... the charms that change with the ages... and even these yellow safety covers for walking to and from school.

Here are few places where you can buy them new and I've even found some new and used ones on ebay.
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kat said...

Oh these are so great. Now I want to find one for the kids :) Thanks for the links!

sara, the house of charm said...

I recently read a Year in Japan, a water color journal of a woman's life in Kyoto for one year, and she painted everyday objects you'd find in Japan with a brief description. Your post was similar, and this is the second time I have rad about these backpacks. I love that it is a taditional gift that Grandparents give to children. It could jsut be me... My grandparents always bought me my school back packs. Anyway, my best firend is Japanese and lives in Tokyo, I've lived and traveled there with her and have become a huge japanophile and am happy to have found your site.