Hello, this is TORA.

In late years Japan’s original bag which attracts attention from some foreigners.
These are ”Randoseru”, school bags used by elementary school students in Japan.
Why are they are attracting attention from foreigners?

This time around, we will be sharing information about ”Randoseru”.


What are ”Randoseru”s?

”Randoseru”s are school bags that elementary school students in Japan use to bring school supplies like textbooks, pen cases, and notebooks to school.
The students carry them on their backs.
It is said that the origin of the word is ”ransel”, the Dutch word for ”back sack”.

The history of ”Randoseru”.

Apparently, ”Randoseru”s were imported to Japan during the end of the Edo Period. It is said that their origin were the leather back sacks used by the military.
In Year 20 of the Meiji Era, ”Randoseru” changed from the original knapsack shape to the current box shape.

Hirobumi Ito, the Prime MInister of Japan at the time, ordered for a school bag to be made out of sturdy leather material to give to Emperor Taisho to celebrate his enterance to the Gakushuin, a prestigious school at the time.
This is said to be the start of ”Randoseru”.

Around Year 30 of the Showa Era, they were widely used by elementary school students in the country.
At this point, many children in the urban areas were using them, but children in the countryside were still bringing their school supplies and lunches to school by wrapping them in cloth and carrying them.

The appeal and convenience of Japanese Randoseru

  • By carrying it on your back, you can ease the burden that is on you.
  • You can use both arms freely while carrying it.
  • It uses material that is sturdy and light.
  • You can store recorders and flat A4 binders inside,and the quality of the storage space and usability of ”Randoseru”s continue to improve as the years progress.
  • Because we are living in such a dangerous society, some even have burglar alarms installed on them.
  • They have simple but sophisticated designs.

Popular among Celebs?

In recent years, adult-sized ”Randoseru” are going on sale and are popular among foreign celebrities.
This may seem like a strange thing to most Japanese people.

Foreigners seem to find the durability and design of the bags appealing.
Some may have received influence from characters in Anime who carry them.


Did you find this article interesting?
I hope that it has deepened your understanding of ”Randoseru”, a unique Japanese bag, and has changed your perspective on yet another piece of Japanese culture.

Apparently ”Randoseru”s are a popular item to get as a souvenir.
But if you are planning on getting one, please remember that they are expensive. Very expensive.
It is a pity that Japanese children use such expensive items so roughly.

The other day, I saw a foreigner carrying a Randoseru in a shopping street. It was a strange sight….

Apparently, there is a service that takes regular-sized ”Randoseru”s and makes miniature versions out of them. If you are interested in Randoseru ,we urge you to do some research so you can find out even more interesting information like this.

That’s all for today.

Otsukaresama deshita.