Japanese School Bags, Randoseru

The new school year in Japan begins in April. Newly enrolled elementary school students in April carry their new school bags, randoseru, to their schools.

The trademark of Japanese elementary school students is the randoseru. Randoseru is a backpack carried by them. Because it allows both hands to be free and facilitates movement, it was introduced in elementary schools throughout Japan as a schoolbag around 1880.

The reason Japanese children carry randoseru is because the bag is strong enough to last six years without breaking. Randoseru are constructed with metal plates and other materials that prevent them from losing their shape. And they are made of cowhide leather that will not tear. They cost on average $370, and the most expensive is $750. And they have become a staple gift from grandparents to grandchildren. Parents and grandparents have such strong feelings about randoseru that one year before their children or grandchildren enter elementary school, they conduct “randoseru selection activities” to select the best school bags they will have.

Around the turn of the millennium, this traditional Japanese school bag began to change. Until then, cowhide was difficult to dye, and only two colors were available: black for boys and red for girls. With improved dyeing techniques and scientific materials, children can now choose from more than 200 different colors. Randoseru, made of leather and strong, were heavy, and growing children often complained of back pain and stiff shoulders, but nowadays they are lighter and weigh only about 900g.

In addition, the randoseru market is an oligopoly of several companies, each of which is expensive, so “Isn’t it already unnecessary to have elementary school students carry only randoseru instead of the more common backpacks?” Some parents have asked. Mont-bell, which sells outdoor goods such as mountaineering equipment, developed a nylon backpack for schools as an alternative to school backpacks, which are considered expensive and heavy. The price is $110.

Randoseru continues to evolve. There is even a randoseru subscription service for $7 per month. Every three months, a child can choose from 50 different types of randoseru in the color and design he or she likes best “now”.

Men’s Beauty Market is ExpandingPrev

New Japanese banknotes in 2024Next

Related post

  1. Cultures


    Shichi-Go-San is an annual Japanese festival to celebrate the growth of children. It is celebrated annually on November 15 for children ages 3, 5, and…

  2. Cultures

    Labor Thanksgiving Day

    Today is Labor Thanksgiving Day, a national holiday in Japan. It is the last of 16 holidays in a year. This day is designated as "a day to hold labor …

  3. Cultures

    Twitter’s Employee Firings from the Perspective of Japan’s Labor Standards Law

    At the end of October 2022, American businessman Elon Musk completed the acquisition of all shares of Twitter and became the company's CEO. He subsequ…

  4. Illustration of a Japanese woman looking at the moon, ca. 800.


    It’s the season for moon viewing! (Otsukimi season has arrived)

    In Japan, there is a custom to view the beautiful and bright moon around September, when the sky is clearest of the year. It is called "Otsukimi" (m…

  5. Illustration of a woman holding a higanbana in her mouth as a cigarette. Never imitate her!


    Red spider lily (Higanbana) are in their peak season

    Now that summer has ended and autumn has arrived, Higanbana (red spider lily/cluster amaryllis) is at its peak. They produce bright red flowers that…

  6. Cultures

    How to hold chopsticks beautifully

    One of the criteria for judging whether a person can be trusted in a relationship is the way he/she holds chopsticks when eating. If a person holds …