Monday, October 24, 2016

(1182) Not just a school bag

I've been wanting for years to write something about randoseru (ランドセル) the school bags carried by all elementary schoolchildren in Japan: they started in the end of the Edo period, initially as military rucksacks similar to those the Dutch used to carry (this is where the name also comes from: "ransel" was the Dutch word for those sacks) and then, through the influence of Gakushuin (学習院), a school for the children of Japan's nobility, that adopted them first were spread to the whole country. And although it's been over 130 years since, randoseru are still being used extensively and recently they have started circulating outside Japan too, this time as fashion accessories. Most of them are handmade, they have many compartments making them very practical, they are quite expensive and they are made to last at least six years of school -from what I can tell, they don't have a problem managing more than that. 

(For a bigger version of this picture both in color and black and white, check my "Japan Arekore" set on Flickr)

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