Apr 12, 2019

Randoseru - The fashionable Japanese school bag


Randoseru have become quite popular in Japan and are now being adopted as a fashion statement around the world. They are sturdy backpacks that are used by Japanese school students to carry books and other supplies to school. They have become very popular, appearing in Japanese anime films and across the country. In short, they could be described as stiff leather backpacks that hold a traditional value for kids in the elementary school phase.

They come in many colors and designs. The wide and popularised variety of colors makes it easier for schools and students to personalise their own bags. Private schools take this opportunity to emboss their school insignia on the bag to make it more uniform.

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The history of randoseru

Randoseru is an adaptation of the Dutch word “ransel” that simply means backpack. It was introduced in the 19’th century and it immediately became widespread and popular in elementary schools. The first randoseru was made for soldiers. During the Endo period, the Shogunate government became influences by the military style in the western system. This is where the inspiration for the randoseru came from. During the 1800’s the randoseru was marketed as a great alternative for the backpack. The leather bag was a sturdy alternative for the soft cloth and fabric bags that were common in elementary schools back then. The randoseru was highly recognised and used by high class citizen for elementary schools. By the 1960’s they had spread throughout the whole country and they became a Japanese tradition. Japanese kids started using these bags as early as the first year they attend elementary school. Typically, they are expected to use the same bag over several years, maybe up to the 6th grade.

How the randoseru is made

Authentic versions of the randoseru bags were made from strong, long lasting and heavy pig hides and leather. However, this was a long time age. Today, almost 70% of the bags in the market are made from synthetic leather. The most common synthetic leather used to make the randoseru is known as clarion. This material was invented by a Japanese manufactures and looks and feels quite like the original material. The difference between leather and clarion is that it lighter, tougher, more waterproof and has more resistance to any actions that can cause wear and tear.

There are multiple manufacturers coming up with new ideas of the randoseru every day. Something that remains common in most randoseru bags is the outline and the general make of the structure of the bag. It is created from hundreds of different pieces and come together in different steps like a puzzle.

Most of the randoseru feature a thick back panel that is cushions. They also have a soft fabric on the back to ensure comfort while you are carrying heavy things on your bag. The wide sides of the randoseru are filled with a layer of plastic; this keeps the shape of the bag while allowing maximum space for storage.

The straps are attached on the bag with metal or plastic clasps that provide some movement. You can adjust them to fit comfortably on your back and help distribute the weight of its contents evenly. Extra clips and buckles are added to the outside of the bag so you can attach personalised decorations like nametags and key rings or bento boxes.

You can tell that these bags are made of quality material and therefore will come at a price. genuine leather is more expensive than the synthetic leather but they will both serve you for quite a long period of time.

Why do Japanese prefer randoseru to normal backpacks?

The Japanese randoseru has become part of the uniform for most elementary school children. You can’t help but wonder why it is more favoured when compared to basic backpacks. The randoseru is much heavier than a normal backpack but that does not seem to put it off.

It is quite unbelievable that dimensions and design of the randoseru are said to have a positive impact on your posture. The soft cushioning at the back of the bag reduces its load on your spine. Also, the adjustable straps work to match the carrier’s body and constitution. With the randoseru, you will not have a difficult time moving, sitting or feeling uncomfortable. The bag will not weigh your child down because it is centred. Most children have to walk school or to take a bus/train to school, which makes it essential to have a well balanced bag to maintain their posture.

Secondly, the randoseru has a pretty wide opening and stiff casing that makes it easy to store and access your notebooks. They do not fold, crease or wrinkle like when stored in normal backpacks. The loop attachments on the bag allow you to attach accessories and safety reflectors. Plastic covers are used to protect the bag from rain and scratches. The randoseru has been used for centuries by the Japanese and is a symbol of starting a new phase in life for most children.

Final word

For close to a century, the randoseru has become a popular Japanese go-to backpack. As times change, minimal designs continue to e incorporated in these backpacks to make them more modern and according to the 21st century, fashionable for adults. Buy a randoseru backpack to make your child’s life much easier. They are easy to handle, easy to maintain and do not cause any harm to your body unlike the normal backpacks.