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Randoseru Japanese School Children’s Backpack

By Various 

If you see Japanese school children, chances are they’re sporting the Randoseru on their backs. When a child starts their first year of elementary school, it’s tradition to receive a brand new shiny Randoseru. The widely iconic red backpack is a symbol of the Japanese people’s childhood as it reminds them of their carefree years growing up.

Most Randoseru are made of leather or leather-like synthetic material. The intricacies of these backpacks are incredibly well designed with long-lasting sturdiness and comfort in mind. Many parts of the bag are hand-sewn with attention to detail. The materials and effort of workmanship that go into each bag ensures to withstand the child’s entire elementary school education of 6 years. Many bags are so well made they last beyond their years in immaculate condition.

The forerunner of the Randoseru dates as far back as the end of the 19th century, but became more of a Japanese school staple in the 1960s. When textbooks got larger in the 1990s, so did the bags. Today, randoseru can hold the Japanese standard document size of 21 by 29 centimeters. While the bags have gotten larger, they have also become lighter than before. Originally weighing about 1.6kg in the past, most modern randoseru now weigh less than a kilogram.

Typically, boys used to carry black randoseru and girls carried red ones. However, now a wide selection of custom colors are available through different manufacturers.

Typical Size:~33cm X 25cm X 15cm
Material: Leather (or PU), Metal, Waterproof
Weight: 990g

There are many different varieties and brands of the Randoseru these days, but basic new or used backpacks can cost anywhere between (¥9,800Prices are approximate only and subject to change.
White Rabbit Express service fee and other costs not included.
) to (¥35,000Prices are approximate only and subject to change.
White Rabbit Express service fee and other costs not included.
) depending on style, brand and condition. Premium custom-made Randoseru with choice of colors, clasps, size and details can range up to ¥48,000.

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Contributed by Alex

Alex is a graphic designer, editor and model in Tokyo. She wanted to come to Japan ever since her mind was blown after watching a VHS copy of Totoro as a child. She grew up on a strict diet of Sailor Moon, Super Nintendo RPG's and manga (i.e. incurable otaku) before she finally made the move to the land of the rising sun. Alex's knowledge of Japanese pop-culture now outpaces most of the locals; she is White Rabbit's resident expert on Manga, Anime, Games and Japanese pop-culture.

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