Do you know about the Japanese RANDOSERU?


Have you seen the special school back packs that most Japanese elementary school children use? Traditionally it is given to a child upon beginning his or her first year of school, whereupon the child uses the same bag until grade 6.

They are called Randoseru (ランドセル)which comes from the Dutch word Ransel which means backpack and was used by the Japanese military for soldiers to carry their things.

In 1885, the Japanese government, through the elementary school Gakushūin, proposed the use of a backpack as the new ideal for Japanese elementary school students to carry their own equipment and come to school on foot.  In 1887, The Crown Prince of the time was given a backpack upon entering elementary school. To honor the soldiers of the country, the shape of the backpack resembled the backpacks used in the military. This quite immediately became the fashion, and the shape has continued to become the randoseru used today.

In April you can see the 6 year old 1st graders with their sparkling new Randoseru on their backs.