Kabanko and the History of Randoseru

At the beginning

Originally, the Randoseru was a sturdy backpack with a large storage capacity, fitted to Dutch soldiers, known as Ransel. It was for these qualities that Japanese parents began, in the late 19th century, to give their children similar backpacks to carry textbooks.

The randoseru is a rigid backpack mainly made of leather but it can also be made of synthetic material. The traditional Randoseru is made up of more than 200 components and different parts assembled. Due to its robustness, it weighs relatively heavy (1.4kg). For this reason, the Japanese have developed Clarino, a synthetic material intended to lighten the bag. The most common colors in Japanese schools are red for girls and black for boys, although they are becoming rarer due to the increasing possibilities of customization offered by manufacturers.

The randoseru is one of the most recognizable elements of Japan. A large number of shônen (Manga for teenagers) show schoolchildren wearing their Randoseru. It is a symbol of the Japanese spirit, embodying values of Robustness, hard work and infinite meticulousness. It is traditionally offered by parents and / or grandparents to a schoolchild beginning elementary school, the Randoseru must be able to follow the child throughout its six years of elementary school. Many then children who are now adult keep their Randoseru as a souvenir or to pass it on to their own children.

The attention paid to its finishing and the manufacturers’ efforts to make it more robust (more solid materials, less automated manufacturing techniques) make it an exceptional bag and this is reflected in its price. A new bag can cost between 20,000 yen and 150,000 yen. The price varying according to the material (Leather or Clarino) and the way of producing them (Machines or hand sewn)

Demographic evolution of Japan and future of Randoseru

Randoseru has a market share of almost 90% of Japanese schoolchildren. The market being saturated and the Japanese demography going down, some manufacturers are now targeting international markets. They are still few in number and they seem to have great difficulty in making western parents, who are used to offer their children entry-level bags every year – accordingly with the child’s mood – to purchase such elaborate and expensive bags. This will not happen without a mentality change.

KABANKO and its history

Kabanko was established in 1957 by Tatsuji Murase in Nagoya City with the aim of offering high-end Randoseru school bags for Japanese children.

Innovation in the manufacturing process, in design, and in the use of new materials, has always been at the heart of their concern. Kabanko makers have been repeatedly awarded by various consumer and producer associations in Japan for the quality of their bags and their innovative designs (see “Kabanko history in a few dates” below).

Constrained like others Randoseru manufacturers by Japanese demography, Kabanko has chosen to create an adult range inspired by the Randoseru while adding a western touch and retaining the know-how acquired through many decades manufacturing the classical Randoseru style backpack. Their bags are hand-sewn, it guarantees unparalleled durability and robustness. The attention to every details is also a hallmark of Kabanko’s teams. It shows through, in the finishing on the bottom of the backrest – The leather is meticulously folded and hand-sewn – in the chosen material for the backrest, a memory foam, offering an amazing back comfort and also in the adjustable and padded handles, allowing a pleasant feeling when worn even in case of heavy load.

You can discover the Kabanko backpacks by following this link.

The History of KABANKO in a few dates

1957   Tatsuji Murase a fondé l’entreprise à Makinocho, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya City

1960   Name was changed to Murasekabanko

1987   Winner of the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Commissioner Prize for its « Ladies Business case »

1988   Winner of the International Trade and Industry Department Prize, Consumer Goods Industries Bureau for « the Overnight Bag »

1993   Winner of the Japan General Merchandise Promotion Center prize for his « Threeway Bag »

1998   Award of the Department of Japan Association President for his « Night case »

2000   Award of the Tajima District Jiba Industrial for its two-handed « soft attaché case »

2005   For the Satchel « Hana », Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry prize

2005   Randoseru « Hana » wins the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Prize

2010   Winner of the 2010 JAPAN LEATHER AWARD Special Prize for his « Arimatsu Shibori Boston bag »

2012   The release of the new brand – from murasekabanko – eddy kids label for children.

2015   Wins the JAPAN LEATHER AWARD household goods category award for its « intrecciato » & the Small and Medium Enterprises Commissioner prize at the 35th Japan Technical and Creative Luggage Competition for the Randoseru « wedding dress ».
Your Cart
You can`t add more product in compare