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What's Cool

More than just an Ordinary Schoolbag

Part 2

Randoseru in Transformation

Boys used to carry black randoseru and girls carried red ones. Although the bags also came in other colors such as blue and yellow, they were not very popular in the past, as kids didn’t want a different randoseru to their friends. Recently, though, a more individualistic sense of style has come into fashion. More kids are choosing randoseru in colors they like, and to meet this demand, manufacturers have broadened the tones available.

One of Japan's most well-known volume retailers launched a line of randoseru in 24 different colors in 2001. Another bag maker markets a two-tone bag in more subdued colors suitable for kids in higher elementary school grades. These more sophisticated randoseru designs have proven to be quite popular.

Randoseru Randoseru

Now bigger, lighter, and easier to use. (Photo : AFLO)

Randoseru in 24 colors on display in an Aeon store

They have not only transformed in terms of color, but in size, as well. 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 some 1.6kg in the past, most modern randoseru weigh less than a kilogram.


More sophisticated designs are also popular.
(Cooperation from Toyama Bag Company)

More than just a bag for holding textbooks, a randoseru evokes memories for their owners of the six years they spent in elementary school. As many people want to hold onto their bags to commemorate their younger school days, the mini-randoseru has become quite popular. These miniature decorations are made from used randoseru material, and retain the anime character stickers, scratches and good luck charms of the original bag that invoke old memories and a sense of nostalgia. For the Japanese, the randoseru is more than just a simple bag: it is more like a special friend from childhood.


A mini-randoseru about 11 centimeters tall packs a lot of memories.
(Cooperation from Yumekoji)

(Updated in August 2011)