"Randoseru" is a bag that is used by a lot of elementary school students (ages 6-12) in Japan.

Because Randoseru is intended to last for 6 years of elementary-school life, it is made of thick artificial leather and is pretty sturdy. Many manufacturers actually put a 6-year warranty on these bags. They are usually handmade, and so the price ranges from anywhere around 200.00 USD to 1200.00 USD, if not more.

Randoseru and fashion

Although this type of bags have been around in Japan since the late 19th century (back then, it was used by military officers), randoseru has been incorporated into fashion since the mid-90s. The so-called "lolita" (which features a mixture of Victorian and Rococo styles) has incorporated randoserus into their fashion, for example.

Some idol groups have caught onto randoseru also:

And since Zooey Deschanel was caught with a randoseru back in 2014, we see some people outside of Japan using them, too.

...and they even made it to a fashion show in Paris:

So what was originally a sturdy 'utility' bag for kids has found a new home in the world of fashion. While this is all well and good, we have also found a surprising yet wonderful way Japanese randoseru bags are contributing to the world.

Donating randoseru to children in Afghanistan


Source: Facebook

JOICFP is an international Non-Governmental Organization specializing in reproductive health and rights. And since 2004, JOICFP has been carrying out a project in which they collect used randoserus from Japan and donate them to children in Afghanistan - especially young women who have less opportunities to undertake education.


Source: JOICFP

Because many young women do not have the opportunity for education, around 68% of women around the age of 15-24 are illiterate. JOICFP's randoseru donation project is a small yet important step for young women towards education, as well as proper knowledge about reproductive health.


Source: JOICFP

It turns out that randoserus are great bags to donate: they are robust and sturdy and can actually last a lot longer than 6 years. And because of its distinctive shape and color, randoseru has become a symbol for school-going kids in Afghanistan.

According to JOICFP, donated randoserus became an impetus for parents to allow their daughters to go to school where they previously did not approve of. Distributing these Japanese school bags equally among young men and women, it provided an image in the community that education should be a given for both genders.

I'm sure that Japanese donators would also be pleased, as the bag that they carried for 6 years - filled with memories of cries and laughter - are in good hands, recording further precious memories of young children in Afghanistan.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.