Japanese Backpacks

There are many unique aspects of Japan and its culture, and this week we have a fun look at one of those things — our kids’ Japanese backpacks, or ランドセル (pronounced “Randoseru”). This backpack is bought when a child enters 1st grade and is used all the way through elementary school! It is strong and durable, which also makes it quite expensive.

But it’s not just the backpack itself that’s unique compared to other countries. It’s is all that goes into it. Not only are the “normal” school items all personalized: notebooks, stationary, pencils, musical instruments, but they all have their own special cloth bag. Then there’s even more unique things: shoes to be worn indoors, sewing kits, wood carving tools, kanji brushes and more! Just looking at the bag and its contents gives you your first glimpse into the complicated and thorough Japanese education system.

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