One of the proudest days in the lives of parents is going shopping with their child to buy a school backpack, which will be used during elementary school to carry textbooks and study supplies as well as the hopes and dreams of mom and dad. Called randoseru (from the Dutch word ransel, meaning backpack), these school backpacks have been a symbol of growing up going back to the Meiji Period. Because the backpacks need to last all six years of elementary school, they're extremely well-made and can be quite expensive, and it's common for grandparents to step up and buy them as a gift for their beloved grandchild who's about to start school. One of the biggest problems facing Japan today is shoshika, the declining number of children brought about by Japan's low birthrate, and this has caused Japan's school backpack industry to heat up with increased competition as companies chase fewer children. The Japanese school year doesn't start until next April, but already manufacturers are advertising heavily and slashing prices to make sales. If you're interested in these randoseru Japanese backpacks for that Mayoi Hachikuji cosplay you've been planning, we've got one on the site now.
A Japanese randoseru school backpack symbolizes growing up.