Randoseru | Backpack for Japanese elementary school students, Guided by Japanese webmaster

This page is about ….

  • What is ‘Randoseru’ in Japan
  • History of ‘Randoseru’ in Japanese society
  • Specifications of ‘Randoseru’ in Japan
  • Brief comments by webmaster

This page is to help the people :

  • Who like Japan !
  • Who are interested in Japanese culture
  • Who want to use Japanese item

In this page, I would like to make brief explanation about ‘Randoseru’ as very popular item, almost all Japanese know.

You may get knowledge about ‘Randoseru’, as well as Japanese have, after reading of this article. Have fun !


SHINTA+ / Japanese blog writer, born and raised in Japan, visited more than 20 countries, introducing Japanese culture to the world, with both domestic & international experiences.


What is ‘Randoseru’

‘Randoseru’ is a kind of backpack in Japan. It’s mainly only for children in elementary school. ‘Randoseru’ is made from cowhides, or cordovan, or artificial leather. There are many colors of ‘Randoseru’, black, brown, red, pink, etc. Almost all children go to elementary school with ‘Randoseru’ in Japan, while it’s not mandatory.

Basic knowledge of ’Randoseru’

  • Kind of backpack well known in Japan
  • Mainly for children in elementary school
  • Made with Cowhides, Cordovan, Artificial leather
  • Various colors available in the market

I bought ‘Randoseru’ to my sons, when they entered elementary school.
It was happy event.

History of ‘Randoseru’

‘Ransel’ as Prototype of Randoseru is coming from The Netherlands in end of Edo era, in 19th century. In importing to Japan, name was changed to ‘ Randoseru’. It was originally bag for army. In end of 1880’s , Randoseru was used for school bag in upper class. In 1960’s, during high growth period, ‘Randoseru’ as bag for elementary school was spread to all over Japan.

History of ‘Randoseru’

  • Randoseru was coming from the Netherlands in 19th century
  • ’Ransel’ was changed to ‘Randoseru’
  • 1880’s Upper class started to use Randoseru as school bag
  • In 1960’s Randoseru was spread to all over Japan

I had ‘Randoseru’ when I was in elementary school !

Specification of ‘Randoseru’

The size of Randoseru is generally available for A4 size documents, with outside dimension width 25 cm, height 32-35 cm. Weight is around 1,000-1500 g. Most of made in Japan products are handmade. The price is more than JPY 30,000 for handmade products, while less than 10,000 for imported mass products.

More information about ‘Randoseru’

  • The general outside size of Randoseru
    • Height 33-35 cm
    • Width 23-26 cm
    • Depth 18-21 cm
    • Weight 1,000-1500 g
  • The price is various
    • less than JPY 10,000 of mass production
    • more than 100,000 of hand made products

Children go to school having ‘Randoseru’ with notebook, textbook, etc !


In the end, I would like to summarize the points of this article as follows

What is ‘Randoseru’ in Japan

  • Kind of backpack, mainly for elementary school students
  • Imported from Netherland, then made own development in Japan
  • A4 files can be inside. Weight is approximately 1.0 – 1.5 kg


Thank you very much for your reading and see you again !


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