arrow5 Comments
  1. jlpt2kyu
    Jan 11 - 1:36 pm

    I believe there might be some corruption/backhanders going on too, between the school principles/BOE and the local randosel store or manufacturers.

    Somehow I do not think they cost anywhere close to 50,000yen to manufacture and market, as shown by Nitori.

  2. Nick Hawkins
    Jan 12 - 8:05 pm

    There is a strong opinion amongst parents that these randosel are necessary for their elementary school students, because it protects kids from head injuries if they fall backwards.

    …at least this is how the teachers sold me the idea back in my middle school teaching days here in Kagawa….

    regardless, the price still makes me balk, and a normal backpack with a helmet seems like the cheaper option….slightly insane looking, sure…but cheaper.

  3. Ryan
    Jan 13 - 2:29 pm

    I just find it absurd that the Japanese hold these “randsel” to such high standard. It’s as if it were a cultural relic dating back to days of yore.

    “We must have our randsel. Boys must have a black randsel made only of leather. The girls must have the same in red. It is what defines us as Japanese!”

    And why has the randsel achieved such emblematic status? Simply because someone told the common people it was. Who were these people? People who saw an emperor with one and saw marketing potential. They are companies looking for economic gain and wealth, and a lifelong guarantee of it at that. And the schools and governments are in on it too! Does anyone else see the shallowness of this Japanese sense of identity being based solely on a marketing scheme, and then for this sense of identity to change at the turn of a dime when there’s a sale at Nitori? I can just see the flick of the lightswitch in these parents’ heads:

    “I, my father, and my father’s father have all worn black leather ransel. It is a symbol of our Japanese durable spirit and youth, and–wait what’s that? The ransel market is crashing and it’s okay to buy cheap-os at discount stores? Well, my guaranteed-for-life salary WAS decreased last year because of cutbacks… And I guess if someone that seems to exude authority said it was okay… Hey, look at that pink one over there with the glitter and stars, little Kaori-chan! Let’s get that one!”

    This Japanese mentality of just obeying what almighty big brother tells them with no questions asked is exactly why this country is going through such turmoil.

  4. Masako
    Jan 14 - 1:32 pm

    In Japan, randoseru are not mandatory, but almost everyone has one. Receiving one prior to entering elementary school means they no longer feel like a “baby.” They feel proud. Even in the 1960s when I was entering elementary school, it was the same situation. My family could not afford to buy a new randoseru for me, so I got an old vinyl one from a next door neighbor. That’s when I first realized we were poor. It was very cheap looking, I thought at the time, compared to all my classmates’ randoseru. I was very disappointed.

  5. shirokuma
    Jan 16 - 1:49 pm

    I saw on TV a while back an apartment building where each apartment had a different-colored randoseru attached to the wall next to the front door, for use as a mail box. Nice idea!

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