Tsuchiya Kaban Co., Ltd. is a traditional Japanese leathersmith with a long tradition of making randoseru bags for elementary school children as well as other luxury bags for all ages.

Leveraging their skilled craftsmanship and injecting a good dose of fun, the company has been making a series of one-of-a-kind bags specially designed for unique purposes. As part of this effort, they launched a new project designed to turn children's ideas into reality called こんな鞄があったらいいな konna kaban ga attara ī na ("I wish I had a bag like this").

In the second installment of the project, from May 24th to June 25th, 2021, they invited children of elementary school age and younger to submit their ideas. Out of 128 submissions, the winner was a 5-year-old boy named Haruki, living in Hiroshima Prefecture, who wrote: "I want a bag that looks like a helmet that I can wear on my head to go kill demons."

Tsuchiya Kaban's designers and craftspeople had online meetings with Haruki and made many prototypes to create this one-of-a-kind bag.

"I wish I had a bag like this" project website

A bag filled with the dreams of a five-year-old boy

Haruki loves drawing and playing the piano. He was inspired to apply for the contest by his strong desire to "kill the bad demons" in his picture books! He sent the company this illustration along with a brief message to express his concept.

2-way bag and hat: A challenge for designer and craftspeople

First, based on the illustrations, they asked Haruki questions like: "How often do you play? and "What kind of colors do you like?" After holding a series of online meetings, they also focused on the bag's functions in response to Haruki's requests such as "I want a place to store throwing stars and maps" and "I want to be able to store a sword in it."

What stymied the team at first was the fact that they were not making a helmet-shaped "hat" but rather a bag. "Where would the sword go?" "How can we design something that looks good both as a hat and as a bag?" After juggling these two questions, the team finally came up with an ideal 2-way design that would serve both as a bag and a hat according to Haruki's requests.

Both a bag and a helmet-shaped hat


It's a shoulder bag that can be worn every day....

... but when any demons appear, the wearer can quickly transform it into a helmet for demon-slaying duties.

Design and functionality

Despite its slim appearance, the bag has an external pocket in addition to the main compartment. The throwing star can be quickly removed when danger is present, and the pocket is perfect for storing maps that young adventurers may need. In addition, the bag is designed with an opening at one corner allowing a sword to be inserted so the wearer can pull out the blade when a demon appears.


For this project, Tsuchiya Kaban used leftover leather from the manufacturing process of randoseru schoolbags and other bags. In the usual process of making randoseru, they cut out as many parts as possible from a single piece of leather, but even then, there are always leftover parts. This time, however, they reused these parts for this unique project. One of the difficulties is to make a helmet shape out of cowhide leather of various hardnesses and colors, like a patchwork.

Leather used:

  • Randoseru: Premium Color Series (cowhide): ash blue, deep blue, etc.
  • Bags: Armas Series: black, etc.

"I wish I had a bag like this"

The "I wish I had a bag like this" project was launched in May 2021.

The first installment was なっちゃんの花束専用鞄 nacchan no hanataba senyō kaban ("Nacchan's Flower Bouquet Bag"). This bag fulfilled the wishes of then 7-year-old Nacchan, the daughter of a Tsuchiya Kaban employee, for a bag to carry large bouquets to give her flower-loving grandmother. Their designer made a rough sketch and had many online meetings with Nacchan to pursue every detail of the design, material, and color. It took about two months to complete the project.

Moreover, as we previously introduced in grape Japan, Tsuchiya Kaban has also produced other unique products such as a bag designed specifically to carry watermelons.

Haruki's 2-way shoulder bag and "demon-slaying" kabuto helmet will be on display for a limited time from November 17th to November 29th, 2021, at the randoseru specialty store 童具店・広島 Dōguten Hiroshima" in Nishi-ku, Hiroshima City. See their website for details.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.