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Travelers’ Treasures / First lady model tatami tote bag

Sailcloth, a thick and strong fabric originally developed for the sails of ships, is used in a wide range of applications, from the sheets on haulage vehicles, to shop tents, to bags. Sailcloth comes in a range of thicknesses from No. 0 to No. 11 (with lower numbers representing progressively thicker grades). This bag uses No. 4 grade Kurashiki sailcloth, said to be the best sailcloth in the world. Only tatami reeds (igusa) which are 90 centimeters or more in length can be used in the production of tatami mats, and reeds which fail to reach this length have traditionally been discarded. Here, these short igusa reeds (cultivated in Japan) and the unused part of the reeds have been used to create the tatami mat attached to this bag. The bag is lined with cloth decorated with patterns that vary from season to season. The shoulder strap of nume leather (tannin-tanned leather with a soft, natural finish) attached to the bag makes it convenient to use in a variety of situations. As the bag of choice presented by the wife of the Japanese prime minister to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge to congratulate her on the birth of the Duchess’ child, this is truly a bag that expresses the very essence of Japan itself.

Price:¥38,000

Manufacturer: Wazaisshin Tatami Shop Aoyagi in Choshi, Chiba Prefecture

(http://aoyagitatamiten.jp/)

To find out more about Japan’s attractions, visit http://the-japan-news.com/news/d&dSpeech

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