ICHIZAWA SHINZABURO HANPU - Manufacture & Sales of Canvas Bags



Not only things but also memories

The principal of an elementary school in Kyoto visited our shop saying that the teachers at his school were looking for a bag for their cell phones and other items while at work. It appears that occurrences such as natural disasters and reports of suspicious persons in the school neighborhood are on the rise and therefore increasingly necessary for teachers to have a cellphone on hand in case of emergencies. That the students are able to spend carefree days at school is thanks to the teachers’ vigilance I thought.

After discussing various designs, we finally agreed on the compact S-02(Small) bag. When the bags were delivered, we received an e-mail from the principal. He wrote, “My father, who passed away at 88, was a geology teacher in a prefectural high school. When he went out to collect fossils and rocks, he put a hammer, his glasses, etc. in a stout bag (photo below) made of canvas which had many pockets. It’s a vague childhood memory but I seem to remember that “Ichizawa” was on the bag. Unfortunately, I no longer have the bag. However, I still remember that my father would always be in high spirits with his hat on head and bag on shoulder as he went fossil hunting. Even on family vacations, he would somehow manage to include excursions to volcanic areas. I feel as if Ichizawa Hanpu has been looking out for both father and son. I truly feel that bags not only contain things, they also memories.”

When I showed this email to our owner’s wife, she said, “My high school geology teacher has the same last name as the principal. But it’s been almost 50 years since. He was so good at magic, I have many lovely memories of this kind and wonderful teacher. But it can’t possibly be the same teacher, can it?” Fate, however, plays a curious game and her high school geography teacher turned out to be the principal’s father!

Our bags exist in the periphery of people’s everyday lives, and are linked to subconscious memories which lead to strange and fabulous coincidences.
Perhaps years from now, the school children will see our bags and remember their teachers for whom we made the bags. Definitely not an impossibility.
We wish to continue making bags that not only serves as receptacles of things but also of memories.

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