First is the biggie. The randoseru. The word comes from the Dutch word "ransel" meaning backpack and that is exactly what it is. Every child carries one. Girls carry red. Boys carry black. They have new colors now, pink, green, blue. But 99.9 percent of the time girls carry red, boys carry black. It looks like this.
Inside is a piece of felt, ink, brushes, paper weights, paper, newspaper print (for blotting) and an ink stone.
Don't forget your flute and your flute bag! It has a clip on the back so it can be stuck just about anywhere.
There is lunch too. All the students and teachers eat school lunch so everyday they bring one of these bags, again clipped to the side of their randoseru.
Inside is a pair of chopsticks, a bandanna for spreading out on their desk (no lunchroom, the kids eat at their own desks), and a mask (Children here take turns getting the school lunches from a room where they've been delivered, and then dishing out the food themselves. The kids who do the handing out wear masks to prevent an accidental sneeze ruining a vat of miso soup.)
Here's a goodie. A sewing kit!
Another fun one. Carving tools. Japanese kids learn how to carve pictures into soft wood. They have these little bags filled with five different shaped carving tools.
※This post is for S and her mom and her grandma. Sorry it took so long! I also have birthday presents and Christmas presents here that have yet to be sent. Mom will be in charge of getting those to you.
※And yes, there is a dog sniffing in nearly every picture.