TV drama fuels Japanese schoolbag craze among Chinese tourists

August 24, 2015 16:14
A TV drama starring Zhao Wei (inset, right), which showed a little girl using a Japanese schoolbag, has set off a new shopping craze among Chinese tourists in Japan. Photo:

After knives, bidet toilet seats and rice cookers, Chinese shoppers in Japan now have a new target - schoolbags.

Tourists are scrambling for Japanese schoolbags after a popular TV drama aired in China recently showed the daughter of a "tiger mom" using a pink schoolbag made in Japan, Apple Daily reported.

It's common nowadays to see Chinese tourists snapping up schoolbags costing 100,000 yen (US$823), with some buying two or three pieces at a time in stores and malls in Japan, the paper noted.

Meanwhile, some websites in China have launched procurement service for Japan-made schoolbags as demand has been soaring for those products.

A tour guide pointed out that steel-reinforced schoolbags can also serve as protection for head during an earthquake.

The Japanese government has been demanding that schoolbags be installed with GPS systems so that parents, school management and authorities can receive an alert if a youngster presses a button and calls for help during emergencies.

Despite the practical functions, some parents and teachers argue that a schoolbag weighing 1.5 kilograms would be too heavy for the young ones.

The schoolbags are also too thick to put in the drawers of students’ desks in classrooms, they say.

In contrast to China, Japanese schoolbags are not that popular in Hong Kong.

The reason is that local kids are often taken to and from school by domestic helpers or family members who normally carry schoolbags for them.

As the children have an accompanying elder, it is felt that there is no need for special features such as location tracking devices in the bags.

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Japanese pupils use schoolbags to protect their heads during an earthquake drill. Photo: