MADE IN JAPAN: Porter Bag (Yoshida Kaban)

NOVEMBER 18, 2013

It's very hard to find 'Made in Japan' products these days, especially if it's bags. Today, I'd like to introduce 'Made in Japan' bags, Porter, which are very famous for its quality and popular among gentlemen in Japan.

When I think of 'Made in Japan' products, a few things that come to mind are Lexus (Toyota), Canon SLR camera, SEIKO watch... not much. Many low-tech productions had been offshored in the 90s, and the remaining factories in Japan are mostly producing high-tech or sophisticated products. In this decade, however, it's very exciting to find 'still made in Japan' low-tech products: bags.

Just like any other countries, luxury brands are very popular in Japan as well; from Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Chanel to Coach, Michael Kors. Among them all, however, one Japanese brand is particularly popular: Porter, Yoshida Kaban. I'm sure you've never heard of it.

Porter is cool and fashionable, but among other things, it's the quality people probably count on most. All bags are hand-made by Japanese craftsmen. At the moment you see and touch bags, it's fairly obvious that they are very robust and carefully designed and stitched. Corners and joint parts are double or triple stitched with extra materials. And experienced craftsmen know where tends to break. Their expertises are incorporated into every piece of design, and it's very hard to be broken. Despite the craftsmanship and made in Japan, Porter bags are not that expensive. The price ranges are almost same as Coach or Michael Kors: $200 - $500.

I've been using it for a year and love it. It's carrying my heavy laptop every day, but it's very robust. My old bags were soon broken in handle or shoulder piece, but Porter is nothing like them. Amazing! If you are looking for robust and high quality bags with reasonable prices, I would highly recommend Porter. After all, quality-conscious Japanese consumers trust it, so you must be satisfied, too. Here is the website. I'm not sure if you can purchase it from outside of Japan.

Bag 1
Bag 2
Bag 3