Our products are not available on the Internet because we would like our customers to take the time to pick and choose their favorite item by touching the bags, trying them on, and experiencing them first hand. As our bags are all made by hand, each is unique. Please visit our shop for the one that is just right for you.
ABOUT ICHIZAWA SHINZABURO HANPU
Our canvas products have been designed and created in Kyoto, the city of traditional arts and crafts. Our products are made from the most superior quality canvas and each is made by hand by our experienced craftspeople. “Canvas” is sturdy and perfect for daily use. We make a variety of canvas products by using colorful plain canvas or dyed canvas with our original patterns.
Our philosophy concerning our products can be summarized as follows:
- To use quality natural fiber canvas and make each by hand
- To repair any product brought to us
- To make and sell them in Kyoto, Japan
Based on this philosophy, our craftspeople have continued to make each product by hand, which gives them simplicity of form, flexibility, user-friendliness and sturdiness, the hallmarks of our products.
Trivia of Our Standard Products
The history of our products goes back to about a hundred years ago when the sturdy canvas bags were made for use by workmen to carry milk, sake bottles, as well as carpenter’s tools. Here are some of the stories behind their creation.
Milkmen’s Delivery Bag
The 268 is based on the bags that milkmen used to carry milk bottles as they went around town delivering them on their bicycles. The bag bottom was rounded to accommodate the bottles, and the sections that would became frayed by friction with bicycle parts reinforced with material. Today, these reinforcements have been replaced with pockets and the bag is used for various purposes from carrying books and knick-knacks to even basins when going to the public bathhouse! Reflecting customer needs, the rope straps have been replaced with thick material straps for user comfort. This is the 68 while the same model in patterned canvas is our N-07.
Based on the original milk bag, we have since developed the 168(Medium). Today, the bottom is an oval instead of round, inner pockets have been included while the open mouth of the bag is now closable with a drawstring, which all make for improved user-friendliness.
The H-04(Medium), which is available in two colors, is the more pop version of the 168(Medium) with the straps and inner pockets matching in color. The H-04 (Small) is a scaled down model of the 168(Medium) and is just as convenient and user-friendly as its bigger versions.
Craftsmen’s Tool Bag
These are the “tool” bags originally made for craftspeople about a hundred years ago. At the time, they had shorter straps the better to hang them off the bicycle handlebars, the then main mode of transportation. Pharmacies and plasterers ordered them for use by their employees and had telephone numbers or addresses printed on them as advertisements. Now the straps are longer so that they can be carried slung over the shoulder and come in different sizes from the H-05 (01) to the 17E. The 17D and 17E come with the print that signifies canvas of the first quality. The N-05 and N-06 series are made from canvas with our original prints.
Bag for Ice Blocks
These bags were made to carry blocks of ice at a time when ice-sellers made the rounds of their customers. The 93 (Large) can accommodate 8 blocks of ice (32 kg) while the 93 (Small), 4 blocks. Today, customers use these bags when going camping or for storing children’s toys. The H-22 has been adapted so they can be used daily by narrowing the bottom width and using darker material for the bottom and the straps so that the dirt does not show.
Bag for Sake Bottles
This 57 is the bag originally used to transport sake bottles. The bottom has been reinforced with cardboard and studs. Sake breweries used to distribute these bags with their brewery name to liquor stores and were a form of mobile advertisement when errand boys delivered liquor to customers on their bicycles. If you draw the rope drawstrings tight, it can be hung over the shoulder. Cushions are also available if you wish to take two bottles of wine to a party!
Although made to be strictly functional, they are extremely versatile and can be used for as many different purposes as you can think up. One of our craftspeople uses it to carry his lunch box! For a more chic look, the N-10 in a pattern of flowers and grass may be just the right choice.
As you can see, our products have been expanded to include not only the simple, easy-to-use standard types but also those that have been given an imaginative twist.
Our Brand Name Labels
We have three lines of products with each having a different brand name label. The Chinese characters for both “Shinzaburo Hanpu” and “Shinzaburo Kaban” were written and chosen by the current owner, Shinzaburo Ichizawa, himself. The characters were written hundreds of times and after great deliberation, the two were chosen. The third is the original dating back to a hundred years ago and is used for the original products.
This label is for our plain, unprinted cotton bags which make up the majority of our sales.
This label is used for our linen products as well as some cotton canvas products which have been printed with our original patterns.
This label is used for the original products of Ichizawa Hanpu which are specially made bags for craftspeople.
Story of (kaban)
When Ichizawa Shinzaburo Hanpu opened its doors, there was no Japanese character for “cloth bag”. The only one was , which was made from combining the two characters for (leather) and (wrapping). Since our bags were made from cloth, not leather, we did not feel that this character was a true representation of our products. Further research, however, led to the discovery that the character for “” was invented by a leather bag shop in Tokyo in the Meiji period (1868-1912). We therefore decided to take poetic license and created by combining the characters (cloth) with (wrapping). We sincerely hope that our character for kaban will find a place within the pages of the Japanese dictionary perhaps a hundred years from now.
From the selection of materials to the production process, each step highlights our passion for quality.
From our inception to the present with episodes of each generation.
OUR REPAIRS OF BAGS
Examples of what we can repair - from tears, holes, abrading of shoulder straps, and missing/broken metal parts.
HOW TO CARE
How to care for bags at home to make them long lasting.