The “Ballast” Bookbag

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Product: The “Ballast” Bookbag
Retailer: BOOK/SHOP
brand: Ken Nishijo
Designer: Ken Nishijo

The “Ballast” BookbagRAREGEM JAPAN + BOOK/SHOP

We’re pleased to introduce our signature bookbag, designed in collaboration with Ken Nishijo, a Tokyo based cabinet-maker and bag builder. A stunningly well-made bag that will age beautifully, this large tote’s heavy-duty canvas is made on looms imported to Japan from Belgium in the 1930’s, and the nude leather handles come from one the oldest and best tanners in Tokyo. The remarkably precise stitching is all hand-done by Nishijo’s own family in his workshop, and each bag carries our motto about book-carrying, hand screened on the inside:

“I try to carry books with me wherever I go. Their weight has become like ballast against the churning sea of modern life, where so many real things are vanishing, and so many beautiful things are being made invisible.”

It sits open on the floor like a box, but is so balanced and perfectly constructed that it feels almost weightless (letting your books be the ballast, not your bag!). The two interior pockets fit most smartphones, and the strap will fit over most shoulders.

18″ W x 21 1/4″ H x 10″ D. Handles have a 7″ drop. 100% Made in Japan “in small batches on old equipment”.