Craftsmen in Japan’s ancient capital put time-honored techniques to use for contemporary bags, wallets, and more.

In modern Japan, the odds that you’ll be attacked by brigands or invaded by a hostile samurai clan are far lower than they used to be, which is undoubtedly a good thing. But while a peaceful lifestyle is definitely something to be thankful for, the downside is fewer chances to wear awesome suits of samurai armor.

A group of skilled Kyoto craftsmen, though, are offering a way to combine samurai style with modern functionality, with fashion label Miyake’s Samurai Series.

The most eye-catching pieces are the pair of Samurai Backpacks, offered in Date (black) and Sanada (red) versions, their names a salute to historical samurai Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura.

If the design looks especially authentic, it’s because the makers of the Samurai Series ordinarily craft armor for gogatsu ningyo, samurai figurines displayed in Japanese homes as part of the Children’s Day celebrations in May.

All of the Samurai Series pieces are made from Japan-produced materials, with genuine leather covering visible rectangular aluminum plates, for a lamellar-like appearance. In addition to a hand strap for carrying, the backpack’s shoulder straps have buckles at their bottom, so that you can easily put it on or take it off even when wearing a kimono with billowy sleeves.

▼ A metal clasp closes the top flap, which covers the bag’s zipper in order to preserve the old-school aesthetic.

But there’s more to the Samurai Series than just backpacks. The lineup also includes business card holders, once again with dynamic aluminum plating.

▼ Whether or not to list your occupation as “master swordsman” on the cards you put inside is up to you.

If you’re looking for a place to keep your cash and coins, there are also samurai wallets.

And finally, if you work in an office where your professional liege lords require you to display identification, samurai ID card lanyards.

The entire lineup is being offered by Miyake through the Makuake crowdfunding site. Early backers get deeper discounts, and at the moment prices start at 27,970 yen (US$260) for the backpacks, 26,460 yen for the wallets, 6,980 yen for the business card holders, and 5,800 yen for the lanyards. Deep-pocketed samurai can also splurge on a three-piece bundle of backpack, wallet, and business card holder for 58,000 yen, and the campaign page can be found here.

Source: Makuake/Miyake via Japaaan
Images: Makuake/Miyake
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