Japan

Daiso releases shoulder bag series for every prefecture in Japan with surprising trivia facts

Cute designs teach us which prefecture of Japan grows the most bonsai trees and which has the most Shinto shrines.

You can find branches of Daiso, Japan’s most popular 100 yen shop, in every prefecture in Japan. And as of this month, you can also find every prefecture in Japan in Daiso.

On November 4, Daiso began selling a series of 47 shoulder tote bags, one for each of Japan’s prefectures. Each features a charming illustration by artist Yutanpo Shirane that represents the region, but quite possibly not for the reason most people expect.

For example, yes, Hokkaido and Okinawa are, respectively, Japan’s coldest and warmest parts, which is why the people on their bags are dressed the way they are. But what the drawings are really meant to illustrate is that Hokkaido is where you’ll find Japan’s largest uninhabited island (Ashima Oshima), and that Okinawa has the country’s highest birth rate.

Likewise, sure, Akita Prefecture is where the Akita dog breed comes from, but the reason this pooch is sleeping isn’t just because it’s cute, but because residents of Akita statistically sleep longer than anyone else in Japan.

Some of the trivia is pretty common knowledge, like how Gifu, which used to be a center for swordsmiths, now makes the largest share of Japan’s cooking knives…

…but did you know that Miyazaki is where the largest amount of bokuto, wooden martial arts practice swords, are crafted?

Similarly, Osaka topping the nation in takoyaki (otcopus dumpling) consumption isn’t a surprise…

…but how about Saitama, Tokyo’s neighbor to the north that’s often saddled with a reputation as a dull, nondescript place, being Japan’s biggest ice cream producer?

Speaking of Tokyo, it’s distinction is also surprising: it’s the earliest prefecture to officially open its beaches for swimming, because the sparsely populated Ogasawara Islands, the southernmost points of Japan, are classified as part of Tokyo.

Other featured facts include Yamanashi having Japan’s oldest living sakura cherry blossom tree, Niigata having the most Shinto shrines, Kagawa being the biggest producer of bonsai trees, and Hiroshima having the country’s biggest jungle gym.

The bags are priced at just 100 yen, and is made from 56-percent recycled fibers. Each bag is for sale only within the prefecture it represents, with purchases limited to three per customer, giving us all a little extra incentive to head to the next prefecture over and make our own little discoveries about the different parts of Japan.

Source: Daiso, PR Times
Top image: Daiso
Insert images: PR Times, Daiso
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