Kinchaku is a traditional Japanese purses or handbags. It is a small bag, typically with a drawstring.
Kin means fabric and Chaku means to put on. This small drawstring bag was invented to carry personal things such as money, one’s seal impression, a lucky charm, medicine, cigarette and cosmetics close to your skin. It also was used to carry Bento (lunch box) and utensils around.
In Edo Era, Kinchaku became a fashion icon in rich people and high-end Kinchaku were made by professional crafters by using leather, imported woolen cloth and silk. It was a primary accessory to carry around. When Meiji Period arrived, the life style gradually became westernized as Sakoku (locked country) policy has ended and foreigners were free to come into Japan and Japanese finally got permission from government to travel to oversea. People were rapidly fascinated with western cultures and the Kinchaku was replaced with other types of bags.
We still use Kinchaku to go with Kimono, carry small items and lunch box.
Studio Aika offers Kinchaku bag pattern and Japanese style cording
Kinchaku Bag Pattern AP-22
Japanese Cording RC-M015
There are variety of design and materials of kinchaku available. The most common types are made by fabrics, sometimes the same fabric as your kimono. Picture shown has a bamboo basket attached for more formal use. Chiriman (colorful crape fabrics) is popular for making Kinchaku. I have been sending my daughter to a public school in Japan over summer vacation and she brings her belongings such as gym clothes, tooth brush, lunch and etc in separate Kinchaku bags.