Hang on to a brolly this summer

Rainy season should be over, and it’ll soon be time to face the hot, sticky Japanese summer. But it’s still handy to have an umbrella at hand for those last few sudden downpours.

Fumito Kogure and Shinya Kaneko have designed the Komorebigasa to be quite a summery accessory. It opens up into a leafy bough that will protect you from the rain but also allow a little sunlight through between its foliage. It’s a bit of pleasant greenery, for when you’re stuck in the middle of the urban jungle.

The Komorebigasa sells for ¥3,990 and can be purchased online from the Mitsubai Tokyo shop.

Mitsubai Tokyo: www.mitsubai.com/tokyo/detail/tk018903.html

Postalco helps house your cash

Postalco is one of our very favorite stationery and leather accessories brand, and of all the new items announced in the fall-winter 2013 collection it’s the Roof Wallet we like the best. The “roof” refers to the flap that covers the top of the wallet (like a roof), which, for all its apparent simplicity, the brand’s creator Mike Abelson says was not an easy design element to produce.

The fall collection goes on sale in September, and the Roof Wallet will be available in black, brown, cobalt blue and emerald green for ¥35,200. You can order it through Postalco’s mail-order service, or directly from the store in Shibuya. We do recommend you check out Postalco’s shop to see and examine everything first-hand.

Postalco: postalco.net

Redefining the paper bag

Over the years we’ve seen many products that use paper and paperlike materials in innovative ways, so the new Kamicago collection is of instant appeal. Designed by Yuruliku — Koushi Ikegami and Kinue Oneda — in collaboration with Hayashi Kougei, which makes products using washi (traditional Japanese paper), Kamicago is a line of bags made from fabric woven from paper-pulp thread.

“Kami” means “paper” and “cago” is meant to evoke the idea of “cargo” and “carrying.”

So far, the series includes tote bags (¥19,950), shoulder bags (¥9,975), and pouches (¥2,940), each available in white, black or red. The entire Kamicago collection will be available from Yuruliku’s online shop later this month.

Yuruliku: www.yuruliku.com Kamicago: www.yuruliku.com/hayashi-kougei yuruliku.shop-pro.jp

Papersky’s wooden bird

Papersky is not only a fantastic Tokyo-based travel magazine, but its publisher, Knee High Media, has also expanded the brand beyond the printed page with various activities, clubs, and product collaborations.

Noriyuki Sato’s Skate Bird, is one such collaboration, aptly named as it uses recycled wood from old skateboards. It’s designed so that the beak acts as a clip to allow it to hang from pockets or belt loops.

Available in five colors (natural, red, blue, green and yellow), the Skate Bird is ¥2,099 and available online through the Papersky webstore.

Papersky: papersky.jp store.papersky.jp/collections/craft/products/skate-bird

Upgrading your lunch box

For many office workers, the bentō box is a necessity, and if you’re in the market for a classy upgrade then Masanori Oji’s beautiful Hibiju bentō box should make your coworkers envious.

This attractive wooden set — produced by Wajima Kirimoto — has two compartments that stack together and a natural finish on the outside. The inside is lacquered to protect the wood from foodstuffs. Hand-crafted and available in three shades, a Hibiju bentō box costs ¥21,000, so actually, you may not want to use it every day. They’re all available at Wajima Kirimoto’s online store.

Masanori Oji: www.o-ji.jp Wajima Kirimoto: www.kirimoto.net

Follow The Japan Times’s board On: Design on Pinterest.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.