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Making Everything Portable: Japanese Wrapping Culture


Today’s blog is all about uniqueness of Japanese Wrapping Culture.

We Japanese are good at making everything “Portable” from cell phone to mobile-bidet.

“Portable” is the key word to explain the essense of Japanese Wrapping Culture.

Standing in front of Hachiko in Shibuya Station, you would hear people saying, “I just called your keitai but ignore it,” and assume that keitai is a cell phone. Yes, it is a cell phone; however, technically speaking, keitai means “to carry” and “portable”. In this case, keitai defines “portable phone”, but because cell phones have become an indispensable gadget, keitai is now a synonym to cell phone. If you speak to older generation and mention keitai, they would ask you for what keitai (portable) item you are referring to.

There are many items that can be carried around: Keitai-denwa= portable phone”, keitai-gasa= “portable umbrella”, keitai-hashi= “portable chopsticks”, keitai-spray= “portable spray”.  The list goes on.

There are some unbelievable things that are being carried around in Japan. Number one on the list is keitai-bidet. People carry around toilet bidet equipment. This is being sold by some of Japan’s major electronic companies, and some are small enough to fit in a lady’s cosmetic pouch. Although bidet is integrated into many toilet seats in Japan, there are times when bidet is eliminated due to its aesthetics. Also when Japanese visit foreign companies, it is rare to come across toilets with bidet; therefore, some choose to carry it during their trip.

Especially in cities, because train is the main transportation means, people must pack everything inside their bags. It is crucial that items are minimized. There must be many items out there that are unexpectedly carried around. The culture of keitai will keep enlightening us with creative inventions.

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