I’ve never been much of a Japanophile, but the couple minutes or so that I saw Preetam demonstrate the use of the Furoshiki, I was hooked.

Preetam did a lightning talk demo at BarcampBKK3, where he demoed how you could hold books in it. Later, Satoko (@31o5) mentioned that you could also hold bottles of wine, and more. Naturally, I was intrigued, so I hopped on and found a bunch of cool things you can do with it.

For one, the Ministry of Environment in Japan has published a guide on how to make use of it. All the various different knots, and methods, for you to carry items of varying sizes, and volumes. Very useful. I also found it most interesting to note that there are stores that specialise in this – take a look at this post from Kyoto.

Want to buy one? All hail Furoshiki.com. They seem to be about USD$12-$70, not including shipping and handling, depending on the styles available.

Further links: a bit of history, how to gift wrap (video), usage etiquette, history, folding guides and more (very useful resource), a video of a store in Kyoto, and how to use it to carry your bento boxes.

I have to admit, that Japanese culture and custom is starting to interest me these days. Seems like there’s a lot to learn, as there are things I’d consider innovative, that is part of daily Japanese life. I wonder if a book like Urawaza: Secret Everyday Tips and Tricks from Japan will help?

(photo by Preetam Rai)


  1. 31o5 says:

    I used to make lunch in the morning and wrapped the lunch box with little Furoshiki (could be handkerchief) to bring it to school. Many of Japanese traditions are flexible, like Kimono dress, Japanese style bed etc :-)

  2. Ben Israel says:

    Very interesting post. Would be great if this was a session at the next barcamp. Thanks!

  3. Preetam Rai says:

    Thanks for posting the links Colin. I was also more of a Sinophile than a Japanophile. But once I started traveling in Japan, i found many interesting small small things and mannerisms. You can actually use any cloth as Furoshiki, the folding technique is what is important. Koreans also used to use a similar cloth, they call it pojagi.