A&S 2023AW – Gamaguchi Bag
The sound of a snap and the mouth of the Gamaguchi Bag opens instantly, and with the next snap it closed right away, almost as if nothing had happened. Functional, yet mysterious and secretive – the Gamaguchi (frame) bag, which has various nicknames such as Clasp purse bag, Kiss lock bag and Doctor's bag, is an original product by A&S. A&S continues to make Gamaguchi bags in a very eclectic way. At this timing, we would like to introduce you to this season's new styles of Gamaguchi bags.
History of Gamaguchi Bag
“Gamaguchi bags were first made in Europe.”
Where did the Gamaguchi clasp come from in the first place? From its name, it is easy to assume that it originated in Japan, but the prototype was born in Europe between the 16th and 18th century. People carried their daily necessities, worn from the waist on a chain with a clasp, in cloth drawstring pouches in the 17th century. As metalwork and sewing techniques developed, the cloth bags were fitted with metal frames (and metal clasps). Leather became the main material chosen for these bags, and eventually the pouches were named purses and bags. In the 19th century, the development of the railways created a culture to travel, which gradually led to the proliferation of bags and purses with clasps.
They bags were then imported to Japan in the Meiji era. In the Taisho era (1912-1926), they became fashionable along with Western-style clothing as women entered the working society. After the post-war period in the Showa era, with technological innovation and mass production, the Gamaguchi bags became widely popular, especially among women’s fashion,
There are various theories as to the origin of the name ‘Gamaguchi’, such as ‘the shape of the frame that resembles the mouth of a frog,’ and another is the ‘frog (kaeru)’ which symbolizes good luck for finances, and money to kaeru (return).’
A&S's Gamaguchi Bag
“Beginning of the Arts & Science original style”
The A&S Gamaguchi Bag was first developed when the owner, Sonya, experimented if it was possible to reproduce an antique bag she had owned. After asking several factories that made the clasps, we discovered that not only were there only very limited resources that made the push clasps that were attached to the bags, but also that the number of craftsmen who could make them was now very little. The technique of wrapping thinly strained leather around the clasp is also a highly sophisticated craftsman’s skill. “Well, what should we do?” she thought. She decided to ask the craftsmen to continue to make the clasps as our original products, thus being the birth of the A&S original Gamaguchi Bag. The first bag was made of linen canvas. The classic push-button closure has the charm of an antique style, but as a product in brand new condition. This style indeed withholds a very valuable clasp.
“About the material and size”
The clasp is made of three materials: brass, iron and aluminum. We challenge ourselves to develop Gamaguchi bags with various materials, because we like the look of a diverse range of bags in various materials and sizes. The development of materials and sizes is tricky, so please pay attention to the all the variety and details when making your purchase. Our shop staff will be happy to assist you thoroughly.
Doctor’s Bag L
Made with antelope, a wild animal leather with a unique look. Chrome-tanned. Unlined, and made with a single piece of leather so the bag is not too heavy. Because of its large capacity, only this bag is screwed down. Load capacity 3 kg. This bag is one of Sonya’s favorite styles.
Doctor’s Bag M
Made with chrome-tanned goat leather from Tuscany, Italy. The fibers are densely packed, making it tougher than sheepskin, yet it has a soft and supple texture. The fine grain makes scratches less noticeable. Attractive for its transparent glossiness and high color saturation.
Box Doctor’s Bag M
Made with vegetable-tanned cowhide of Italian origin. The surface of the leather has been lightly damaged by craftsmen to give the texture character. The leather has a matte nubuck look when it is brand new, but with use the leather becomes shinier and you can enjoy the expression change with age.
Box Doctor’s Bag S
A&S classic bag made with a combination of extra-thick linen canvas and tanning-tanned kip leather. The linen, which has been textured by a high-density weave and careful rubbing to give texture, matches the look of the strong, antique-finished calf leather exquisitely.
Gamaguchi Shoulder Bag
Made with kip leather tanned in Italy. The leather is produced by a tannery that specializes in the dyed finishes on horsehide and cowhide, with a natural look using raw kip and a hand-antiqued finish that gives the leather a full expression. One of the characteristics of the leather is that its lightweight, and the appearance of the leather is not heavy. The more it is polished, the shinnier the leather becomes. The expression will deepen with age.
For inquiries, please contact each shop directly or use our contact form.