‘Wagyu Beef’ Bags

Trends Trends & Culture - September 5th, 2012

Matsuzaka beef made into Man Bags

Beef from wagyu cows bred in Matsuzaka, Mie prefecture, is highly sought after by both the Japanese and foreigners who want to see what all the fuss is about. It has become just about the most prestigious of the butcher’s bovine based treats.

Some say the animals – similar to well known Kobe beef cows which are the same breed – are fed beer, others talk up their daily massages and decadent sounding lifestyle; some say the fat that runs through their flesh makes it juicy and delectable, some just think it’s too greasy. Whatever camp you come into, if you can afford it, surely trying it at least once is a must.

Wagyu cow

Wagyu cow

But now, how do you fancy a bag made from their skin? ‘Man-bags’ are pretty popular in Japan; you won’t go far without seeing business casual style leather bags that seems to be made as much for fashion as a laptop and notepad. One company has come up with a way – perhaps – to make them attractive to all, or at least it is talking up a rather unique selling point: using Matsuzaka leather.

Ace, the Tokyo based company behind the plan says, according to the Nikkei, “it is rare for Matsusaka leather to be used for bags because it takes longer to extract fat from the skin.” So that fat that is so prized for its flavour had previously meant the hides went to waste? It seems so.

The company are hoping that the “Matsusaka leather, Made in Japan” labels on the bags will appeal to foreigners visiting Japan enough for them to part with some serious cash; the range will sell for between 39,900 and 61,950 yen.

Quite whether tourists will be impressed enough remains to be seen (we’ll get our answer soon, the bags go on sale in late September under the “ultima TOKYO” brand) but gimmicks are often high up on the shopping agenda for visitors to Japan.

What next? Perhaps a purse made from fugu? A Matsutake mushroom mobile phone cover? We shall see…