Toyooka Kaban Official Site

    Japanese Site

    Certification Evaluation

    The “Toyooka Kaban” System

    Certification as “Toyooka Kaban” employs a two-stage approach - company evaluation and product evaluation.

    Companies that make bags under the Toyooka Kaban brand must be members of the Hyogo Prefecture Bag Industry Association and sign and seal a manifesto stating that they will uphold the Toyooka Kaban Brand Concept. Their products must also pass the Toyooka Kaban Certification Evaluation.

    • Trademark owner
      “Toyooka Kaban” is a registered trademark of the Hyogo Prefecture Bag Industry Association.
    • Company conditions for use of trademark
      Company must be a member of the Hyogo Prefecture Bag Industry Association and have signed and uphold the “Toyooka Kaban” Regional Brand Manifesto.
    • Product conditions for use of trademark
      Products must have been evaluated by the Hyogo Prefecture Bag Industry Association’s “Toyooka Kaban” Regional Brand Committee according to the product criteria and have been certified as having passed that evaluation.

    The “Toyooka Kaban” Regional Brand is a shared asset of the Hyogo Prefecture Bag Industry Association, the manufacturers, and the region.
    The value of the “Toyooka Kaban” Regional Brand will be raised not through the pursuit of business by single companies, but by nurturing the brand together as a shared asset of the region, with the Hyogo Prefecture Bag Industry Association playing a central role.


    Evaluation Meeting Details

    Evaluation meetings for certification as “Toyooka Kaban” are held once every two months.

    The nine-member evaluation panel consists of the members of the “Toyooka Kaban” Regional Brand Committee, Yoshihisa Takeshita, main instructor of the Toyooka KABAN Artisan School, and bag designer, Yoko Morita, who has been a driving force in the development of the Toyooka Kaban brand.

    On the day of the evaluation meeting, the bags awaiting evaluation are lined up on tables in the secretariat’s office. The judges enter the room, examine each bag, checking it against the product evaluation criteria, and write down any points they notice on an evaluation card.

    As well as examining the exterior, they turn the bag inside out to examine the interior, take off any removable parts and carefully check all sections of the bag that are not easily visible.
    If even a single stitch is out of line, the bag will not pass.
    The judges pull hard on the handles to test their strength.

    Joint review by all panel members

    Once the individual checks have been completed, it is time for a joint review by all of the evaluation panel members.

    Results of deliberations

    • The edges of the lining material have not been finished with overlocking, etc.
    • The stitching in areas that would be better not shown has not been hidden with piping, etc.
    • There are unintentional darts in the corners of the base.

    With these kinds of defects that are hard to detect at a glance, seven bags failed the evaluation.

    This represents a pass rate of about 50%.

    Companies that have not been participating in these evaluations for very long have been known to put up 15 bags for evaluation, but have only one of them pass.
    Even committee members’ own companies are not given any special treatment.

    One of the bags presented on this day was finally passed on its third attempt, having undergone multiple modifications after failing twice previously.

    In April and November, just prior to the bag industry’s trade fair seasons, the number of bags presented for evaluation more than doubles.
    The judges themselves have to take half a day out of their own very busy schedules during their own companies’ busy season, so the burden is by no means a light one.

    However, they engage in the task with a positive attitude, seeing it as an invaluable opportunity to learn from the techniques of other companies.

    A separate application must be made for each design.
    For example, the canvas bags in the photograph may look the same, but the position of the pockets (top and side) and the attachment of the handles are different.

    If, like these bags, there is a button closure, the judges actually fasten and unfasten the button in the same way as in actual use, to check for any issues.

    Toyooka Kaban