itaSTYLE: What is an ita bag?

itaSTYLE: Ita Bag Tutorials-itaSTYLE: What is an ita bag?


Welcome to itaSTYLE! A series where we talk about all things ita bag. This is the first article of the series, so we’ll start simple:

What is an ita bag, anyway?

You Watanabe (from Love Live! Sunshine!!) in an OTB Tote Itabag

You Watanabe (from Love Live! Sunshine!!) in an OTB Tote Ita bag

You got a lot of anime charms, straps, badges, and plushies - now what? Enter the ita bag. An ita bag is a bag that is purpose built for the display of such things. Usually there is a large display window to keep your precious goods safe, clean, and away from the merch thieves - they exist!

With your precious goods safe, you are free to bring them really anywhere you want. Arrange your goods, decorate your bags, and bring them to meetups or down the street to get coffee. Your ita bag and you are free to roam the countryside and cause pain to the eyes of onlookers.

Uraraka & Bakugou (from My Hero Academia) in an OTB Messenger Itabag

Uraraka & Bakugou (from My Hero Academia) in an OTB Messenger Ita bag

The term ita bag stems from the Japanese word for pain, 痛い read as itai. This word is often muttered reflexively when something gaudy or excessively flashy passes by someone's view. It’s important to note that in Japan, a bag with a viewing window isn’t really referred to as an ita bag unless it’s covered in charms!

One can say Karamatsu here has his own ita-outfit of himself! lol

One can say Karamatsu here has his own ita-outfit of himself! lol

The concept of putting anime charms on apparel dates back to the existence of anime charms, but purpose-made ita bags took off around 2015 when WEGO and Swimmer entered the fray and made them available at most of their outlets across Japan. 

Purpose made ita bags took to the US pretty quickly. They have had fair success in stores such as Hot Topic and Forever 21, where they are often called clear window bags or decoration bags. Specialty ita bag vendors are now common at most anime and comic conventions.

But what types of ita bags are there, anyway? Lots! Check out the next installment of itaSTYLE for "Different Types of Ita bag Bases".

That concludes this article of itaSTYLE.
Stay roosted for our next issue! 

— Sonya from the Co-Kan Flock ♥

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