I came. I sewed. I saw that it was pretty neat.
So after my previous adventures in research and development, I’ve been using the three furoshiki I made (one 60″ square, two 45″ square) around the house. I used them for laundry bags. I used them for auxiliary carry bags when my briefcase wasn’t enough. I used them for grocery bags. I used one to carry a couple of jars home in the two-bottle wrap. I even used one to carry the dog down an over-steep set of stairs. She was very cute.
Thus, this may turn out to be a brief dalliance with something sensible, but I rather suspect not.
Pitfalls: (1) remembering to say “I have a bag” before the attentive baggers have everything tucked into plastic.
(2) making sure one is available when I’m leaving the house
(3) remembering to take one with me
(4) remembering the various possible tying methods on the fly.
but yes, I can say that I think it’s a great and useful idea. I can also say that I can see the uses of a 28″ furoshiki. Mine are sometimes overlarge for small jobs. I’m still working on the point of an 18″ one. At any rate, I determined that I liked them.
Intrigued, I went looking for more than the Japanese Ministry of the Environment PDF, figuring that something so versatile with such a long history must have more than a few variations. Not much is out there, but about twelve pages into my Google search results I did find this blog called Watashi to Tokyo in which the author refers us here to the blog of “a geek living in Japan” and here for gift wrapping, a backpack and a center-rosette box wrapping, all in furoshiki. I hear there’s a book about this. If I get my hands on it, I’ll see about doing some English-language explanations. One website notes that they only ever see gaijin (foreigners? my Japanese translation skills aren’t great) using these in Japan, but I have no idea if that’s fair or accurate.