As we continue to review Japanese wallets we have a new one to present called the Thin Gusset by Fujitaka. This wallet follows some similar patterns observed in other Japanese and non-Japanese wallets. It comes packed in a black pull type box, with silver inlay. It bears a Japanese carved signature called a hanko, from the company Iketei as it is one of the brands of Iketei Corporation.
Wrapped in a very thin fiber-type material, the wallet is navy made of calfskin, which is very supple and smooth. It also comes in black and chocolate, which is brown. It is equipped with a gusseted zipper and the snaps inside are well hidden. It also clearly says made in Japan. The wallet is constructed in a wrap style, because it has two different kinds of leather. Moreover, gusseted is its characterizing features, since it is again found in the cards and cash. As the cash goes in it gets wrapped. The wallet seems to have reinforcements in certain areas, which is quite valuable. These use common construction methods from Japan, where, for example, the glued edges are not sewn. The calfskin feels amazingly soft, the blood veins can even be seen. The leather would lack consistency, because, obviously, it is from the calf. The company mentioned in a quote that it’s a, “stick to your hands” quality of the leather. Even though it is very soft, it presents a tooth for texture, which is not rough, but provides resistance without it feeling slippery.
Concerning the feature review of the Fujitaka Thin Gusseted Wallet, it has an exterior zipper that opens and closes without any catching. The gusset is called a “Fukoto” gusset in Japanese. Although the meaning is uncertain, it is likely something made up. The gusseted nature is very accommodating as it allows the finger and thumb to easily slip in to get coins out. This zipper is unbranded, but it is fair to assume that it is from YKK since YKK zips originate in Japan. As the snap is open, a cash wrap is immediately spotted and it does not flop out, giving a good security feature to the cash as the wallet opens up. In the bottom, two card slots provide quick access. This quick access is in the interior with all the pieces, which could alternatively have been on the exterior. The snap portion may not be everybody’s preference, however, but it does keep it secure. In wallets, snaps can sometimes close roughly, but this Fujitaka snap is nicely done, soft, easy to snap open and when closed would not come open by just flicking it with you finger.
The wallet accommodates five slips of cash, four coins, all currencies are supported and three cards. The company recommends a maximum of four cards. It is a really slim wallet, thus the limitation is in the number of cards that can be inserted. Japan is a country that consistently uses coins which is why coin access is in the back.
The interior is a microfiber lining with glued pieces over the leather, which are reported to be very durable. The construction, manufacturing and craftsmanship in Japan are stellar. One of the reasons these pieces were glued instead of sewn is to reduce bulk, since adding thread would have created more volume. As is the case with most Japanese wallets, this wallet is very thin and minimalist.
The wallet costs $281, including the shipping costs. It sells for 22,000 yen at the current exchange rate, which is approximately $212. As seen in previous reviews, Japanese wallets are very expensive, largely because of the exchange rate.
The wallet accommodates all currencies as it was designed for the 10,000 yen bill, which is wider and taller than the 1,000 yen bill. And while it keeps it secure, it only requires a flip to pull out the cash and another flip back to secure it, which is very practical. This feature gives the wallet an extra point for people who like open cash wraps. When it comes to cards, as this wallet was not designed for many cards, it can fit two cards in each slot. Getting them out is not a problem once the wallet begins to loosen a little bit.
The Fujitaka Thin Gusseted Wallet measures 3.6″ x 3.3″ x 0.5″ and weighs 53 grams. Fujitaka, despite being one of 27 brands owned by Iketei, is constructed remarkably well, as are all the Japanese wallets reviewed up to this point.
Fujitaka Thin Gusseted scores 5 for the quality, 1 for the price, 4 for the feature, 4 the usability and 3 for the perception. This gives a total score of 36 out of 50
Made from calfskin on the exterior and full-grain veg tanned hide on the interior, the Fujitaka Thin Gusseted wallet provides excellent cash accommodations with limited cards.