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Bears and Sports

Text: Tropical Matsumura

2022.05.11

I have a liking for the slightly cringe worthy product trends from the past where some people would prefer they stay, and during a hunt for some applique-decorated quilted items popular with younger people in the early 1980s I discovered pieces from a brand called “The Box”.  They were especially unique for the oddly realistic attention to detail portrayed in their products which were adorned with bears and some form of sports imagery.  The bags with a ski motif had bears holding OLIN or ELAN skis; pochette style handbags with a tennis motif would have the bears holding WILSON rackets.  The company was founded in 1979 and apparently had stores in places such as Musashi-Koganei, Yokohama, and Karuizawa.  Unfortunately, they are no longer around though with little to no information about them.  When I think though that they were releasing products that combined bears with sports ten years prior to a certain American brand, the visible ubiquity of these old trends spurs within me a sense of pride that wins out over any embarrassment.

Tropical Matsumura
Born in 1988. Writer. Owner of Tropical Records, a space which exhibits and sells Showa Era items that Matsumura has collected including surf, ski, frisbee, and other sports items as well as disco-related memorabilia.

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