Photo: Pakutaso
lifestyle

Long wallet or bifold? What your wallet says about you in Japan

38 Comments
By Oona McGee, SoraNews24

A few days ago, 29-year-old Austrian-Japanese model and former "Terrace House" presenter Reina Triendl made news in Japan for revealing her views on her ideal man during a TV appearance.

Amongst possessing merits like great skin and good driving skills, Triendl said her ideal man would have to own…a bifold wallet.

While her revelation was met with laughter from the TV hosts, Triendl said it was a dealbreaker, as she believes “a man’s wallet should be compact." She also mentioned that both her father and grandfather own black bifold wallets.

▼ Sorry, buddy — you won’t be winning Triendl’s affections with this giant case, no matter how much you’ve got in it.

Japanese-bifold-wall.jpg
Photo: Pakutaso

▼ You, sir, on the other hand, are in with a chance with your compact bifold.

Japanese-bifold-wall.jpg
Photo: Pakutaso

Triendl’s comments kicked off a discussion about wallets online, with people saying:

“That’s too low a hurdle for a potential lover!”

“Does that mean unemployed losers with blfolds are in with a chance?”

“So my zip wallet’s no good then?”

“I own a bifold! Does that mean I can marry Reina?”

“If it’s the compactness that’s important, then will a card case do?”

“Ah, this reminds me of my schooldays when I attached my long wallet to my trousers with a chain.”

For many years, long wallets have held a firm place in the pockets of young men, for a number of reasons. Firstly, Japan is famous for being a cash society, so long wallets provide more space for cash, and the chain attachment favored by schoolboys and fashionable young men doesn’t just look cool, it also ensures they don’t end up losing their wallet or leaving it behind in a restroom.

Then, there’s the fact that people are taught to treat their cash with respect, and a long wallet helps with this nicely, as it keeps your bills neat and uncreased. This is an especially important feature in a country where creased bills are so taboo that banks offer customers the option to order brand new ones for gift-giving.

Some believe these respectful practices, which also align with Feng Shui beliefs about generating wealth and good fortune, can also help you save money, with several books even singing the virtues of a long wallet. "Why Wealthy People Use Long Wallets," by Japanese tax accountant Junichiro Kameda was one such book that received a lot of attention for detailing the ways a neat collection of bills will help you to appreciate your money and control your spending.

However, as Trendl’s comments suggest, bifold owners are becoming more common in Japan, and perhaps even more appreciated. While long wallet owners are often seen as fashion-conscious types, bifold wallet owners are seen as solid and dependable types who aren’t swayed by trends. A good bifold that’s filled with just the right amount of bills will hardly create any creases while also encouraging efficient spending, and its compact nature makes it less likely for it to fall out of a pocket — both important points for respecting and protecting your money.

A 2017 survey of 131 people with an annual income of 10 million yen revealed that 51.4 percent of them used a bifold, with long wallet users in second place, at 34.4 percent. This image of bifold wallet owners as rich, stable, dependable types appears to be increasing in society, with a number of wealthy people in the entrepreneur world also advocating for the bifold, saying it’s the best way to keep their wallets, which some describe as their “lifelines”, safe.

So when Triendl said her ideal man would have to own a bifold wallet, it’s likely she wasn’t just referring to the wallet and its compact nature but the image she had in mind of the aura exuded by its owner. Still, regardless of what type of wallet you have in your pocket right now, there’s one comment that deserves mentioning:

“I don’t mind what type of wallet it is, as long as it’s not tattered.”

While Triendl might have very niche needs when it comes to her ideal partner’s wallet, not everyone is as hard to please. As long as you treat your money and your wallet with respect, it’s a good sign you’ll treat your partner and relationships with a similar level of respect, and that’s always bound to leave a good impression.

Sources: Amazon Japan, Uranai TV, My Navi News, Men’s Wallet, Yahoo! News via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Lists of what gives Japanese women a good or bad first impression of men are confusingly similar

-- New Totoro wallet may put a dent in your current one, but we think it’s worth it

-- Lifehack: Transform a Starbucks paper bag into a fully functional wallet!

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

38 Comments
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The "long wallet" looks like a lady's purse and doesn't belong in the hands of a man.

And neither do the handbags half the men here choose to carry.

8 ( +23 / -15 )

I lost IQ points from reading this nonsense.

I never even heard the term “bifold” before looking at this.

Normal people would just call it a wallet, the end.

21 ( +28 / -7 )

I carry a trifold wallet because its waterproof and has a lot of pockets and best of all, its compact and does not protrude from your pockets, just asking to be pickpocketed.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It works both ways too. I would find someone who makes judgements about anyone based on something as simple as a wallet to be a vapid waste of breath. People need to stop caring what the vacuous bobble heads say.

10 ( +17 / -7 )

I carry a trifold wallet because its waterproof and has a lot of pockets and best of all, its compact and does not protrude from your pockets, just asking to be pickpocketed.

It is clear that lots of Japanese people have not spent many time in Europe or America or other country.

I think Japan is only place that person carry designer long wallet in back pocket of pants of 30% in pocket and 70% sticking up.

In other country long wallet would be be long gone when train stop at station!

16 ( +16 / -0 )

It is clear that lots of Japanese people have not spent many time in Europe or America or other country.

I think Japan is only place that person carry designer long wallet in back pocket of pants of 30% in pocket and 70% sticking up.

In other country long wallet would be be long gone when train stop at station!

Exactly! I always think, 'easy pickings' whenever I see some fool with their long wallet sticking out of their back pocket, looking like it's about to fall out at any moment. In any other country, they'd be robbed blind.

I myself use a trifold wallet; long wallets are too cumbersome and require you to put it in your backpack, which is just inconvenient all around. Ain't nobody got time to be unzipping their bag and fishing around for their wallet while trying to tap in or out of the train station.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

RareReasonToday  07:09 am JST

The "long wallet" looks like a lady's purse and doesn't belong in the hands of a man.

And neither do the handbags half the men here choose to carry.

how could a wallet that size fit in a rear pants pocket? It would stick out so much, and it's so easy for a pickpocket to grab it.

shogun36Today  08:22 am JST

I lost IQ points from reading this nonsense.

I never even heard the term “bifold” before looking at this.

Normal people would just call it a wallet, the end.

Yeah, we have trifold and regular 'double over'. That's all I know. Unless there's some Japanese colloquialisms here I don't know about.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

when I attached my long wallet to my trousers with a chain.”

Some people do that for most of their lives now. It's 2022, folks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

with several books even singing the virtues of a long wallet. "Why Wealthy People Use Long Wallets," by Japanese tax accountant Junichiro Kameda was one such book that received a lot of attention

ROFL!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The "long wallet" looks like a lady's purse and doesn't belong in the hands of a man.

And neither do the handbags half the men here choose to carry.

So judgmental.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

I go with the majority and have an empty bifold one. lol

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"...as long as it is not tattered." The housecat chewed on my leather Osaifu and left it covered in tooth gouges...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

long Wallet or billfold, it’s only what’s inside that counts.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I’ve been carrying a long wallet for about 5 years now and would never go back.

You can fit Tall Bills, Separate your USD & Yen, you have a coin purse, and you can carry both your debit cards & credit cards - including 3 American Express cards. Lol

The big plus - you notice quickly when it is not on you

Basically, all the same reasons women use them.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Not a long wallet user myself but I see the advantage of them from my wife who loves them. Her bills and cards are always so much neater than mine are.

As usual, the Japanese are into details. They matter. That’s why sushi started here. Everywhere else raw (unpickled) fish was tried the result was mostly food poisoning.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The "long wallet" looks like a lady's purse

I'd go for purpose vs looks. Bifold, which I didn't know was called that, is enough for holding my credit card, ids and money and fits in my front pocket.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is probably one of the silliest, shallow fluff pieces of the year so far. Judging a man on the type of wallet he chooses to use to carry his cash about. When I'm in Japan I use a folding wallet the same as I do at home. Nowt wrong with a nice leather wallet.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The long wallets and handbags are also common among men in several European countries.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I carry cards in a small metal business card holder and cash in my pocket. Not that I have huge wads of cash ala people who want to impress people. I can’t impress anyone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why the comments on wallets? Why not the shallow criteria used to eliminate a man as a contender for a relationship?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A long wallet has more space for cards, multiple currencies, large amounts of cash that I wouldn't think of carrying around with me in the UK, medical info etc, and keeps your banknotes flat. I use one in Japan (in an inside pocket) alongside a smaller wallet (in an outside pocket) for coins and my Suica card. I usually stick an emergency 10,000 yen note in the back pocket of my jeans. Elsewhere if I'm disrobing.

In the UK I use a folding wallet as most of our horrible plastic notes come pre-folded. I only need some emergency cash as I usually use a debit card in shops.

Picking a potential mate on the basis of their wallet is incredibly shallow, but I guess it got her some coverage.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zichiJan. 20  12:34 pm JST

Billfold is the correct term.

It is, because 'billfold' = 'bill fold' as in you fold your monetary bills. Simple as that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A google of "bifold wallet" (with quotes) finds millions of results, with plenty of images, all showing the same type of wallet. So "bifold" does appear to be an industry term for a wallet that folds once. I'm guessing that most people here have never heard it (I hadn't), but that doesn't make the term wrong, or another better, it just means we all got a little educated on types of wallets today.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Who needs a wallet???

You only need an opened pack of cigarettes with the clear plastic still on, so you can have your ID on one side and your folded bills on the other.

Your change and your lighter in your front pack (either side is fine), and your pack of cigarettes in the other pockets. Your smartphone can be wherever.

Pack light and efficient to party anywhere!!!!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why would we care about what a "wallet" says about us, let alone our clothes, car, or any material items. We are who we are (our individuality). We choose how we consume our goods. If anyone wants to judge us based on our possessions, by all means, let them. I'm sure most of us can care less. It's our personality and how we treat and serve others that identifies us.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

a bifold wallet

I'm sure the author meant "billfold."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Real men don't use a long wallet although I see many walking around with one sticking out of their back pockets. Wouldn't stay there long in other countries.

I have always used a bifold so I can put it in my front pocket.

My American step-father would have said real men never use a wallet, he always used a cash clip but I have so many cards to carry too.

Rich men use American Express, not a wallet.

Complete hogwash! I use whatever I want; rich or not. We're all human in the end.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Chico3Today  08:14 am JST

a bifold wallet

I'm sure the author meant "billfold."

Japanese is one of those languages that can be tough to 'romanize'. Arabic is tricky sometimes when it comes to romanization and Chinese certainly is.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sorry, buddy — you won’t be winning Triendl’s affections with this giant case, no matter how much you’ve got in it.

A wallet doesn't necessarily 'make' a man. And Reina Triendl isn't the only fish in the sea.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The letter 'l' does not exist in Japan, therefore 'bifold' must be the correct term!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm sure the author meant "billfold."

Why would you think they didn't mean 'bifold'? It's clearly a term that refers to a wallet that folds in half.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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