Photo: Value Press
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Ultra-minimal wallet for a cashless society

By George Lloyd, grape Japan

For the ultimate in minimalism, consider the Tanogokoro, a sleek folding wallet that fits snugly into the palm of your hand. The wallet is the latest offering from Nakameguro-based Wayward Leathers, which named their latest product after an old Japanese word for "palm of the hand."

It takes a neat piece of design to find a way to improve on an everyday staple like the wallet. Leather working outfit Wayward Leathers have done it by stripping out the less-than-essential parts of the wallet and making what remained as compact as possible. They soon realised that in an increasingly cashless era, it makes sense to reduce the amount of space given over to storing banknotes and coins.

What makes the Tanogokoro particularly visually appealing is its coin case, which folds in and out like a folding paper model in a picture book. Just twist the leather into a pattern and it folds flat.

The Tanogokoro has slots for the five most commonly used cards (bank, credit, drivers’ license, transportation and health insurance). Its designers have also managed to find room at the front of the coin case for storing receipts.

The leather used to make the Tanogokoro is thinner that that used in most wallets, which makes it lighter and less bulky in your pocket. It’s just 85mm wide, 97mm high and 10mm thick and is available in black and khaki green.

The design, pattern cutting, dyeing and sewing needed to make the wallet are all done in Japan, most of it in Wayward Leathers’ workshop in Nakameguro. The Tokyo neighbourhood has been the company’s home since it was founded 18 years ago. For more details, see

Wayward Leathers are looking for support for production of the Tanogokoro through crowdfunding site CAMPFIRE until Dec 15.

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© grape Japan

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Seeing as how the launch of this wallet is “news” I think I’m going to get one.

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Why would one need a wallet in a cashless society?

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