Yumiko Sakuma, Rimowa Topas 29″ Suitcase – Item Number One
Item Number One profiles people by the thing they have owned the longest. If you were to put everything you own and use in the order you acquired it, what's Item Number One? We ask the same eight questions to every subject.
Name, Age, and Occupation?
Yumiko Sakuma, 44, Writer and Producer.
What is your Item Number One?
A Rimowa Topas 29″ Aluminum suitcase.
How long have you had it?
How did you come to possess it?
I had just started as a freelance writer and planned on traveling quite a bit. I was living in the U.S. and imagined I’d be going back home to Japan fairly often. I needed a suitcase and wanted to buy one that would last a really long time.
I had seen other Rimowa suitcases and heard about how sturdy they were. I also liked the look when they aged, it got better when it was beaten up. I bought it at Isetan in Tokyo in 2003.
Why have you kept it so long?
It does the job. And everytime it’s damaged, it’s been repaired for free. I only use it when the trip is longer than a week and I’ve probably flown with it at least 120 times.
When was the last time you used it?
I flew back from Japan with it a week ago.
Have you made any modifications or repairs?
I started putting stickers on it at some point. Other than that, I’ve had it repaired at least five times. The wheels keep breaking when they throw it on and off the plane. Luckily, Rimowa or the airlines have paid to have it repaired each time.
If someone were to offer you a brand new one to trade for your old one, would you take it?
No. If I get another suitcase, it’ll probably be a sports duffel, but that won’t be for a while because I’m emotionally attached to this one. Sometimes I’m embarrassed by the stickers and how juvenile they look, but it all reminds me of things I went through over the years. I’d be very sad if it was to break for good. It’s all interchangeable parts though, so hopefully I can keep repairing and using it for many years.