There are situations in which money changes hands in person as a gift, a payment, or a way to express gratitude. Japanese culture has strict protocols for such situations. For one, money is never presented without being enclosed in an envelope or some form of wrapping.
This woven silk case was made for this specific protocol. Bills are placed in a proper envelope of a certain size. The envelope slides into the case and it is tied shut so it can be carried inside one’s bag. When presenting the envelope, the case is unfolded and the envelope is taken out from its compartment, then handed to the recipient.
Although this case was made for a single purpose, only used every so often, it is made with the highest level of artistry. Over a century old, it is no longer bound by strict protocols and can be used for other occasions. These days a proper paper envelope is sufficient. It is such a joy to imagine how to use this case today.