After patenting this Ark bag Cult Gaia was criticised for claiming ownership over the design. According to critics, the origin of the design could be traced back to Japan. But can it? The majority of vintage bags with a similar design to the Cult Gaia bag come from the 1960s and 1970s. During this period the West experienced a revival of Japonism. There are scattered references to these bags being bought or made in Italy and other examples have been found stamped with ‘Made in Taiwan’. So although the production of bamboo bags is a centuries-old Japanese tradition, it cannot be said with certainty that this design is of Japanese origin.