Fukubukuro

Me: Happy New Year, Japan.

Japan: Thanks. Did you get a fukubukuro?

Me: A what?

Japan: A fukubukuro. It means “lucky bag”. Did you get one?

Me: No, I didn’t.

Japan: You missed out. New Year week is fukubukuro time. Lots of my shops and department stores sell bags of discounted items on New Year’s Day.

Me: And what’s inside these “lucky bags”?

Japan: I don’t know.

Me: You don’t know?

Japan: No. Nobody knows.

Me: Why does nobody know?

Japan: Because it’s a fukubukuro. There are lots of different items inside but you don’t what exactly. The bag is sealed.

Me: So, people go to a shop or department store and buy a bag full of random stuff without knowing what’s inside it?

Japan: Exactly. There might be something expensive in there. You might be lucky. You never know.

Me: What if there isn’t?

Japan: Well, don’t worry. Everything inside the bag will be at a huge discount – 60%, 70%, maybe more.

Me: But I could save 100%.

Japan: How!?

Me: Buy nothing.

Japan: But then you wouldn’t be lucky.

Me: Why are shops and department stores selling bags full of stuff for 70% less than normal anyway?

Japan: It’s New Year. They need to get rid of all the old stuff. It’s sales time.

Me: What if you don’t like some of the stuff that’s inside one of these luckybags?

Japan: Give some of it to a friend?

Me: What if they don’t like it?

Japan: Erm, they’d throw it away, I guess.

Me: What if you don’t have a friend that wants any of this stuff?

Japan: Erm, you could throw it away, I guess.

Me: What would the shop or department store do with all this stuff if they didn’t stick it all in sealed bags and hawk it as “lucky”?

Japan: Erm, they’d throw it away, I guess.

Me: Would that cost them money.

Japan: Probably, yeah.

Me: Is this just a fantastic sales ploy that could realistically be called, “Redistribution of Shit Nobody Wants Prior to Finding Its Way into Landfill In Order To Make or Save Money”?

Japan: …

Me: …?

Japan: No. It’s a lucky bag.

Me: So, can I buy one?

Japan: No.

Me: Why not?

Japan: They’ve sold out.

Me: How do you know?

Japan: Because it’s after New Year’s Day.

Me: Do they all sell out on New Year’s Day.

Japan: Of course. People queue up for these things.

Me: People queue up on New Year’s Day to buy a bag of random unknown stuff that could be nice or could be useless?

Japan: No. People queue up to buy a bag of something lucky.

Me: I admire your optimism.

Japan: Thanks.

Me: And am amazed by your twisted logic and ability to blindly sell arbitrary things to your general public on a national holiday. Annually.

Japan: Cheers. Happy 2014.

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January 8, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized.

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