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Fukubukuro

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Sun 2008/01/06 18:00 JST
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A "Fukubukuro" [福袋[ふくぶくろ]] is a bag full of goodies that goes on sale all over Japan from the 1st of January. "Fuku" means "fortune" and "Bukuro" (pronounced "Fukuro" on its own) means "bag."
15000 people queued up outside a department store in Ikebukuro to get their hands on one.

The tradition of the Fukubukuro goes back to the late Meiji period where it was invented by the Matsuzakaya department store in Ginza (source.)

The bag is sealed and the person buying one doesn't know whats inside. Its usually filled with stuff that the shop couldn't get rid of the previous year - but nobody would buy them if they were called "Shite-we-couldnt-get-rid-of-bag." So what store owners do is put a highly valued item inside some of the bags - brand name items which make some of the bags worth buying.

There have been spinoff bags called Fukoubukuro [不幸袋[ふこうぶくろ]] meaning "bag of misfortune" where the contents are literlly full of shite - example here ^^;

Are you a new years sale junkie? Did you buy anything nice or end up with a load of crap?

Tokyo · CEO Mirai Inc
http://www.dannychoo.com/profile

Director for Culture Japan. Creator of Mirai Suenaga. Member of the Japanese governments METI CIIC.
経済産業省クリエイティブ産業国際展開懇談会委員。
テレビ番組カルチャージャパンのディレクターと司会。
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