Fukubukuro

Posted by Danny Choo On Sun 2008/01/06 18:00 JST In Japan
72 95455 ja

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?

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