Saturday, December 31, 2005

Grab that lucky bag!

A New Year's tradition at Japanese department stores is the fukubukuro, literally "lucky bag." Throngs of shoppers scramble madly for these bags, sold to commemorate the first day of business of the new year. The reason for the excitement is that although the bag's contents are not marked, fukubukuro are priced at a deep discount compared to what the items inside would normally sell for.

In other words, you may not need a purple cashmere scarf, but if find one in your lucky bag, you can rest assured that you got it at an incredible bargain.

In the photo below, an employee of Tsuruya Department Store in Kumamoto City is showing some of the 29,000 fukubukuro--that's right, 29,000 of 'em--being readied for the New Year's Day sale. The dog photos indicate that the store will also be selling live puppies by raffle. Holders of the winning tickets get to buy the normally expensive breeds at a special low price.

—Mellow Monk

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