Wednesday, December 6, 2006

New Year's Bargain

This morning I was watching the news on TV and it featured year 2007's New Year's Bargain. New Year's Bargain in Japanese is usually called "hatsuuri" or "fukubukuro" and each year the department stores and malls turn into chaotic battlefields.

Races for fukubukuro - which literally translates to "luck bag" or "happiness bag" - is especially fierce because the contents of the bags are worth many times of the bag's price. For example, the fashion fukubukuro the news showed this morning was 8,400 yen (tax included; about US$75 more or less) but contained items worth 6 times. Fukubukuro for clothing is probably the most famous, but the variations range from clothing to food, jewelry, games, food to travel plans and the price also range from a couple thousand yen to millions. But naturally the number of bags prepared are limited so men and women of all generations go pretty wild to win the one they want.

The fun part of fukubukuro apart from dashing for your target is that you don't know what's inside it. It's a tiny gamble in a sense because you can pay Y2,000 for a bag and get Y10,000 worth of clothes that you like, or get something worth the same price but not your taste. But this is only the traditional fukubukuro. Sadly or fortunately, many many places started to disclose the contents of the bags in the past several years. Even though they don't show everything in the bag they still do say "this bag contains something similar to these" showing samples. Business-wise I guess that's more effective, but hey, where's the thrill?

Having complained a bit though, I can't wait to get at least one bag for myself.

BTW speaking about clothes, today's update for
Japan Mode is Ladies Fashion Winter 2006. Those interested in girl's fashion in Japan do come have a look! (I couldn't fetch pix today but will post some in the following days... hopefully)

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