As prescribed by Paulina Constancia

Totally TOKYO 6: Lucky Box

Welcome to Day 6 of Totally TOKYO! Today I bring you something I have never encountered in any other city I’ve visited… the Lucky Box.
Here’s how it works – 
1. Pay price
2. Open LUCKY Box
3. See Surprise
4. Throw Garbage in Recycling bins provided
5. Go home feeling lucky that you took a chance, i guess 
(didn’t try it myself) However, I have taken a photo of a sample for you to see..
Photography by Michael Wortman
“To Try or Not to Try”
that is the question on the minds of passers by
Two Young Japanese contemplating on whether 
or not they will try their luck.
Takeshita Street, Tokyo
Photography by Michael Wortman
Inside the lucky Box – SAMPLE
Takeshita Street, Tokyo
Photography by Michael Wortman
When I asked my Japanese friend Misa to tell me more about the LUCKY BOX, she said that this is an offspring of the Fukubukuro New Year’s custom in Tokyo. And as I researched more about this mystery bag custom, there is no doubt in my mind that the Lucky Box evolved from it.
Example of Fukubukuro 
Take a moment to learn more about this interesting Japanese custom: Fukubukuro (福袋 lucky bag, mystery bag) is a Japanese New Year’s Day custom where merchants make grab bags filled with unknown random contents and sell them for a substantial discount, usually 50% or more off the list price of the items contained within. The low prices are usually done to attract customers to shop at that store during the new year. The term is formed from Japanese fuku (福, good fortune/luck) and fukuro (袋, bag). The change of fukuro to bukuro is the phenomenon known as rendaku. The fuku comes from the Japanese saying that “there is fortune in leftovers” (残り物には福がある).
Popular stores’ fukubukuro usually are snapped up quickly by eager customers, with some stores having long lines snake around city blocks hours before the store opens on New Year’s Day. Fukubukuro are an easy way for stores to unload excess and unwanted merchandise from the previous year, due to a Japanese superstition that one must not start the New Year with unwanted trash from the previous year and start clean. Nowadays, some fukubukuro are pushed as a lavish New Year’s event, where the contents are revealed beforehand, but this practice is criticized as just a renaming of selling things as sets.
Fukubukuro was invented by Ginza Matsuya Department Store in late Meiji period and has since spread to most retailers. The custom has spread to other cultures; for example, in the Honolulu shopping center Ala Moana Center, several stores adopted in this tradition in 2004. Many Sanrio Stores in the United States often adopt this tradition as well.
Read more on Wikipedia
Info and Images from 

Excerpts from : ‘Fukubukuro’ hunters rise early to bag their prey at nation’s shops BY KAZUAKI NAGATA, Japan Times

“With the new year comes the season of shopping extravaganzas. Shoppers in Tokyo were lining up Wednesday to pounce on “fukubukuro” (lucky bags) as soon as the stores opened. Customarily, all manner of shops from department stores, grocers, electronics retailers to supermarkets, sell lucky bags on their first day of business in the new year.
The Ginza shopping district saw a mass of lucky-bag hunters.At 9 a.m. long lines of people on Ginza Dori were braving the chilly morning air to get first crack at the street’s close-packed shops and department stores.
At the Matsuya department store, a line of some 6,700 people extended about two blocks. The sections inside the store had prepared 30,000 bags.
One woman at the front of the line said she had arrived with her family from Chiba Prefecture at around 4 p.m. the day before.”  
Share this man’s excitement as he opens his  first-ever FUKUBUKURO
Click here to watch video
See more photos of FUKUBUKURO Frenzy in Tokyo
Watch video of Fukubukuro frenzy
“Probably some of the best things that have ever happened to you in life, happened because you said yes to something. Otherwise things just sort of stay the same.” 
― Danny Wallace, Yes Man

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This entry was posted on September 28, 2013 by in Care, Communicate and tagged , .
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