This blog is for family and friends, to share my feelings and photos with and for myself, to support my fading memory and improve my Japanese. I intend to do some writing in kanji, but am not getting very far without a Japanese computer. So for the moment I say "konnichi wa". Aisatsu dake - just saying hello.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Fukubukuro 福袋

One of the things that never cease to amaze me: The New Year's shopping frenzy. When we first got here we were told that Japanese like to start the new year fresh. With a clean house, car and body and with new clothes to wear from day one. There was a time that the husband bought an outrageously expensive silken kimono for his wife every year just for this event and I even remember some people who used to keep this tradition up, but by now those numbers have dwindled sharply. Understandable. However, the 福袋 (fukubukuro) is still as popular as ever. The "happy bags" are sold for various prices, usually between 2000 and 15.000 Japanese yen, or 15 - 120 Euro. They are closed and the items inside cannot be seen, felt, tried on or returned. So what you buy is a big surprise! The clothing stores make bags for sizes S, M, and L and mark them as for ladies or men, boys or girls. And that is it. How could anybody spend so much money on something like that? The chance that you like what you get is so small. Don't worry, my friends tell me. They make good presents. Yes, that is something one definitely needs in this society. But that is another story.

The bags used to be all white; pure and pristine

But now many are decorated and colour-coded, as in this accessory store

Or made of natural materials, in tune with the shop's merchandise

Colourful for kids





Men and Ladies

That temptation to sneak a peek... !


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