Fukubukuro, daruma

OJ: hey what is that japanese New Years lucky bag word?
BRAIN: lucky bag word?!
OJ: nevermind google search helped me
OJ: fukubukuro

Fukubukuro, or “Mystery Bag,” is a Japanese New Year’s Day tradition during which merchants sell sealed bags of various items at a substantial discount, often as high as 50%. Shoppers may get some great deals on the contents of these bags – even if they don’t know what exactly they’re buying.

BRAIN: oh right
BRAIN: like a grab bag
OJ: yeah
BRAIN: we have that at Obon
BRAIN: except since it’s so americanized I never knew the japanese name for it… (plus I hadn’t done it for new years)
OJ: there is something in singapore called a “lucky dip”
OJ: which is a raffle thing
OJ: you buy a ticket (5 or 50 or whatever dollars), get a draw and a number

OJ: Japan celebrates NY on 1/1 correct?
BRAIN: yes
BRAIN: you have to clean your house
BRAIN: and have friends over
BRAIN: with a lot of food available
BRAIN: generally there’s some enka awards on TV

OJ: interesting, so similar to some of the chinese traditions for lunar new year
BRAIN: what happens for that?
OJ: lots of diff traditions depending on rural village
OJ: common ones include: big meal, or vegetarian meal
OJ: clean house
OJ: pay off debts
OJ: eat oranges or pineapples (pun on words)
OJ: “lucky money” / “red envelopes” from married people to kids (nieces/nephews also)

BRAIN: related: I found out recently what you do with your daruma after the eyes are filled in – you burn it at the temple at the end of the year
OJ: oh… interesting
OJ: i want a Hello Kitty daruma but i won’t fill it in or burn it
OJ: unless hmm, i had extras
BRAIN: so what, she’d just be eyeless forever?
OJ: yah
BRAIN: so so sad
OJ: well u fill in one eye?
OJ: or you hae one with both, but don’t make a wish
BRAIN: what!
BRAIN: a free ride for HK daruma?!
BRAIN: wtf, that’s even worse!
BRAIN: you commie!