You can’t go wrong buying a random assortment of flawed seafood through the mail.

For whatever reason certain, products are improperly crafted, grown, or manufactured to the point that they are unfit for regular sale. In Japanese these are listed as “wakeari shohin” or “imperfect goods.”

Our writer Ahiruneko is a connoisseur of such merchandise and frequently scours the world’s largest marketplace, Amazon, for wakeari shohin and the bargains that come with them. Generally, Amazon has a picture of the item so that potential buyers can see just how “imperfect” the object up for grabs is. However, one day he spotted something very unusual. Instead of a photo the thumbnail only had text that read, “Mystery Imperfect Seafood Lucky Bag.”


Lucky Bags (fukubukuro) are packages that contain many random items, usually at a reduced cost. They are typically sold around the New Year’s holiday, but since imperfection never rests, it appears this one can be found all year long.

Ahiruneko quickly clicked on the link and read more about the item. However, this was truly a lucky bag in the sense that they don’t say what you will get. The only promise they make is that there will definitely be crabs inside.

That was enough for Ahiruneko to take the plunge and pay 3,222 yen (US$30) for a spin of the wheel. After the order was placed, he anxiously waited a couple days until this came in the mail.

He eyed the box dreaming of what could be inside. He recalled what the website said:

  • 5 to 7 items will be inside
  • There is not only seafood
  • Items have imperfections
  • They are imperfect but they are the same goods that popular restaurants buy for their meals

It sounded like this could go either way, but Ahiruneko was through traveling down memory lane. It was time to unbox!

Right away he could see a bright bag of steamed buns filled with crab. Next to those were a tray of crab legs and claws. And there was even more underneath!

Spreading his bounty out on the table, his delivery consisted of:

10 boiled snow crab legs…

…five snow crab claws…

…four crab-filled dumplings…

…a pack of soy sauce flavored fish (capelin)…

…a pack of white miso flavored fish (capelin)…

…and 18 pork gyoza.

Ahiruneko was shocked. This turned out to be much more than he had dreamed he would ever get from the mystery box, since half of his haul was crab!

He immediately started thawing out the boiled snow crab legs. Rather than the A-grade dog food filler he was afraid might come, the legs looked fresh, succulent, and downright luxurious!

In fact they were more fancy than he was used to eating and wasn’t really sure what the proper, dignified way to consume them was, so he settled on this style.

The legs were great and would have gone well chopped up in a salad or pasta, but he unconsciously ate the whole pack before that thought was finished. It was a lot of food though, and he thought chances are the expiration date would be very near.

However, it turned out Ahiruneko had some time to enjoy each item without rushing…but, eh, what’s a pack of crab dumplings going to hurt!

The steamed crab buns were also tender and had a pleasant aroma while eating.

Since he received six items, Ahiruneko estimated each one at about 540 yen ($5) which wasn’t bad at all, especially with the crab included.

As for the imperfections…he honestly couldn’t see anything wrong with them, and he hasn’t gotten violently ill. So there must have been something so minutely wrong with these items that it would escape the eye of anyone but industry experts.

This truly was a lucky bag for Ahiruneko, but considering these are imperfect items, it is very uncertain whether the same items would arrive again. On the other hand, his lucky bag might not even have hit the ceiling on what you could get.

So for those who enjoy both the thrill of gambling with the deliciousness of seafood, there is no better purchase than the Mystery Imperfect Seafood Lucky Bag available from Kurume Line through Amazon Japan.

Source: Amazon/Kurume Line Mystery Fukubukuro
Images: RocketNews24 (unless otherwise noted)
[ Read in Japanese ]