No one puts the “fuku” in “fukubukuro” like Akihabara.

It’s New Year’s again in Japan, and that means it’s time for fukubukuro or “lucky bags” which are a random assortment of goods tucked away in a single bag. At least, it’s supposed to be random. These days most stores just put the same array of pleasantly discounted goods in a bag each year out of fear of upsetting their customers.

However, there’s one place where the true meaning of “lucky bags” still exists: the backstreet junk shops of Akihabara. This is where our veteran New Year gambler Mr. Sato always goes for the real action.

On this year’s visit, he found an especially interesting array of bags piled atop some spare lumber and milk crates. Some tempted Mr. Sato with promises of a used iOS device for 4,800 yen (US$44) and wireless headphones for 3,800 yen ($35). Even the 9,800-yen ($90) bag labeled as having a 20-inch TV was intriguing.

But in the end it was the “tablet lucky bag” for 9,800 yen ($90) that Mr. Sato decided to put his hard earned money on. It seemed a little too good to be true, and Mr. Sato had been burned by Akihabara vendors before, so he asked the older woman working at the crates, “Do these really have tablets?”

“Half are Apple and half are Android,” she replied, “the Apple ones are used and the Android ones are new.”

That sounded reasonably good so Mr. Sato picked one out of the pile and took it back to the office for a proper unbagging. 

This was to be an especially exciting bag with the promise of some kind of tablet rather than just the usual bunch of AOL CDs and iPhone4 accessories. Mr. Sato popped open the tape and took a peek, but they covered the contents with a yellow sheet of paper to deter lookie-loos. A clever gambit in this high-stakes lucky bag game.

He pulled back the paper and found a blank white box that was about the right size for a tablet. It looked like an iPad box but with no markings whatsoever. Did that mean it was an Android?

Our writer hurriedly opened the box like a boy on Christmas morning, only to reveal…

▼ “What the actual f%€k is this!?”

It was a tablet cover, and to add insult to injury there was no label to tell him what kind of tablet it would even fit on. “That old Akiba hag hoodwinked me,” thought Mr. Sato in a rage.

The rest of this “lucky” bag’s contents offered little comfort as well. There were some Nintendo DSi chargers, a memory card reader, and… Mr. Sato didn’t even have the heart to itemize the rest of it this year.

There was a DVD drive, which wouldn’t have been a bad get in the unlikely event that he had a PC in need of one.

But he didn’t…

It was about as bad as it could get, and Mr. Sato couldn’t figure out what went wrong. Did he miss some fine print that said tablet cases were also a possibility? Was this all just a big flimflam set up by con artists?

Then, from his pit of despair, he saw a strange orange package among the junk. Picking it up, our despondent reporter discovered that it was the promised tablet device!

▼ An Amazon Fire 7 to be exact

Not only that, but it was brand spanking new! Mr. Sato immediately felt guilty for calling that nice lady a hag and tried to undo the various curses and hexes he had put on her.

Yessir, it looked like 2020 was going to be a great year after all. But to find out just how great, he decided to pop online and see how much one of these bad boys retailed for

▼ Fire 7 16GB – 5,980 yen ($55)

Mr. Sato then immediately checked elsewhere on Amazon for a good book of hexes.

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