Strange occurrence has residents and officials baffled.

In a residential area of Asahi Ward in Osaka City, a series of peculiar incidents has been occurring. Residents have been opening their mailboxes to find envelopes filled with cash.

According to reports, the “mystery money” first appeared at the end of October, when one resident opened an unmarked brown envelope that had been left in their postbox. Soon after, other residents in the neighbourhood began receiving similar brown envelopes, with the surprise cash gifts popping up through November and right up until early December.

▼ Osaka’s Asahi Ward

The mysterious cash deliveries were concentrated on one street in the area, with money appearing in postboxes along both sides of the narrow street. The envelopes contained varying amounts of cash, from several thousand yen to over 10,000 yen (US$87.59). One resident said they received an envelope containing one 10,000-yen note and three 1,000-yen notes, amounting to a cash present of 13,000 yen (US$113.86).

▼ Proof that money grows in letterboxes!

The total amount of money given away in this surprise cash bonanza came to over 200,000 yen ($1,751.81), and that’s just what’s been confirmed by residents who phoned the police about it. According to police, it’s perfectly legal for residents to use the money that was given to them without reporting it, but some residents say that although they were grateful for the cash boost, they were uncomfortable about receiving it so reported it to the authorities.

Both residents and authorities have no idea where the money came from, or why it suddenly appeared in letterboxes in this particular neighbourhood. People online, however, had a go at solving the mystery, saying:

“Could it be Santa?”
“Santa sure is generous in Osaka!”
“I hope it’s not criminal money…”
“Yakuza money laundering? And if you use it you’ll be blackmailed?”
“I bet it was an annoying YouTuber doing it for a reaction video.”
“Sad none of these houses had surveillance cameras. Maybe that’s why this street was chosen?”

Despite all the theories, we may never know the true answer to this puzzling mystery. Judging from our own experience of receiving a cash gift from a random stranger, sometimes it’s impossible to know exactly why these things happen.

Given the cash was distributed close to Christmas, though, there is a chance that Japan’s own pseudo-Santa Claus, Tiger Mask, may have had something to do with it.

Source: Abema Times via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso 

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