What happened to the cute contents we usually look forward to receiving every year?

One of the most popular fukubukuro lucky bags in Japan isn’t a bag at all — it’s a can known as “Fukukan” (“lucky can”) and it comes from the hugely popular retail chain Muji.

Once only available by lining up in stores, the cans are now sold via advance online application with store pick-up to avoid congestion during the pandemic, and as the cans are only made in limited numbers, not all applications are successful.

Our reporter Ahiruneko, however, received an email notifying him that both his applications were successful, so after punching the air in delight, he popped out of the office to pick up two 2,022-yen (US$17.39) Fukukans, returning a short time later to share their contents with us all.

▼ Last year’s fukukan contained a handpainted daruma…

▼ …and two gorgeous stainless steel “lucky bookmarks”, so Ahiruneko couldn’t wait to see what was in this year’s can.

After returning to the office, Ahiruneko slowly pulled the lid back on one of this year’s cans, and…

…tipped the contents out, to reveal the following items:

  • A 2,022 yen Muji Gift Card
  • A Talisman (One out of 50 types)

Ahiruneko’s first reaction was…”Huh?!”, followed by an extra shake of the can to make sure this was all he’d received. Sure enough, there was nothing else in the can, and though Ahiruneko was happy to score the gift card, which is valid for three years and can be charged and used repeatedly…

▼ …the handmade talisman seemed a little lonely on its own.

He couldn’t fault the talisman itself, which was named the “Fortune Beckoning Tiger“, as a reference to Japan’s lucky beckoning cats, and created by a craftsman in Seto City, Aichi Prefecture.

However, Ahiruneko just couldn’t shake the feeling of “Is this all…?” as he looked at his 2,022-yen purchase. Not only were the contents less bountiful than last year, but the can itself had changed as well.

For the past six or so years, these cans have come with plastic lids so you could reuse them to store items throughout the year. However, once you pull the lid on this year’s can, there’s no replacing it, as it’s designed to be discarded.

While the contents of the lucky cans, which always pay homage to the new zodiac year, have changed slightly over the years, the quality has always remained high, in keeping with the brand’s simple-yet-sleek image. This year’s contents appeared to be a step-down in quality, though, plus there was only one of them instead of three, which wasn’t what our Muji fan was expecting.

▼ At least Ahiruneko bought two Fukukan, so his beckoning tiger could be joined by this “Tiger Child” from Shinshiro City in Aichi Prefecture.

▼ But that just meant there was more than one face that looked sad for Ahiruneko.

Our reporter didn’t want to seem ungrateful for his presents, but as a true fan of Muji, he had to admit he was a little disappointed by their New Year’s offering this year.

Oh well, there’s always next year, and until then there’s one thing we know we won’t be complaining about — Muji’s 23 different cakes.

Photos: ©SoraNews24
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