New Year…New You?

The new year is approaching, and you know what that means: it’s time to spend too much money on fukuburo, or lucky bags full of mystery items!

But you have to gamble responsibly. Not all lucky bags are built the same, and you always run the risk of spending your hard-earned money on a bag that doesn’t yield anything worth what you dropped on it. The lucky bag from Birth Japan, though, has an 85-percent satisfaction rating among its customers, which our Japanese-language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma can attest to, having been immensely satisfied with his bags for three years in a row.

This year’s bag, which retails for 9,777 yen (US$72), is reported to be worth 38,000 yen! You can even choose some of the items you want to receive in it, so you know you’re at least going to get something you like. Plus, their customer service is amazing. They’ve been chosen as a Rakuten “Excellent Shop of the Month” multiple times. Oh, did we forget to mention? Birth Japan is a shop that exclusively sells gangster fashion.

Of course, if you’re a yanki, or delinquent, you probably already know this, since you’ve already got your own “Ora Ora Cusotmizable Lucky Bag (5-piece set).” But if you haven’t yet, let’s enjoy the unveiling of the lucky bag with Masanuki. First up inside the bag was…

A box with the “Birth Japan” logo on it!

Inside the box was…



Oh wait…Phew! It was just a catalog of Birth Japan’s clothes called Kachi-Komi, but Masanuki couldn’t stop his hands from shaking after he opened it. The model they chose to pose on the cover scared the pants off him–he looked like he was born from demons. Of course, a true gangster wouldn’t bat an eye. Masanuki was fine, really. He was just startled.

After pulling himself together, he reached for the next item, a pair of badass sunglasses, the kind that instantly increase your intimidation factor.

Next was a bracelet, which Masanuki thought looked like Buddhist prayer beads. According to the website, “This design, which has both delicacy and coarseness, is the perfect accessory for making you look strong.” All Masanuki had to do was put it on and all the gangsters would know not to mess with him, he figured.

As soon as he pulled out the “Snake and Cross Geki Mote Necklace” (roughly translated as “Super Sexy Snake and Cross Necklace”), Masanuki knew it was something he would keep for life. Projecting danger from the very center of your chest is essential for any true gangster. If you’re not sure what to wear, just pick something gaudy to hang around your neck. Then your badassery should be clear to anyone.

Just like every year, the box also included a heartfelt letter from Ms. Haruka Noguchi, who packed and processed his box…

“Dear customer,

Thank you very much for purchasing our product. My name is Noguchi and I was in charge of processing and shipping this order. As much as possible we try to send prompt responses, but did you find that our response was slow or that it inconvenienced you? Were there any defects, mistakes, or missing items in the products or packaging? If there is anything wrong, no matter how trivial it might seem, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our staff will continue to work hard together so that we can bring smiling faces and satisfaction to our customers through our products. Thank you for your continued support.”

There was also  the customary but considerably more aggressive letter expressing the same sentiments from the scary-looking Director Ishikawa.

▼ Ishikawa concludes his letter with, “Technically speaking, I should come to you myself to say hello and express my thanks, but since I’m busy I decided to write you a letter instead.”
“Please don’t,” Masanuki begged.

And now for the main event, the reason to buy this lucky bag: the top and pants. Every year they’ve offered the option of a tracksuit combo or a denim set. Masanuki has always picked the tracksuit set, so for 2023, he decided to try the jeans. What he got was…

A long-sleeved shirt from the most nefarious outlaw brand in history, Blood Money Tokyo, and a pair of flashy, embroidered jeans from Clown Holder! They were both “freakin’ nuts”, in Masanuki’s words.

The designs on the shirt and the jeans were intense. No matter how pure of heart you are, if you wore both, you would instantly start putting off the aura of an underground fighting ring legend.

Therefore, putting this outfit on required a certain degree of courage. You can’t simply wear it; not, at least, without being prepared to “take care” of someone–or to be ready to defend yourself against being “taken care of”. Well…if you’ve purchased it, you’re likely already prepared.

Masanuki gathered his courage and pulled on the most gangster outfit he’d seen since last year’s bag.

At first glance, he might just look like the familiar neighborhood hoodlum who sells takoyaki at the street food stall, but it’s a fact that as soon as Masanuki put his arms through the sleeves, he began to feel the customary eternal rage of a yanki. It was as if his blood began to boil, and the heat of his newfound, transcendental strength burned through him. This shirt would be more than enough to keep him warm this winter.

The combination of the long-sleeved shirt and the jeans was absolutely perfect. The necklace and the bracelet added a nice extra touch, the perfect glare (not a sparkle or a dazzle, but a glare!). This outfit was an excellent Japanese delinquent starter kit.

If you’ve got an inner yanki and you’re ready to embrace it, consider buying this 5-piece set. If you want to spoil your dangerous side even more, then you can add to your outfit with a second bag, and choose the tracksuit set. Just be prepared to be stopped by the police far more often than you used to.

What’s more, this outfit is great for all ages, so if you’re looking for a gift for your boss, who’s always looking out for you, this is a really great option. With the boss looking so snappy, your headquarters–er, office–will tone up, too.

Check out Birth Japan’s lucky bag if you need a soul awakening, and while you’re at it, shop Birth Japan’s “18th Year of Reflection after the Manager Was Arrested” sale. Plus, don’t forget to check out the best place to shop in-person for yanki fashion: Asahiya!

There’s no better time than the New Year to embrace your true self.

Images © SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]