What is a FUKUBUKURO?
Traditionally in Japan at New Year businesses bundle up their products and sell them in a 'lucky bag' (the kanji 福袋 (fukubukuro) literally means lucky bag). The 'lucky' part comes in as you can't actually see what's in the bag before you buy. Fun right? Oh, and there are bargains to be had too, as long as you are buying from places you love.
Is the Biku Fukubukuro like a traditional lucky bag?
Yes...and also no.
YES: There are a number of items at a discount bundle price presented in an actual bag!
NO: Before you buy you know what products are included in the bag and the savings you'll make. There are no end-of-line, random items in the bags. Everything is from current stock or made especially for the bags. This year you can even request certain colours to be included in the bag.
So, how do I grab one?
Click the link here and you can see what's available. Make sure to request your colours before you buy though, otherwise you'll receive a random selection.
Important info for UK customers.
Biku will cease shipping to the UK in 2021 due to changes in VAT after Brexit. The final day for UK purchases is Monday December 28th 2020. I hope to find a work around in the future, but for the time being it will be closed at the end of 2020.
When does the offer close?
Monday 4th January 2021 at midnight.
UK Fukubukuro will be shipped by 30th December, rest of the world and Japan shipping is on Tuesday 5th January 2021.
You might also enjoy...
Tell us about your work.
I create Japan-inspired artworks of pen and watercolor. I sell original artworks at gallery exhibitions and also offer my designs as prints, postcards, illustration books, and more.
Does your artwork have a story?
My illustrations express intersections.
Intersections of reality and fantasy, of familiar and unfamiliar, and intersections of identity.
As a foreigner living in Japan there can be a lot of focus placed on cultural identity, and the concept of “insider” versus “outsider.” Art is one place where there are no limits and we don’t have to be one thing or another. By creating a space between reality and imagination, between “inside” and “outside,” I feel I’ve found a space where I don’t have to define who I am. It is a place where viewers can find their own world as well and where everyone is welcome.
Do you have a business philosophy?
I believe that it is important to create from the heart. Both the artist and the viewer can feel a good vibe from artwork that is genuine. I will only put out a design that I’ve really put my love into and I have grown to trust that that energy will be conveyed naturally to my patrons as well.
As an individual creating art and running a business I also value keeping a personal touch with customers. I always add a handwritten note to my webstore orders, to let my customers know it really is me every time at the other end of their order and that I am filled with personal gratitude for their support.
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Art has always been something I’ve loved to do, so creating artwork has never been a question. Since moving to Tokyo I became aware of a wide variety of amazing opportunities and venues to connect with other artists, showcase art, and find new fans. As I had the chance to connect with more people I was motivated and encouraged to widen the variety of offerings using my designs, such as making smaller printed merchandise that was more accessible, especially for younger patrons. Now I have a range of merchandise for tabling events and webstore sales, and also continue to offer original artworks at galleries.
What sets your artwork apart from others?
My subject matter and art style fit into that “in between” space. My experience living in Japan has evolved both my identity and my art style and viewers seem to pick up on that. Both Japanese and non-Japanese patrons find my designs unique, yet oddly relatable. I love thinking that how I express my imagination and experience through artwork might help open up more flexibility for everyone who feels like they are in an “in between” space living in Tokyo.
I think original art is often forgotten as an option for gifts or personal memories. I hope that I can remind people of the option and help them find something special and unique.
Find out more about Erica Ward Illustration
Click the “Shop” link from the menu on my website to see my available products. For inquiries about illustration or commission artworks, feel free to drop me a message in the “Contact” section or on social media.
To hear about upcoming exhibitions, events, and to peruse my artwork, feel free to follow me on Instagram and Facebook.
Website Instagram Facebook
You might also enjoy...
We've all been there... searching the internet blindly to find that special gift for an important birthday, a special thank you, a pick-me-up for a friend, a graduation, Mothers' Day, Fathers' day...the list really goes on. We spend hours and hours scrolling for that 'special something'.
But why do we feel the need to gift that special something in the first place?
1. It shows the receiver that we know them.
2. It shows them we care enough to go the extra mile to find something they'll love.
3. It demonstrates our good taste.
4. We want the receiver to feel unique and valued.
5. We want to support small businesses and all they stand for.
6. We want to shop sustainably, buying items from brands that are not mass-produced.
7. We want a story. Of the hands who made it, the history, where the idea came from.
As a maker, I see the work that artisans put into their work and support them as much as I can. I appreciate that they do the same in return for my business.
I'm Victoria, the founder, designer and creator at Bikudesigns, a vintage kimono accessories brand in Tokyo, Japan.