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Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010

Anonymous Xmas gifts in Fukuoka

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) A yearend event featuring anonymous gift exchanges using a special locker has developed into a heart-warming part of Christmas in Fukuoka.

News photo
Holiday warmth: A special locker to exchange Christmas gifts among people who don't know each other has been set up in the IMS commercial complex in Fukuoka. KYODO PHOTO

Participants bring a present with a message card to the IMS commercial complex and ask an attendant dressed as Santa Claus or one of his helpers to open the locker. They pick up a present somebody else left and drop off their own.

The organizer asked well-known art director Chie Morimoto to produce the gift exchange out of the hope it would help people — in particular those heavily into e-mail and digital devices — to feel a connection with others in the real world.

Kumiko Araki, a 35-year-old former children's nurse, said she was "really excited" when she opened the locker.

The event runs through Dec. 25. Participants are asked to prepare gifts in the ¥1,000 to ¥3,000 range.

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