It’s convenient relief.

Last year Japan saw the start of an ongoing blitz of price increases for just about anything and yet according to a recent survey by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, real wages were down in November 2023 by 2.5 percent compared to the previous year. It’s a grim state of economic affairs, and at times like this, it’s important to look for deals wherever they can be found.

One beacon of light during these hard times has been Lawson convenience stores. Exactly one year ago, they released a line of 12 popular products throughout the month of February with a 47-percent increase in volume at no extra charge. This year, they’re back with another round of their Morisugi Challenge (“Too Much Challenge”) and unleashing a bunch of quantity-enhanced foods, starting on 5 February.

The first full week of February marks the return of the Morisugi! Premium Roll Cake. Lawson roll cakes are normally famous for a rather ridiculous amount of cream in the center, but now there’s 47 percent more cream for the same 205 yen (US$1.38) a normal Premium Roll Cake costs.


It will be joined by the Morisugi! Gold Shari Onigiri which is a rice ball with yuzu kosho citrus chili paste and kelp seasoning plus 47 percent more scallops than usual size for the same 297 yen ($2.00). There’s also the Morisugi! Egg Sandwich, which costs 289 yen ($1.94) and comes with a free additional half-sandwich.

Then you got your Morisugi! Fluffy Coppe with Aomori Apple & Custard that’s been given a weight boost of 47 percent at the same 160 yen ($1.08) price. A 47-percent weight boost has also been given to the hugely popular Karaage-kun fried chicken nuggets with the Dekaraage-kun 4 Types Mix, containing a Regular, Red, Hokkaido Cheese, and Refreshing Lemon flavored piece of chicken for 238 yen ($1.60).

Drinks are joining in the fun with the 47-percent larger Morisugi! Mega Hot Cafe Latte for 260 yen ($1.75), which I assume is mega-sized rather than mega-hot because that would be dangerous. It’s joined by the Uchi Cafe Tapioca Milk Tea with More Tapioca for the same 238 yen ($1.60).

Bags of shredded dried squid, dried sausage, and chocolates with peanuts are all given a 47-percent weight increase for no additional charge.

And all that is just in the first week! Coming in the following week is the Morisugi! Basuchee: Basque Cheesecake for 265 yen ($1.78) with a 47-percent longer diameter. Along with that is the Morisugi! Japanese Tuna Mayonnaise Onigiri with 47 percent more of everything for the same 135 yen ($0.91).

There’s also the Morisugi! Juicy Ham Sandwich with an additional half-sandwich but no additional charge to its 333 yen ($2.24) price. Or you could just carbo-load 47 percent more with the Morisugi! Yakisoba Bread for just 171 yen ($1.15).

Calculating 47 percent of something can be difficult, so when it comes to the Katsu Curry Supervised by Shinjuku Nakamuraya they just said to heck with it and tossed on an additional fried pork cutlet for the same price of 646 yen ($4.35).

And as another Morisugi Challenge winds down, in the last full week of February we’ll be greeted with a Morisugi! Rich Custard Choux and Morisugi! Chashu Pork Mayonnaise Onigiri with 47 percent additional weights for 173 yen ($1.16) and 160 yen ($1.08) respectively. There will also be a Morisugi! Ham Katsu Sandwich with 47 percent more fried ham cutlet for 354 yen ($2.38) and a 47 percent larger Morisugi! Arabiki Pork Frank Roll for 181 yen ($1.22).

Although Lawson never explicitly says it, the 47 percent appears to be an homage to the 47 prefectures of Japan, where these items are available. And in addition to offering financial relief to snackers, Lawson is using this campaign to give additional relief to by donating a portion of money from each item sold to local governments affected by the earthquake on New Year’s Day.

It would seem that their lineup of plus-sized products is also growing by roughly 47 percent compared to last year (technically, it was 58 percent because I’m the kind of nerd who bothers to check this stuff). So, perhaps we can look forward to an even bigger Morisugi! Challenge next year – maybe selling some tasteless gum with 47 percent less taste.

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