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Piece of Luck

In April 2003, in a bid to bring happiness and good luck to his country in a time of hardship and misery, a resourceful Japanese businessman named Koji Fujii began marketing curious lucky charms.

"Everybody wants to have a little piece of luck for himself, especially nowadays," Fujii declared. "At the moment the only news people hear is bad. From a poor economy, to scandals in politics and war."

The little piece of luck on offer? A three-inch gold-plated lump of human excrement.

Anyone, Fujii explained, would be happy to receive a "little piece of poo" as a gift. "People like products that are humorous and look nice."

Fujii's inspiration? The words for "luck" (koun) and "poo" (unko) are similar in Japanese.

[Update: More than two million charms have now been sold, many with funny faces painted on them.]

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