In this day and age, a Warashibe Choja-esque (Straw Millionaire) episode – where a peasant makes a series of trades, starting with a piece of straw, to eventually becoming wealthy – would be deemed unimaginable.
But the events in this Japanese folk tale unexpectedly came to pass in a modern day setting — at the Comiket 83 this past weekend.
This time, of course, the trade did not start with a straw stalk, and there weren’t too many successive trades. It started with a blood donation instead.
As most of you are aware, otakus that frequent the Comiket at the Tokyo Big Sight would do anything to possess the rarest of items. That would include paying a high sum of money for a limited edition poster which can be obtained for free.
At the event, the Japanese Red Cross Society held a blood donation drive where they offered a free poster in exchange for a 400 ml of blood. The prints featured characters from Minato Soft, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, AQUAPLUS and Overdrive.
Only 3000 posters were given by the organization. So the disappointed otakus who failed at getting the Nanoha poster saw their chance at obtaining it in an online auction. The bid closed at an overwhelming price of 27,500 JPY (316 USD).
So if you want to become a modern age Warashibe Choja, trade your blood for a free limited edition poster at the next Comiket (if’ they’re doing it again) and start your own Straw Millionaire legend from there.