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Tea Leaves

In Japan, giving gifts can mean giving problems

Annual largesse stimulates social networking but fails to help the needy

Fruit is a popular item to send to friends and acquaintances during Japan's oseibo gift-giving season. (Photo by Michiyo Nakamoto).

When the doorbell rang for the third time on a chilly day in early December, I had an inkling it would be the deliveryman with yet another package. After all, it was the annual winter gift-giving season known as oseibo in Japan.

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