It’s terror-inducin’ good!
Kimiko Nishimoto is a master at photoshopping herself into cute and hilarious situations.
Become part of the straw hat crew on your own awesome card.
If you thought having to send a couple of Christmas cards to close friends and far-flung cousins during the holidays was annoying, wait til you get a load of the nengajo (New Year’s card) tradition here in Japan. Not only is one obligated to send nengajo to family and friends, but you’re also obligated to send them to co-workers, bosses, anyone who regularly provides you a service, anyone whom you regularly provide a service to, your landlord, your mother’s landlord, Crazy Uncle Jeb over at the asylum, the stray cats in your neighborhood, and your mortal enemy (just to let him know you’ve got your eyes on him).
In fact, you’ve gotta send these things to so many people, it’s not uncommon to drop by the Japan Post near you and see people purchasing stacks of hundreds of these things. And unless, like me, you avoid any and all human contact, you’ll probably also come home one winter day to find your mailbox stuffed to the brim with the things. So, given their ubiquity, it’s no surprise that Japan Post (who prints and distributes loads of nengajo every year through both their yubin-nenga.jp website and physical post office locations), occasionally tries to mix it up with some very nontraditional designs.
This year, bizarrely, the running theme seems to be… moe. As in those super-cute anime girls and dreamy, slightly effeminate anime guys who are all the rage in Japan.
Last winter, while people in Japan were getting ready to send their nengajo (New Year greeting cards) to family and friends, Japan Post did something amazing. Instead of releasing just any ol’ stamp for the Year of the Sheep in 2015, they made what was obviously a continuation of the stamp from 12 years prior. You see, in 2003, there was a darling sheep knitting a scarf on one of their special stamps, and in 2015 that same sheep was proudly wearing the finished product.
The story was a nice, feel-good moment for many, and people starting wondering whether this was a one-time occurrence or if Japan Post was going to continue this “stamp story” two years in a row. We are happy to say that they appear to be starting a tradition, as the Year of the Monkey is also getting an adorable back-story!
All through high school and for the first part of college, I didn’t use Microsoft Word, or any dedicated word processing software, for that matter, to write my reports. Instead, I did everything using Lotus 1-2-3, a spreadsheet program.
While that might sound incredibly inconvenient, it actually wasn’t too bad. Having a dad who’s an accountant and was well-versed in the program was a big help, but once I got the hang of it, I could produce written reports just about as easily as my Word-equipped classmates.
Still, my spreadsheet skills aren’t in the same league as Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi, who’s been making beautiful landscapes and portraits with Microsoft Excel for years, including a New Year’s card that’s just as cute as any made with paint and brush.
Nengajo, or New Year’s greeting cards, are a ubiquitous part of the end-of-year season in Japan. Much like Christmas cards in the west, nengajo are sent to family and friends to update them on what you’ve been up to that year. In fact, there are so many nengajo sent at the end of the year that post offices in Japan have to employ students as temporary staff to make sure they meet the delivery deadline of January 1. While there are plenty of preprinted cards available from stationery shops, many people opt to make their own, personalised cards. A nice touch, but results may vary depending on the artistic skills (and sense of humour) of the postcard sender! To show you what we mean, we’ve put together a little list of the best of this year’s nengajo. Some of them are genuinely impressive, while others would make us cringe if the neighbours saw ’em!
Meeeeh! Baaah! In Japan, it’s tradition to send friends and family New Year’s postcards called nengajo, thanking them for everything from the year before and wishing them well in the year to come. The cards often feature the animal of the new year’s zodiac; if you haven’t guessed yet, 2015 is the Year of the Sheep.
While usually sent in the mail, with the onset of the digital age, many people are turning to the non-traditional medium of social networking to deliver their nengajo. This year, some ever-creative manga artists took to Twitter to share their hand-drawn New Year’s greetings with fans around the world. Join us after the jump for a look at the best.
With just two weeks to go until the end of the year, people across Japan are scrambling to finish up writing their New Year’s Cards, or nengajo, as they’re called in Japanese. While traditions have softened and it’s becoming a bit more acceptable to send tidings by email, many still choose to send physical cards, since receiving personal mail is something of a rare treat these days.
That means most people need to make a trip to the post office to pick up some stamps, and Japan Post is happy to oblige with special New Year’s varieties. And though the ones for the upcoming Chinese zodiac animal are undeniably cute, the designs that really caught our attention were the sushi and tempura stamps.
While people in Japan don’t send Christmas cards to each other, it’s customary to send New Year’s cards to relatives, friends, and work associates. Called nengajo, these are delivered on New Year’s Day, and typically feature whatever the Chinese zodiac animal for the year is.
However, since the end of the year is a busy time for most people, it’s not hard to imagine that some of the artists, distributors, and even buyers of these cards are too busy to really stop and scrutinize them, which is how one nengajo ended up with a very unusual ram on it.
With November half over, it’s time to start worrying about the big holiday this season: New Year’s! While Christmas might be the big winter holiday in many countries, for those in Japan, the changing of the calendar is a far bigger event and everyone from school kids overworked salarymen gets a row of days off.
In addition to lazing about and eating way too much food, January first also means nearly mandatory New Year’s postcards in Japan. Next year is the year of the sheep (or goat, depending on who you ask), and the Japanese postal service has revealed their special postcard stamps featuring an adorable four-legged wool giver just for the occasion. However, eagle-eyed patrons with a good memory have noticed something special about the stamps…
It’s common knowledge that in order to mail something, you’ll need to know the name and rough address of the recipient, even if you’re lacking a couple of minor details. But what if, let’s say, the intended mailing destination is not in a building, but on some random corner of a street? Chances are, your mail is going to be left undelivered. Unless, it seems, you live in Japan!
Japan Post’s dedicated workers successfully delivered mail to someone whose location was “on the street”, leaving Japanese netizens in awe of their dedication and skill! But how did they do it?
The New Year’s break has sadly ended for most people in Japan by now, but the traditional season itself doesn’t fade away as soon. After receiving nengajo (New Year’s postcards) from clients and vendors, many office workers’ first task when they get back to work after the holiday is to contact the senders to thank them for their kind greetings.
We’ve already seen the best civilian nengajo efforts of 2013, but here are some of the coolest New Year’s greetings from Japan’s most talented manga artists and illustrators!