Part 1: Expressions Used in New Year's Cards
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Do you send Christmas cards? The Japanese send New Year's cards (nengajo) rather than Christmas cards. Try sending them to surprise your Japanese friends!
Nengajo begin with set greetings. Here are some common expressions.
Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.
Shinnen omedetou gozaimasu.
Tsutsushinde shinnen no oyorokobi o moushiagemasu.
--Happy New Year.
All expressions basically mean, "Happy New Year". You can choose any of them to begin your card. "Kinga Shinnen (謹賀新年）," "Kyouga Shinnen (恭賀新年）," "Gashou (賀正）," and "Geishun (迎春）" are seasonal words not used in regular conversation. The rest of the three expressions can be used as a greeting. Click here to hear the sound files for New Year's greetings.
After the greeting, add words of thanks, requests for continued favor or wishes for health. Here are some common expressions, though you can add your own words as well.
Sakunen wa taihen osewa ni nari arigatou gozaimashita.
Thank you for all your kind help during the past year.
Honnen mo douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
I hope for your continued favor this year.
Minasama no gokenkou o oinori moushiagemasu.
Wishing everyone good health.