How to write Christmas cards in Japanese

Written by beverley gee
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How to write Christmas cards in Japanese
Copy out a Japanese Christmas greeting. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Japanese culture is tolerant of all religions, and the population is a mix of many faiths, including Christianity. However, Christmas is not a traditional holiday in Japan, although the Japanese do celebrate it, albeit more as a commercial festival. Christmas in Japan is a kind of mid-winter Valentine's day, with cards and gifts exchanged between friends, especially between boyfriend and girlfriend.

Giving a handwritten card to a Japanese friend will please them immensely. It doesn't matter that you can't speak or write the language yourself – you can still create a personal message.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Computer with internet connection
  • Christmas card
  • Black calligraphy pen

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  1. 1

    Open your internet browser and navigate to a translation service, such as Google Translate. Select “From: English – to Japanese.”

  2. 2

    Type your message into the text box. The translation should appear immediately. Options are given for other forms of Japanese. Select the one you prefer.

  3. 3

    Carefully copy out the Japanese characters on to your card.

  4. 4

    Use these greetings if you don't want to use Japanese characters: “Merry Christmas” – “Merii Kurisumasu;” “Happy New Year” – “Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.”

    A special message, which shouldn't be spoken or given until New Year's Day is, “Shinen akemashite omedetougozaimasu,” which translates as, “Happiness to you on the dawn of the New Year.”

Tips and warnings

  • The Japanese love colour, so choose the brightest card you can find. They also enjoy traditional British Christmas cards with robins and snow.

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