What to Write in Japanese New Year's Cards

What to Write in Japanese New Year's Cards

Every year, Japanese households send and receive New Year’s postcards called nengajō (年賀状). The cards are sent to friends and family, as well as to people you have work connections with.

If you post your cards in Japan before the cut-off date in late December, the postal service guarantees to deliver them on January 1st.

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Six Ways To Say "Happy Birthday" In Japanese


Whether you're sending a birthday card, or writing on a friend's Facebook wall, it's good to share.

And you'll want to wish your Japanese-speaking friends "happy birthday" in Japanese, right?

Here are six different ways to share the love.

First of all, let's say Happy Birthday:

1) お誕生日おめでとう! o-tanjoubi omedetou


Simple and classic, this one means "happy birthday", or literally "congratulations on your birthday".


2) お誕生日おめでとうございます。 o-tanjoubi omedetou gozaimasu


Stick a "gozaimasu" on the end to make it more polite.

Good for people older than you, people you know less well, and definitely good for your boss.


3) ハッピーバースデー!happii baasudee!


This one is actually one of my favourites - a Japan-ified version of the English phrase.


If you're writing a message, it's good to follow up after the birthday greeting by also wishing the person well:


1)  楽しんでください tanoshinde kudasai


"Have fun!"

e.g. お誕生日おめでとう!楽しんでください ^ ^
"Happy birthday! Have fun :)"


2) 素敵な一日を sutekina ichinichi o


"Have a great day."

e.g. お誕生日おめでとう!素敵な一日を〜
"Happy birthday! Have a great day."


3) 素晴らしい1年になりますように subarashii ichinen ni narimasu you ni


"I hope it's a wonderful year for you."

e.g. お誕生日おめでとうございます。素晴らしい1年になりますように。
"Happy birthday. I hope you have a wonderful year."


As you may have noticed, birthday messages wishing someone well for the year are kind of similar to a New Years' Greeting in Japanese.

それじゃ、ステキな一日を!And with that, I hope you have a wonderful day!