Christmas is coming. Japan does design stuff better than most places. Even traditional western stuff. So why not get some Japanese stationary in the form of a Japanese Christmas Card for the festive season?
Japanese don’t celebrate Christmas as a holiday since it’s primarily a Shinto and Buddhist nation. Christmas has been adopted in Japan as a day for romantic couples to enjoy and appreciate the love they share rather than a religious celebration.
That being said, Christmas in Japan has a history that stretches back to the 1500s and the country still develops a buzz around Christmas Eve. Many places, especially in the major cities, put up Christmas decorations and sell Christmas merchandise.
The streets are decorated with elaborate Japanese Christmas trees LED lights that bring out the beauty of midwinter. Young couples plan dates as families gather for celebration while devouring a tub of fried chicken from KFC and a big white sponge cake.
Does Japan have a history of writing Cards?
The Japanese have had a long-held tradition of sending greeting cards that are similar to that of Christmas cards in the western custom. In Japan, the Christmas holiday is not as significant as in other countries. Most Japanese people are not Christians.
Nengajo New Year’s Cards
Known as Nengajo, this counterpart of the Western Christmas Card is a plain and simple card that provides people with the opportunity to express themselves through their eloquence and creativity. These cards are used to express appreciation, concern, and well wishes.
Sending these cards out to friends and relatives is an integral part of Japanese culture that connects people. The custom is upheld as a way of welcoming the New year and a way to wish for continued favor with the other person.
In Japan, these mails are typically dropped before Christmas day so they can get to the recipient’s address on New Year’s day itself.
What type of Japanese Christmas Cards are there?
There are a number of Japanese Christmas card designs to choose from.
1. Wood-block print
Japanese woodblock prints have been prized for many years for their vivid colors and striking imagery. You can find cards that either use these original images, or reference them in some way.
These days there is even a bit of a trend to do modern motifs in a traditional woodblock style. Star Wars or Totoro or, yes, Santa as a woodblock print anyone?
Modern greeting cards are pretty simple and minimalistic. The designs often have plenty of white space and avoid too much text or images. These can be good to give to work colleagues because they can look more “professional”.
3. Kawaii Cute
Japan is the country of cute, in stationery as much as anywhere else. At Christmas, you can see this everywhere from Hello Kitty themed Christmas Trees to manga-style elves. Get a kawaii card, if that’s your thing.
There’s no denying that Anime is a signature style of Japanese culture. If you love your CrunchyRoll and Funimation, there is a card out there for you.
Want to add a personal touch to the card? Remember when they said in “Portlandia” to just “put a bird on it”. Well now you can.
Oops, forgot this was a Japanese themed site there for a moment.
6. Washi paper
Washi paper is a traditional Japanese paper made from fibers from such exotic sound plants as the mulberry bush, mitsumata shrub, and the gampi tree. Often the fibre is processed by hand and traditionally made. These handmade cards can come across as meaningful and come in different unique designs.
The green card can be made from recycled paper and help reduce plastic. Ecological design is an increasingly popular choice for Christmas items. The green card can be made from recycled paper and may even be designed for composting.
8. Three dimensional Christmas Cards
The card can be a paper cut-out in the shape of a tree, with a design on the front and blank space for one’s name on the back. The paper cut-outs can be scenes of winter scenes, such as snowmen or ice skating, or scenes from popular stories like “The Night Before Christmas”.
Top 12 Christmas Cards of 2021
Send out your love to the world with these unique Japanese Christmas card designs.
1. Japanese ukiyo-e cat Christmas & Holiday
Send warm thoughts and wishes toasting a happy holiday season with this Japanese card that has double-sided space for you to write on inside it. This elegant card is made out of paper material with a classic matte finish and an eggshell texture. To incorporate a personal touch to the card, write down your seasonal greetings in a classic manner since the paper is easy to write on and doesn’t smudge at all.
2. 3D Cards Pop Up Greeting Holiday Cards
I fell in love with this 3D-designed Christmas card the minute I saw that the Red maple leaf tree pops up when one opens the card. A perfect and thoughtful gift for kids, teenagers, or business associates, this Japanese Christmas card is the best way to express one’s gratitude and sincerity for the blessings of the year. Add a personalized message on the Christmas Card that’s made of eco-friendly, high-quality paper and comes with an envelope.
3. Japanese Card Seigaiha Greeting Card
Uniquely designed by Takeda-art using high-quality materials is the Seigaiha Christmas greeting card that comes with a kraft envelope. The design consists of sea wave patterns at the front with a Merry Christmas message written in Japanese. One can ask for customized designs depending on the preferred image, size, and message.
4. Cat with Cookies Christmas Card
Have a look at this adorable Christmas card that has a crisp and vibrant picture of a cat eyeing cookies left on the table, which by my imagination looks like Santa’s meal when he comes to gift kids on Christmas Eve. The material used is a standard semi-gloss paper that produces images in exceptional detail and color. I don’t know about you, but this looks like the perfect Christmas card to gift siblings or children.
5. Origami Christmas tree card for the blind
Check out this thoughtful, handcrafted Christmas card that features a tactile Christmas tree at the front and a professional but personalized braille message on the inside and the envelope.
6. Japanese Calligraphy Christmas Greeting Card
This is such a beautiful and minimalistic card to send to a friend or family member, especially if one wants a personalized Japanese message inscribed on the inside. The calligraphy on the front is a Japanese artistic style that makes it even more unique.
7. Flowers Leaves Chinese Knot Pattern Card
Looking for cards to send a large group of people? Then this is the perfect Christmas pack that comes with 200 cards inside to send to coworkers, employees, or even a large family group. Designed using high-quality paper, these cards provide space to add on customized messages wishing the recipients blessings and favor this festive season.
8. Asian Museum Art Christmas Cards
Here’s something high brow. T They even say “Metropolitan Museum of Art” on the back – that’s got to get you some kudos!. Part of the proceeds from the sale go to the Metropolitan Museum. he back of the cards give a history of each of the images. Classic late-19th century works by Hashimoto & Chikanobu.
9. Utagawa Hiroshige The Iris Garden at Horikiri Christmas Card
This Christmas card is a Japanese wood-block print featuring an illustration of the Iris Garden at Horikiri as painted by the artist Utagawa Hiroshige. The card consists of a unique design, allows for a personalized message on the blank interior surface, and comes with a kraft envelope to mail the card in.
10. Anime Christmas Card
The front page of this Christmas card features a fanart edit and might just be the winner out of all Anime cards that I’ve come across. This 5*7 card also comes with card stock and an envelope. If the recipient of this card is a huge anime fan, one can be sure that they will most definitely frame and cherish it for the rest of their life.
11. The Japanese Ukulele “Merry Christmas Card”
Wish friends and family a season of joy, merry, and a wonderful new year with this holiday car designed with an uncoated matte finish. This is an elegant card to send a new friend or acquaintance with a customized message on the inside. The ukulele is a wonderful touch of the Japanese musical-art culture.
12. Asian-Themed Holiday Cards
When it comes to versatility, this pack of Japanese Christmas cards provides that as it comes in a set of 12 cards featuring four different styles. The wood-block art images featured are from Japanese’s very own artist, Hiroshige. These handmade cards also consist of subtle holiday decorative details and traditional Japanese Clips.
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Common Japanese Christmas greetings
Since the concept of Christmas is quite new to the Japanese, there are no native greetings for ‘Merry Christmas.’ However, the phrase ‘Merii Kurisumasu’ borrowed from the English expression is pronounced with a Japanese inflection. When writing the expression on a card, one can use the Katakana, the Japanese’s second phonetic alphabet. This language is used when dealing with words that need emphasis or foreign words. When writing to a friend or family member in Japan, there are a number of Japanese greetings one can include in their card, such as:
● “今年もよろしくお願いします Kotoshi mo yoroshiku Onegai shimasu” to thank someone for all the support they’ve shown you in the past year.
● “ご多幸をお祈りしています。Go-takō o oinori shite imasu” to convey warm wishes to friends.
● “良い休暇を Ī kyūka o!” is a generic phrase that means Happy Holidays
● “休暇を楽しんでね Kyūka o tanoshinde ne!” to mean enjoy your holidays
● ” あけましておめでとうございます Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.” or “新年おめでとうございます Shinnen omedetou gozaimasu.” is used to wish someone a Happy New Year.
● “謹賀新年 Kinga Shinen” or “Gashou” to mean Happy New Year
Who sends Christmas cards now anyway right? Japan does!