What is ”nengajou”?
The end of December and the beginning of January are the busiest times for the Japanese post offices. The Japanese have a custom of sending New Year’s Day postcards (年賀状 nengajō) to their friends and relatives, similar to the Western custom of sending Christmas cards. Their original purpose was to give your faraway friends and relatives tidings of yourself and your immediate family. In other words, this custom existed for people to tell others whom they did not often meet that they were alive and well.
Japanese people send these postcards so that they arrive on 1 January. The post office guarantees to deliver the greeting postcards on 1 January if they are posted within a time limit, from mid-December to near the end of the month and are marked with the word nengajō. To deliver these cards on time, the post office usually hires students part-time to help deliver the letters.
Normal style of nengajou
Normally people print their family photo and write new year greetings, how their life goes on, and extra things.
On the other side of the photo and message, we write the address and name of addressee.