Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.
Dearest Friends of Blackcabbit,
A Japanese New Year e-card (Nengajo/ 年賀状) for you, for the year 2012.
May the Lord bless you and your loved ones with family bliss and happiness.
My cats usually avoid my son because they find the toddler too loud and over-excited. However, on several rare occasions, I found the threesome enjoying the warm winter sunshine next to the sliding glass door. Seeing that, melt my heart and gave me the idea for the nengajo and a prayer for my family:
No matter how cold things get,
no matter how difficult situations become,
we will stick together as a family,
learn to put aside our differences,
and to fill our hearts with gratitude.
辰 (たつ) – Year of Dragon
[Pronounced as “Tatsu”]
An interesting note: You may find images of sea-horses instead of dragons on nengajo. Why? This is because they share the same kanji (竜) and sea horse in Japanese is Tatsu no Otoshigo (竜の落子), which means “son of dragon”.
絆 (Kizuna) – Bond / Ties
絆深める (Kizuna fukameru) – To deepen our ties.
“Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu” (明けましておめでとうございます), which mean “Happy New Year” is usually a popular expression used on Nengajo. However, with all the tragedies caused by 3.11 earthquake-tsunami disaster in 2011, it became rather insensitive to use that greeting this year. Hence, to respect the feelings of Tohoku-Kanto survivors (who are still trying to pick up pieces of their lives), many of us had replaced the usual New Year greetings with phrases of unity, such as Kizuna, Ganbaro Nippon (がんばろう日本/ Keep at it, Japan), or One Japan etc.
A year filled with gratitude
Heisei Nijuyon Nen（平成24年) – Current Japan Era
/ Japanese way of saying Year 2012
Gantan (元旦) means the morning of first January.