Japan Post gets 'moe' fever with 2016 anime New Year’s postcards

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Japan Post gets 'moe' fever with 2016 anime New Year’s postcards

Post by Sour Puss on Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:01 pm

If you thought having to send a couple of Christmas cards to close friends and far-flung cousins during the holidays was annoying, wait ‘til you get a load of the “nengajo” (New Year’s card) tradition here in Japan. Not only is one obligated to send “nengajo” to family and friends, but you’re also obligated to send them to co-workers, bosses, anyone who regularly provides you a service, anyone whom you regularly provide a service to, your landlord, your mother’s landlord, Crazy Uncle Jeb over at the asylum, the stray cats in your neighborhood, and your mortal enemy (just to let him know you’ve got your eyes on him).

In fact, you’ve gotta send these things to so many people, it’s not uncommon to drop by the Japan Post near you and see people purchasing stacks of hundreds of these things. And unless, like me, you avoid any and all human contact, you’ll probably also come home one winter day to find your mailbox stuffed to the brim with the things. So, given their ubiquity, it’s no surprise that Japan Post (who prints and distributes loads of “nengajo” every year through both their yubin-nenga.jp website and physical post office locations), occasionally tries to mix it up with some very nontraditional designs.

This year, bizarrely, the running theme seems to be… “moe.” As in those super-cute anime girls and dreamy, slightly effeminate anime guys who are all the rage in Japan.
“Nengajo” tend to depict the Japanese Zodiac animal of the year to come. With 2016 being the Year of the Monkey, most of Japan Post’s new “moe-fied nengajo” feature the animated characters hanging out with simian pals to ring in the new year.
Apparently, Japan Post was serious about getting the “moe” feel right, and hired a number of artists to handle the designs. Many of those artists shared the work they did on their individual Twitter handles, further stirring up interest in the “nengajo” designs.
And, perhaps best of all (or worst of all if you’re not the DIY sort), the “moe nengajo” designs are part of the Japan Post’s free “nengajo template” program, which invites users to download the designs free of charge. The downside, of course, is that printing and shipping is up to you, so you’ll need to run out to a store and shell out for some nice, sturdy paper, which, if we’re being honest, will probably end up running you something near the cost of just buying a bunch of pre-made “nengajo.”


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