Happy New Year! It’s a Year of Mouse in 2020

January 1, 2020 Juju Kurihara Arts, Culture, Vocabulary Tags: , , , , , , , 4 Comments

Happy New Year!! あけましておめでとうございます! This is a year of mouse (子/ne) and to be precise, 庚子 (kanoene). 庚 is one of 十干 (jikkan/Heavenly Stems) that are a Chinese system of ordinals which has been used since c. 1250BC. In Japan, calendar is made of a combination of jikkan and junishi (十二支/Chinese zodiac and there are 12 animals). Apparently both mouse and kanoe mean "entering a new phase". I am excited to know what sort of new world is waiting for me in 2020.

In Japan, it's a common custom to send New Year Cards to friends, colleagues and the people who are important to you. I also have made some and sent them out. I didn't send as many cards as I wanted since they were all handwritten but I hope I can be more organised and make more next year.


Each card is so unique and beautiful that it is fun to read them one by one. The cards are traditionally delivered to you on the 1st of January but as I know here in Europe, no post services on the New Year's Day, so I send them out to reach as close as the 1st of January.


This is my card of 2020.


On the left page: 初志 (Shoshi) – The first decision. Since it is the beginning of the year, this can be your New Year's resolution. The red seal is my calligrapher name, 侑香 (yuko). On the right page: far right says 賀正 (gasho), means Happy New Year, and 二〇二〇 is 2020. Then the mouse in sumie.



Here is an example of how to decorate the card, just like what you do with the Christmas cards. You can also frame it if you like it very much.


Wish you all a wonderful year and lots of smile in 2020 and dozo yoroshiku.


  1. Al 3 years Reply

    Happy new year! Love your drawing style. I’d love to know more about calligraphers’ seals if you’re willing? Do they use an older or stylised form of kanji? Best wishes,

    • Juju Kurihara 3 years

      Hi AI

      Thank you for your question. 

      Reisho style, Tensho style, Koin style are the common ones. Gyosho and kaisho styles are use for daily use or company names. 

  2. Beth M Parkhurst 3 years Reply

    Thank you very much indeed for your teaching us about Japanese New Year’s cards and for showing us your elegant cards. Best wishes for a happy and healthy year.

    • Juju Kurihara 3 years

      Happy New Year to you too, Beth. I wish you lots of fun and happiness in 2020.

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