nengajou (年賀状): "New Year cards"

As with hand-written letters and reijou, the sending of nengajou is still a very active tradition in Japan — similar to sending Christmas cards in Western cultures. Some are personal greetings for friends and family; others may be sent out of obligation to one's company or other organization.

Within the Takarazuka fan culture, a fan may receive a nengajou after writing a letter to a star around the New Year season. (Again, like Christmas in Western cultures, the New Year is not one event but a season with many traditions and celebrations.) This is not always the case, however, especially with popular stars who have large fan clubs. Particularly among formalized clubs for top or nibante stars, there may be additional requirements for a club member to receive nengajou. For example, they may be expected to order tickets through the club (see kaiseki), contribute sashi-ire, and/or actively participate in iride in order to get one. Due to these and other reasons, international fans may or may not receive nengajou.

The older and more popular the star, the less likely it is that the nengajou will be signed. Some, however, may have a pre-printed signature and message. Younger stars may include hand-written messages. On the other hand, young stars can be more irregular about sending nengajou, as opposed to the reliable efficiency of a club.

Because the New Year is a time full of traditions in Japan, the photograph on a star's nengajou often (but not always) shows them wearing a kimono. On the other hand, stars who are busy performing during the New Year season may send a performance reijou that doubles as a New Year message.

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Created by lokai. Last Modification: Friday 13 of June, 2014 12:42:59 GMT-0000 by zaraphena.