Can you hear that endless mechanical noise? It's the sound of thousands of inkjet printers in Japan, grinding out nengajo, the traditional New Year's Cards that are so much fun to receive on January 1st. Just as video camera technology around the world is greatly aided by Japan's tradition of school "Sports Day" events, when children run relay races as proud parents capture the action with the latest HD video camera, printing technology owes a great debt to the custom of New Year's Card giving in Japan -- I wouldn't be surprised if the printer driver installed in your computer has built-in support for a paper size called hagaki, which is Japanese for "postcard." Every year hundreds of New Year's Card-related products are offered to consumers, from newfangled inkjet printers to professional printing services offered by Fuji Film, which are being pitched by Maki Horikita this year. 2010 is the Year of the Tiger, so I expect a lot of people will be incorporating tigers into their New Year's Card designs. What will our nengajo be? Find out on January 1st, like every one else.
Maki Horikita is this year's Fujicolor Image Girl, and very kawaii.