明けましておめでとうございます!（Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu! Happy New Year!). We’ve seen that this 明け means “to open, begin.” What I hadn’t seen until last week was this version of the greeting:
謹賀新年 (Kingashinnen: Happy New Year)
respectfully + to congratulate + new + year
A Japanese friend posted this on my Facebook page. Although I guessed the meaning, I was puzzled both by the yomi and by the fact that I’d never heard this expression. That’s because it’s formal and is used only in writing.
Whereas the 明けまして phrase sounds completely Japanese, 謹賀新年 consists of four on-yomi, so it seems more Chinese. However, I will forever associate it with Australia, because that’s where I was last week when I received the greeting. About an hour later, while admiring koalas at a koala conservation site, I realized that the tourists next to me were Japanese. After they’d gazed at the nearest koala and said “Kawai!” several times, I showed them the message on my cell phone and asked for the yomi.
Causes Eve Kushner Supports
The Milo Foundation, Planned Parenthood, Doctors Without Borders, PCI, FINCA