Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Japanese Wedding Invitation and What's a Kotobuki ?


A Fancy Card Arrives in the Mail

This photo shows the outside view of a wedding invitation in Japan.

Fortunately, there are friends and family to help me with the translation.

The gold kanji character reads, Kotobuki.

Translation to English Can Be Tricky



Serious research, on this kotobuki thing, started last night.

Verbally, I probably, got as many different meanings as the number of beers I consumed.

But, I like to get verification from some written source, before, I start writing.

Jeffrey's Dictionary says it can mean: Congratulations, felicitations, best wishes.

And, longevity or, long life.

Namiko Abe, teaches Kanji characters at About (dot) Com

She shows you how to write it, useful compounds and even, sends out a newsletter.

Her definitions:  Longevity and Congratulations

She got me checking and, I found one of those compounds, engraved in stone.

If somebody took the time to carve "Long Life" on a rock, that's good enough for me.

Variations in Kanji


Just as sure as our handwriting may differ, kanji characters can change, too.

So, I took the research a bit farther and found all kinds of stuff.

People paint these letters, have them tattooed and do all kinds of things with them.

There's one, I'd call a bellybutton box.  How wild is that ?

Several variations of the script may be seen at StockKanji.

And, you could order some fancy calligraphy from them, at reasonable prices.

What to Do After You Receive a Kotobuki Card


Inside this card, is a smaller one, about the size of a business card.

Customs and proper etiquette may differ from prefecture to prefecture, in Japan.

It would be wise to consult with a local expert, in this case.

In Okinawa, the little card, tells you which table you will be seated at.

In the Expat's Guide to Japan that card, is handled differently.

It should be sent as an RSVP.

For people living in the Ryukyu Islands, there is no need to RSVP.

Everybody goes, anytime there's a party !

Over at Surviving in Japan, they have an article worth reading.

 Japanese Wedding Etiquette at eHow, is worth looking at, too.


 Just to be on the safe side, I took my wedding invitation to a book store.

And, asked the gal at the counter to help me select an appropriate wedding envelope.

With all my studying and searching, caught up for the day, I pointed at that gold kanji.

She was surprised.  I could read, Kotobuki !


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