Every year, many Japanese people send New Year's post cards called 年賀状 nengajou. While it is possible to buy pre-printed postcards at stationery shops or even convenience stores, creating your own customized nengajou is preferable, which explains brisk sales of specialized nengajou-designing software and crowds lining up at photo shops in December. Customizing a nengajou is commonly done by adding photos, but if you happen to be a manga artist or illustrator, you also have the option of putting your talents to work in an original nengajou of your own design.

Since 2019 is the Year of the Boar, according to the Chinese zodiac which is also used in Japan, this year's crop of New Year Cards from manga artists and illustrators feature the wild boar or the kanji character 亥 associated with the year. Fortunately for us, many of these talented artists posted their creations on social media, so we're happy to introduce a few of them to you here.

Manga Artists

Hirohiko Araki

The famous author of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure created a design featuring his latest work, Jojolion.

Yusuke Murata

The author of One Punch Man shows protagonists Saitama and Genos looking not particularly threatened by a giant fire-breathing boar set to wreak havoc on Tokyo.

Kohei Horikoshi

The creator behind the hugely popular My Hero Academia took a different approach, showing the cast of heroes-in-training all engaged in traditional Japanese new year activities, Deku holding a giant calligraphy brush presumably poised to do a kakizome (first calligraphy of the new year), and what looks like Bakugo using Eijiro as a human pestle to pound rice, with Iida on duty at the mortar, in the traditional activity of pounding glutinous rice to make mochi rice cakes, while All Might and Aizawa in the background and Uraraka in the foreground enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Kenichi Tachibana

The author of Terra Formars shows us what seems to be Sylvester Asimov, looking imposing with his signature cigar sitting astride a giant boar.

Hiro Mashima

Going for cute rather than cool, Fairy Tail's creator made a nengajou featuring Happy wearing a boar shaped hat.

Moyoco Anno

The manga artist and fashion writer who won the Kodansha manga award for children in 2005 for Sugar, Sugar Rune featured a kimono-clad woman in an elegant design for her nengajou.


Here are some nengajou cards designed by popular illustrators.


Oriko Sakura


Finally, we would be remiss not to include the full version of the nengajou created by animator and illustrator DJ Kooooo, who kindly allowed us to use his design for our header image. He created two new original characters for the occasion, the boar sisters Uriko and Kurimi.

By - Ben K.