Softly hug inviting hearts.
I have been creating Japanese New Years postcards called “nengajo” (with my own twist!) for the last few years. In Japan, these cards are traditionally delivered on January 1st, but there is no mail delivery in the United States on that day, so my cards arrive after the 1st. This image is my nengajo for 2012. (See my other blog, Ichigo Ichie, for another of my new year 2012 images and haiku.)
- Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu 明けましておめでとうございます – Happy New Year!
- Nengajo 年賀状 – Japanese New Year’s card
- Etegami 絵手紙 – Japanese word meaning picture letter/message, traditionally done in a postcard size meant to be mailed
- Tonboトンボ – Dragonfly
The dragonfly in the image was one with quite a personality. It warmed up to me very quickly and was very trusting. It had no problem letting me touch its wings and body, many times, and even gave me several nice poses for the camera! I don’t know what the scientific explanation for this behavior is, but it was so refreshing that I had to use one of the photos for my nengajo. I used Photoshop Elements to give the original photo more of a woodblock print look.
Meaning of dragonfly in Japan:
“In Japanese culture, dragonflies are considered as a symbol of strength, happiness and courage. They are often mentioned in Japanese literature and art, especially haiku…..In Japanese paintings, dragonflies represent new light and joy. Dragonflies help you see through your illusions and allow your own light to shine in a new vision. They remind us to pay attention to our deeper thoughts and desires…..A dragonfly lives a very short life and it tries to live to the fullest with what it has.” (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/what-does-a-dragonfly-symbolize.html)
Have a happy and enlightening new year!