New Year 2012 Greetings

New Year 2012
New Year 2012, a photomanipulation by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on image to enlarge).

Dragonfly whispers
Softly hug inviting hearts.
Enlightened vision

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.”  (

Have a happy and enlightening new year!

38 responses to “New Year 2012 Greetings

  1. I liked you cute dragonfly so much and the accompanying poem that I re-blogged it on Mysterious Japan. Hope you don’t mind that I also copied and pasted your picture as well. I wanted my followers to see it so they would come to your site.

  2. This is wonderful! Thanks so much for the information about dragonflies. I love to photograph them.

    Happy New Year to you and your family.

  3. I KNEW there were excellent reasons for featuring a dragonfly in my critter crowd traveling to Bethlehem! So pleased about your New Year’s “card” to us. We are honored! So pleased, as well, to learn a lot more about Japanese traditions about the dragonfly. LOVE your drawing–just awesomely delicate yet powerful!

  4. I love these pieces, such great gathering of poetic aesthetic, framing what is changed and left to its own nature. Happy New Year! I look forward to enjoying your work in 2012.

  5. Beautiful card. I want to do that someday. No resources right now though. 😦 What an accommodating dragonfly. The woodblock style is perfect, and I love the colors. It is always a special treat for me when a post has both lovely art and intriguing information. I’ve really enjoyed me visits here. Expect to see me hopping through from time to time. 😉

  6. Happy New Year! I love that you saw the personality in the dragonfly. I always feel so comforted when I see one…which won’t be for some months to come now. So at least your post allowed me that comfort virtually!

  7. This year would be beautiful starting with the beautiful images you make and the inspiration it brings. I’m always a fan of dragonflies. Just fascinating, graceful and colorful. More now that I know the meant, ” symbol of strength, happiness and courage. “This we all need for 2012. Happy New Year my friend….

  8. Thank you for your visit. Someone put a dragonfly lawn ornament in my yard over the past two days and I thought it was a quite unusual sight sitting there in the snow. I took a picture of it to use in a later post. Love your post.

Thanks so much for your comments!

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