December is for sure a hectic and important month for business people in Japan! From early December on Bonenkais (“Let’s forget the mishaps happening this year”-party) are the once a year chance to overcome challenges with business partners, mend the atmosphere with co-workers, catch up with old friends or for some it can be an excuse to consume larger amounts of alcohol all company paid. Further not all Japanese companies have their financial year ending in March anymore, but many have shifted to end of December, so for sales people December is the month to catch up with their sales forecast. Let’s say you are not able to catch up with all your noteworthy business connection or friends, at least make sure you prepare in time your Japanese style New Years cards. According to the postal services all the New Years cards (Nengacho) need to be at a postal mail box by December 25th or otherwise the prompt delivery on January 1st cannot be guaranteed.
At work many places have the policy that the desk and the surrounding should be properly cleaned on the last working day in the year. Moreover not only at the office, but as well at home it is important for the Japanese to welcome a new year in a clean environment (spring cleaning done at the year-end called osoji: big cleaning). So when everything is sparkling, the time has come to set up the New Year’s decorations and focus on one thing only: relax, if possible in your home town with everyone in your family.
So are you ready for the year end? Did you remember everyone with an appropriate action? Your office and your home is clean for the year end? All the New Year’s decoration is set up? Good for you, let’s relax in a comfy, warm environment and wait for the next year to come.
Let me wish you 良いお年を (praying for a good year)