I have made New Year’s cards every year since 2001. (Except 2009, because of a death in the family.)
For the first 12 years (the snake year to the dragon year), we sent woodcut-printed cards. So, we don’t have the best prints.
When it became the second cycle of years, we started to order offset-printed cards using drypoint etching prints. After making several prints, I picked the best one and ordered offset printing. A few days later, I got the printed cards. I remember thinking that it was very easy compared to making woodblock prints.
As the concept for these New Year’s cards, I have my own rule that I decided by myself. It’s the rule that I always combine our cats and the zodiac signs for the year.
A note about the dates: The titles indicate the date in both the Western and Japanese calendar systems. For example, 2001 is also ‘H13’, which means the thirteenth year of the Heisei period (the reign of the Heisei emperor); 2020 is ‘R2’, the second year of the Reiwa period.
We will update this gallery every year, so please check back!