For Your Information

Postal Lottery - Check Your Postcards for Winning Numbers [2 July 1999]

Every year the post office runs two lotteries. When you receive post cards from within Japan check to see if there are numbers at the bottom! The first lottery is with the New Year's postcards and we have listed an example from 1999 below. The second lottery is held in the second half of the year. The winning numbers for the current lottery can be picked up at any post office. Some post offices also have them on display. Good luck!

Rabbit New Years Postcards with Bonus (1999)
Otoshidama-tsuki Nenga-hagaki

Translated from this information sheet. (99K picture)

Here are the winning numbers for the year of the rabbit. To find out if you won, check the numbers on the bottom of your postcards. If your numbers match, take the winning postcard to the post office between January 18th and July 19th of 1999 to get your prize.

1st place prizes:
Match all six digits: 056585 or 908220

Digital Video Camera
Wide Television
Car Navigation System
Hand Held Pasokon (Palmtop computer)
Washer and dryer set

2nd place prizes:
Match last five digits: X56831

Weight scale with body fat meter + Pedometer
Furusato Kozutsumi (Mixed gift box)
Digital Camera
Electric System Note (addresses, tel numbers, etc)
Futon set

3rd place prize:
Match last four digits: XX0638 or XX9393

Furusato Kozutsumi (mixed gift box)

4th place prize:
Match last two digits: XXXX74, XXXX77, or XXXX97

Otoshidama kitte sheet (limited edition stamps with 50 yen and 80 yen value)

Here is an example of a winning number:
winning number

When you go to get your prize the post office will stamp the winning number to show the prize has been collected. Here is the limited edition stamp that this example won:
rabbit stamps

Remember to start using your new 7 digit zip code! The zip codes were expanded from 3 digits to 7 in 1998 on 2 February.

Japan Postal Information English Helpline: (03) 5472-5851 (Tokyo)
Monday - Friday 9:30-16:30

Bad News Stamp Families in Mourning

Did you know that if there is a death in the family during the year, the immediate family will not send out the normal New Year's Greeting card (negajo)? Instead they send out a card printed almost entirely in black and white, announcing the sad news (menga ketsurei). The post office sells a special stamp for these cards, which has "sad" (navy blue, silver and yellow) colors on it. Be sure you don't accidentally use those stamps on your regular mail! They are called "bu shugi no kitte".

Just for fun! The Japanaese Zodiac:
How do the Japanese say their zodiac in the right order? They memorize it with abbreviations sort of the way we remember the alphabet.
It goes like this: "ne, ushi, tora, u, tatsu, mi, uma, hitsu, saru, tori, inu, i"
Although there are 12 animals, they do not correspond to the 12 months in a year, but rather to consecutive years. Example: 1999 was the year of the rabbit, so 2001 must be the year of the snake!

Ne = NEZUMI (Mouse or Rat)
Ushi = USHI (Cow)
Tora = TORA (Tiger)
U = USAGI (Rabbit)
Tatsu = TATSU (Dragon)
Mi = HEBI (Snake)
Uma = UMA (Horse)
Hitsu = JIHITSUJI (Sheep)
Saru = SARU (Monkey)
Tori = TORI (Bird or Hen)
Inu = INU (Dog)
I = INOSHISHI (Wild Hog or Boar)

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