Like Christmas in the West, New Year's in Japan is a time for family gatherings, and to send cards to those who can't make it to let them know you're thinking of them (especially right now!). The tradition is to go down to the local Japan Post office, either make greeting cards or buy a pack of cute ones and sending them off to loved ones to be delivered as close to January 1 as possible.
So, this being Japan in 2020, the most popular card set was of course ... Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba!
The "deformed" style of cards
The Demon Slayer set of New Year's cards came in packs of three in two different styles, a "deformed" type that featured the characters in chibi-like forms, and a "normal, life-size" type that featured the Hashira in the usual Demon Slayer style that was seen in the anime series, both having two different prints. The packs cost 660 yen but are now out of stock.
Japan Post revealed that the company had sold a record 2.35 million sets through online pre-orders and in post office sales. A representative for Japan Post pins on the popularity of the series and the release of Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train in October. The representative explained "I think there was kind of a synergy effect achieved. We never expected [the sets] to be as popular as they were."
The "normal, life-size" style of cards
The representative for Japan Post also thanked people who bought the set, saying "We would like to thank you for helping to spread the New Year's greeting card culture to people of all ages through Demon Slayer. At Japan Post, we will continue to introduce products that will be loved by many customers!"
It seems that nowhere is safe from the effect of Demon Slayer, even wholly traditional Japanese institutions are becoming more and more popular because of the franchise.
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.