Japanese Greetings for Special Occasions

Happy birthday
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Using the correct greeting in Japan is important, especially when meeting people for the first time in a social situation.


The form "gozaimasu(ございます)" is more formal. It is added when you are talking with somebody who is not a family member or a close friend. To reply, "Arigatou gozaimasu(ありがとうございます)" or "Arigatou(ありがとう)" is used.

The honorific "o (お)" or "go (ご)" can be attached to the front of some nouns as a formal way of saying "your". It is very polite.

When Speaking With Somebody Who Is Sick

"Okagesama de(おかげさまで)" can be used whenever you announce good news in answer to someone's concerned inquiry. 

  • Please take care of yourself.
    Odaiji ni.

To reply "Odaiji ni (お大事に)", "Arigatou gozaimasu (ありがとうございます)" is used. 

Click this link to learn how to say "Happy New Year" in Japanese.

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Abe, Namiko. "Japanese Greetings for Special Occasions." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, thoughtco.com/greetings-for-special-occasions-2027919. Abe, Namiko. (2023, April 5). Japanese Greetings for Special Occasions. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/greetings-for-special-occasions-2027919 Abe, Namiko. "Japanese Greetings for Special Occasions." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/greetings-for-special-occasions-2027919 (accessed June 2, 2023).