Show your stripes in the new year

December 16th, 2009 by Felicity Hughes

The flesh-eating beast gets a kawaii makeover (left); Canon's free paper-craft tiger

The flesh-eating beast gets a kawaii makeover (left); Canon’s free paper-craft tiger

“Tiger tiger burning bright in the forests of the night, what immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?”

Well, Japanese artists for one, who have not only managed to render the tiger tame, but have also depicted it as being unbelievably cute. If you live in Japan you won’t have failed to have noticed that the Year of the Tiger is about to pounce upon us and the shops are filled with tiger-themed New Year’s cards, stamps and otoshidama money envelopes.

If you’ve got plenty of ink in your printer but no cash in your pocket, you might want to hit Canon’s Web site which has a treasure trove of downloadable resources for the New Year. We really like the paper-craft tiger, but there are also money envelopes and postcards for those that aren’t up to wielding glue and scissors.

If you’re too lazy to buy stamps and post your New Year cards, Japan Post Office have launched a great site that will do the job for you from the comfort of your own home. Templates can be customized with hand written messages (a bit tricky this with a mouse) and photographs, before being sent either to an email address or directly to the addressee’s house.

The tiger symbolizes courage and passion and the year ahead true to economic predictions looks to be one that will be hard fought.

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