Akemashite omedetougozaimasu. Happy New Year! It’s the year of the ox, a beautifully calm animal. Strong yet gentle; reliable, fair and conscientious. I know there are many, including us, who are looking forward to a new year and hopefully many traits of the oxen will show themselves throughout the year. As tradition holds, here at S&T we like to start off the new year by admiring some New Year’s cards (nangajo) and artwork created by some of our favorite Japanese artists and designers.

Mikiji Nagai

We always look forward to the geometric, minimal card from designer Mikiji Nagai, who once again didn’t disappoint. The card, when folded, resembles a cow.

Haruka Aramaki

Designer Haruka Aramaki, bringing the cow bell!


Naho Ogawa

An adorable, animated card from illustrator Naho Ogawa. Long-awaited indeed!


Got milk? We would love a cow-patterned kimono! From illustrator Aka.

Bento Graphics

Our friends at Bento Graphics always come up with the coolest gifs!

Hama House

Here’s another great illustrated card that caught our eye. From illustrator Hama House.


Artist FeeBee has made it a tradition to create the year’s zodiac animal out of parts from the other 11 animals. This one was turned into an ukiyo-e print and is available for purchase.

Hisao Ohmae

Illustrator and designer Hisao Ohmae’s card features the legendary akabeko red cow, the legendary plague-fighting yokai amabie, and a girl removing her mask. Good vibes for 2021!

Studio Ghibli

Hayao Miyazaki, who just turned 80, illustrated this card of an ox crushing the coronavirus.

Tanaka Tatsuya

Miniature artist Tanaka Tatsuya’s creative creations are always inspiring.


Kondo, who specializes in animal illustrations, created this adorable card with a cow at the center.


And of course our collection wouldn’t be complete without at least one anime-inspired card. This one is from illustrator Lack.