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This question came to me because I am writing a personal thank-you letter to a friend's family who hosted me in their home over the holidays. What is the proper way to address the entire family? For example, in English, I would use "To the Ito Family". Beyond this, it would be good to compile a list of typical Japanese openings and closings (salutations and valedictions) used in written correspondence.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

For letters to a person, affix it with 様. For Itou family, it would be イトウ(御)一家様. For letters to a company or institution, affix it with 御中.

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