Okay here is my dilemma, I am going to a write to a Japanese friend a birthday letter but I don't know how should I construct it; I've tried to search around the net and I found both formal and informal letters.

Now the problem is that friend of mine happens to be my boss in my Job too which means in my case I don't know which kind of format should I use in writing the letter.

Do I use the formal style with 拝啓 opening remarks or just write my message to him instantly (without the opening and closing remarks) and how should I address him in he letter? should I use さま、さん?

  • 1
    How do you usually talk to him? Do you use keigo, -desu, -masu, ~~さん etc?
    – chocolate
    Oct 25, 2015 at 3:44
  • yes I use -san but most of the time we talk in English but I still address him using -san Oct 25, 2015 at 8:11

1 Answer 1


I think that it is perfectly fine to use -さん when writing the letter, since that's what you normally use anyway. If you often speak to him informally, then you can revert to that style of speech after the opening. I find this to be a good example:


  • また今度職場の皆でカラオケに行きましょう!○○さんのあまい歌声をまた聞かせてくださいね。

  • また今度○○さんおすすめのラーメン屋さんに連れていってください!


Speaking from experience of writing to professors whom I'm on very friendly terms with. Hope it's not too late.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .