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Are there some Japanese greetings like the English "hello"? Most greetings seems to be tied up temporally or by another specific situation ([もしもし] for phones, [こんにちは] during day time). If I left a note behind for someone else I would have no idea how to greet them in the note. In English at least it's easy as "hello" always works. "Hello X, by the time you read this..." or "Hello, if you found this then..." are two examples. I don't see any of these being replace with other greetings such as "good day", "welcome", "nice to meet you", etc.

So what are some of the more generic ways Japanese people greet each other? If you were to leave a note without any idea of when or perhaps who might read it, how would you greet them?

  • Apart from ごきげんよう、 every greeting I can think up of is highly informal. – oals Oct 7 '16 at 6:03
  • どうも can work in various situations. – user4092 Oct 7 '16 at 8:08
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  • Are there some Japanese greetings like the English "hello"?

No. Most Japanese greetings are very specific to a certain situation. There is no generic greeting like "hello" in Japanese. The most generic greeting would be こんにちは, but there are many situations where こんにちは should not be used. For example if you are meeting your friends in the morning you should say お早うございます, not こんにちは。

  • If you were to leave a note without any idea of when or perhaps who might read it, how would you greet them?

It depends on the note. For example if you want to warn people about something, there is no need for greetings. You could title your note with お願い or 注意.

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This answer might help. I would probably just put the person's name at the top with へ or a comma, greetings on notes aren't really expected in business situations.

If it's your friend then I don't think they will mind what kind of greeting you put, some fun ones could be:

おい!

ハロー

元気??

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