I am new to writing formal letters in Japanese, and I am currently writing to a kind person who will be very understanding if I make small mistakes, but I would like to get as much right as possible.

Searching in a dictionary or searching online you would find that there are pairs of set phrases that roughly translate to "Dear ...," and "Sincerely, ...". One such combination would be 拝啓/敬具.


The part I am confused about is wether to write a name after these, as most sites explaining this don't actually include an example. And even if one does, it is hard for me to see if they are writing something that is old fashioned or otherwise seen as quirky.

Here's an example, where there is a name after 拝啓, but none after 敬具, and I don't know if that is because the example ends before the name, or because you aren't supposed to write a name there.


1 Answer 1


I think you can use both 拝啓 and 敬具 without any additional information immediately after them. You can find excellent instructional articles about it, but the most part in japanese, like this one. As you can see in red on sample image:

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