Why is text missing from the top and bottom of my document?

If you’re having a letter, cover letter or other piece of correspondence being sent from one person directly to another, you may find that some text is missing from the very top and bottom.

Japanese letters follow a set formula, opening with a poetic comment on the beauty of the current season and closing with a flowery expression of gratitude for the reader’s patronage.

You just don’t get that in English letters so an experienced translator will often leave these sections out, resulting in a few lines or a short paragraph missing from the beginning and end of the text. But they should also point out that that’s what they’ve done.

You’ll notice if they’re left in.


The weather is finally turning warm, as promised by the late frosts eighty-eight days after the first day of spring according to the lunar calendar. I trust your daily life is becoming more and more active.

(Set phrase from 手紙の書き方, slightly over the top translation by me.)