Oh, I did something similar to this a couple years ago, using the Holidays Around the World Passport instead of a card!
I was collecting Holiday greetings from all the countries, in addition to the stamps, and when we got to Japan the young lady we spoke to had no idea how to write “Merry Christmas”. I mean, I would have been happy with any sort of holiday greeting, but she heard “Can you write Merry Christmas for me?” and was determined to give me exactly what I’d asked for. She called a young man over, and they put their heads together, debating, and finally came up with something phonetic. Which I thanked her for many, many times.
And then I went home and started thinking about learning Japanese, since it was so interesting to hear their discussion about how to write Merry Christmas. I actually began several months ago, and I’m thrilled to say I can actually read what your cast member wrote!
The first word, in orange, looks like medetou, which means “happy” and is probably part of a longer phrase – akemashite omdetou – Happy New Year. It’s in the alphabet the Japanese people use to write words in their own language. The second, in green, is in a different alphabet, which they use for words that are borrowed for other languages, and reads phonetically as “Merry Christmas”. (Merii Kurisumasu)
Ah, I’m SO excited to finally get to use my little tiny bit of Japanese for something useful! I am definitely looking forward to trying it out on some poor unsuspecting Castmember in January.
(Someday I may need to learn Arabic, too…)