拝啓(haikē) The season has come for falling leaves, whereupon I presume Mr. TimeHP is thriving beatifully.
I deeply appreciate your extroadinary endearing consideration for me. さて、(sate; by the way) I shall proceed to explain the traditional letter writing in Japanese, using an example. A letter consists of preamble, main body and final words. It is particularly noteworthy that in Japanese letters, the style of the preamble influences that of the final words.
Here I have used a style similar to the letters in European languages for date, recepient and title. The paragraph that begins with the bold blue letters 拝啓 is the preamble particular to the traditional style. Right after 拝啓, there should be one space. Next comes greeting words that touch on the season when the letter is written. The last of the preamble is a thank-you note for the recepient's wonted favour.
If the seasonal greeting is omitted, the first word should be 前略 (zenryaku) instead of 拝啓.
The main body starts after a line break and a space. In Japanese stylistics, line break and a space signals the start of a new paragraph. The first paragraph of the main body is generally commenced by さて、.
The finishing words begins with a concluding greeting after the subject of the letter is exhausted. Generally it is a wish for the recepient's good health in relation to the season. In business letters, however, the subject of the letter may be confirmed or re-requested. Next comes end word. This is written at the end of the line where the greeting ends or at the end of the next line. The end word corresponds to the head word. If the head word is 拝啓, the end word is 敬具. If 前略 is the head, the end should be 草々. Finally, write the name of the sender.
When the letter is written horizonatally, the placement of the recepient and the sender's names is not uniform. One can place both at the beginning or at the end. The recepient's name, however, should be further away from the mainbody of the letter, than that of the sender.
This has been an explanation by and example. If you have questions about my explanations, please do not hesitate to post them.