Origin and Necessity of 「行」 on SASE

Ariander

Member
uu
When making a SASE (返信用封筒) in Japan, as part of your address, it is customary to write:


「your name 行」


I have two questions about this:


1. Where did this custom originate?


2. Is it acceptable simply to write 「your name」(no 行) on a SASE? Of course, it's incorrect to write 「your name 様」, but I feel like writing 「your name 行」 might be annoying for the receiver of the envelop because they'll have to cross out the 行 and write 様 when they send it back to you.


Thank you!
 
  • tos1

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    1. Where did this custom originate?
    I don't know who, when, where began that correctly, but I think, in order that reply envelopes work in Japan, it might have to be at the earliest from 1871 (Early Meiji period) when the modern postal service has been established.

    2. Is it acceptable simply to write 「your name」(no 行) on a SASE? Of course, it's incorrect to write 「your name 様」, but I feel like writing 「your name 行」 might be annoying for the receiver of the envelop because they'll have to cross out the 行 and write 様 when they send it back to you.
    I think this "行" a mark for crossing out.
     

    Tonky

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    2. Is it acceptable simply to write 「your name」(no 行) on a SASE?
    It actually is, by leaving some space for the receiver to write 様/御中 in. It is a traditional manner to write 行(humble for 様/御中), but some people seem to prefer removing such formality and prioritize convenience lately (some business letter guide suggests it but not all) while some find it out of manner. It is up to you. I myself never skip writing 行 and never find it annoying.

    p.s.
    I really dont know how it started either.
     
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