What is a Hagaki Card?

By Amy McNulty

The "hagaki card" is one possible setting on computer printers. The word "hagaki" is Japanese in origin. However, when you're printing a document, "hagaki" refers to a size of cardstock. However, you do not specifically need hagaki paper to print on the hagaki scale. If you match the dimensions of any piece of paper to the hagaki paper, you can print a document that fits the paper.

Hagaki Origin

"Hagaki" means "postcard" in Japanese. Postcards are especially prolific around the New Year's season. "Nenga hagaki" are "New Year's postcards" that Japanese people send to loved ones and acquaintances in the days before New Year. The Japanese post office holds onto these postcards and delivers them on New Year's Day. You can buy plain hagaki cards at Japanese post offices in November and print or draw your own design on them. Merchants also print hagaki post cards for patrons with designs and messages already on them.

Hagaki Outside of Japan

Outside of Japan, hagaki don't have the cultural meaning that they have in Japan. However, the hagaki cardstock refers to thick postcard paper that is equivalent in size to the hagaki postcards in Japan. You can print your own postcards on hagaki paper, or you can make large business cards, ads or other art projects on the hagaki size paper. Hagaki cardstock is thicker than traditional printer paper and is not intended for folding.

Hagaki Dimensions

The traditional hagaki postcard is 200 by 148 millimeters or 100 by 148 millimeters. The measurement is equivalent to 7.8 inches by 5.8 inches or 3.9 inches by 5.8 inches. Purchase hagaki paper, and you will get one of these two measurements. Hagaki cards are individual sheets of paper. You print one design per card. You can print designs on both sides of the card if you reload the same card.

Replacing Hagaki

If you can't find hagaki cards for sale and want to make a design that prints on the hagaki card dimension, purchase cardstock paper that fits the 7.8 inches by 5.8 inches or 3.9 inches by 5.8 inches measurements. If you can't find paper that's exactly those dimensions, buy slightly larger cardstock and cut them down to the correct size. You can print hagaki designs on paper of regular thickness that matches these measurements, too.