Sometimes Japanese etiquette can be wishy-washy...sometimes I think that my MIL is.
When my FIL passed away last year, we sent out mochu hagaki to our friends in Japan. But that year, we also received mochu hagaki from my MIL and BIL.
We thought it was kinda weird to receive it from them, I mean, we are immediate family, right?
So, this year, when Satoshi's grandma passed, we sent out mochu hagaki to our friends in Japan and we also sent the cards to our immediate family because that was what my MIL and BIL did last year.
Well, this year, my MIL and BIL decided not to send out mochu hagaki to our immediate family and since we sent out mochu hagaki, we made my MIL and BIL look bad because the immediate family received cards from us and not them.
Then, my MIL tells us we should have not acknowledged Satoshi's grandma's passing and just sent out the traditional celebratory New Years cards, like nothing happened. (WT?)
Satoshi, on the other hand, said trying to "cover it up" the death of his grandma with the celebratory cards, would offend his grandma and offend the rest of the immediate family. And, in actuality, we would be "living a lie".
I dunno, I know families have their secrets, and I like my MIL, but I guess maybe we should get "clearance" before we do stuff from now on...sigh.