Writing, reading love letters 2.0

The more things change, the more things come around. Quite like bell-bottoms, (hipster) beards and synth in your music, it turns out that billets-doux – that’s pretentious French used by prats for ‘love letters‘ – is making a comeback.

Well, at least in the southern Japanese city of Miyazaki and, by love letters, one doesn’t mean by sending (supposedly suggestive) emojis of vegetables or acronyms like LYTB via their phones or by swiping right. For the last two years, Miyazaki authorities have started a programme that encourages people to write out love letters in so many words by ‘long hand’ and then post these letters – by snail mail!

About 450 people have joined up this dating service, resulting in 32 face-to-face meetings and bringing together 17 couples. It seems that the power of amorously constructed words is making a steady comeback in a country where reproduction rates are falling faster than people can in love and, unlike Pink Floyd evenings, this is not an old geezers’ gang – 70% of the love letterers are in their 20s and 30s.

‘It takes longer and inspires you to imagine the person you’re in communication with,’ said the consultancy running the show. Plus, it makes both writer and recipient of the letters think hard while writing and reading them. Who knows, we may even find people returning to reading whole novels one day.


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