The artwork of fantastic penmanship finds an keen throng in Osaka

The time-honored artwork of placing pen to paper died with the clicking of a mouse.

So, receiving a handwritten letter nowadays is moderately particular.

And that’s what is being celebrated on the fifth flooring of a hole-in-the-wall constructing in Osaka’s Nishi Ward that contains a Publish-sha store.

Publish-sha, finest described as a fancy items retailer, is fitted with two vintage desks and chairs alongside its window. The tables even include writing implements.

“We’re providing a spot for individuals to solely consider another person and write letters whereas not anticipating a reply any time quickly,” mentioned Publish-sha’s proprietor, Asako Ishida, 42.

The shop’s cabinets and partitions are lined with colourful writing paper in addition to envelopes and postcards.

To create authentic missive sheets, wrapping paper is bought in Germany, Italy, Belgium and elsewhere and minimize into uniform letter paper measurement. Traces are dominated by hand as nicely.

Envelopes made by hand are additionally out there. It’s potential to buy even a single sheet of letter paper and an envelope.

“You possibly can even write with paper you deliver with your self,” mentioned Ishida. “Visiting right here requires no admission, so I need individuals to take full benefit of our store.”

Ishida’s affection for letters bought the higher of her and he or she opened Publish-sha in 2017. Her goal was to create an area the place guests can take enjoyment of penning missives on this age of social networking platforms.


On one event, a buyer confirmed up with a draft letter in his arms, asking, “which paper to make use of to suggest?”

One other patron stuffed in 10 sheets of paper to ship “a fan letter on my favourite’s birthday.”

The artwork of fantastic penmanship finds an keen throng in Osaka
A devoted area for guests to work on perfecting a handwritten letter on the Publish-sha fancy items retailer in Osaka’s Nishi Ward on Could 19 (Sachi Otsuta)

A father turned out at Publish-sha within the hope of “delivering a rare postcard to my household” from whom he lived away due to his job.

One customer took 4 hours to complete a letter.

“Engaged on letters can permit individuals to return throughout their hidden emotions, too,” mentioned Ishida. “I hope they make the leap and write. Many recall they used to like placing collectively missives by that course of.”


Tokyo-based Japan Publish Co. reckons it dealt with 7.5 billion letters and 4.9 billion postcards in fiscal 2022.

Each figures marked report lows over the course of the previous 30 years.

Deliveries reached their peak throughout the three-decade interval with 13.2 billion letters in fiscal 2001 and seven.8 billion postcards in fiscal 2002, the corporate mentioned.

Since then, the variety of mailed letters and postcards has steadily declined.


Kumon LIL Co. in Osaka, which operates calligraphy colleges nationwide to supply private classes based mostly on a technique developed by the Kumon Institute of Training Co., surveyed lots of of individuals in 2017 to establish their views on letter writing.

A complete of 600 people of their 30s to 50s responded.

A category at a Kumon calligraphy faculty in Kobe’s Tarumi Ward on July 7. The college has witnessed a noticeable enhance within the variety of college students striving annually to jot down characters extra elegantly. (Sachi Otsuta)

A number of solutions had been allowed for every query.

Forty-five p.c mentioned they’re completely satisfied in the event that they obtain letters written with “elegant characters.” Those that selected “handwritten ones” and “these addressed completely to me” accounted for 37 p.c and 35 p.c, respectively.

Most respondents mentioned they wish to write peculiar missives, love letters and message playing cards if they’d the time.

Thirty p.c mentioned they’d by no means obtained a handwritten letter.

The survey outcomes underlined the truth that persons are nicely conscious of the attraction of missives however have few alternatives to jot down to or hear from others.

Kumon LIL mentioned the variety of college students decided to refine their penmanship to jot down lovely characters is rising yearly, with the entire round 100,000 all through Japan.

Makiko Fujimori, who has served as a lecturer at a Kumon calligraphy faculty in Kobe’s Tarumi Ward for 37 years, famous that sprucing one’s writing methods can assist enhance confidence.

“Written characters may not be that essential, however they’re nonetheless price one thing,” mentioned Fujimori. “Even the best way dots are added can dramatically change their impression, illustrating how profound writing is.”

Kenichi Tomita, 65, who began going to the varsity after reaching obligatory retirement age, mentioned he now pens letters as a result of he has a lot free time on his arms.

“Engaged on letters is not an excessive amount of of a trouble for me,” mentioned Tomita.

Miiko Tsuda, president of Kumon LIL, provided her ideas on what’s behind the development.

“It’s taken with no consideration that characters are typed to convey messages on this period of social media,” mentioned Tsuda. “Conversely, writing could look contemporary on this very age.”

(This text was written by Sachi Otsuta and Shuya Iwamoto.)


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