The tale of Genji (Murasaki Shikibu) was written in the early 11th century in Japan.
The story is about the secret affairs of a handsome and intelligent playboy named Hikaru Genji with prominent ladies. Hikaru Genji and the ladies sometimes exchanged letters instead of meeting: he was particularly attracted by well written letters. Perhaps it was because sending a good handwritten letter to somebody is a creative and passionate way of presenting ones thoughts. Not limited to love letters, the impact of receiving handwritten letters hasn’t changed for over 900 years – although it feels the impact might be stronger during this pandemic. It has been said that the golden age of letter writing was between the 18th and 20th century.
The post card above was painted by a 16 year old girl who stayed in Kiwanosato last summer. It was posted just before the lockdown to celebrate the 90th birthday of the oldest lady in the village in April. The postman who delivered this card will have been one of the very few wanted visitors to the valley during the pandemic.