Newest trend in Japan: Arranged marriages

Westernisation and the increasing independence of women led to a marked decline. By 1990 the proportion of arranged marriages is thought to have fallen to around 30 per cent of the total.

But things changed in the after a swathe of the country was devastated by the tsunami and earthquake.

“People felt so lonely in the big cities,” said Sasaki Akiko, a tour guide.

“After the earthquake, there was no public transportation and people had to walk up to 10 hours to get home.”