Asahikawa Design Week for People Hungry for Real Communication

There are many sets of a dining table and chairs outside. It's a courtyard surrounded by small food stalls.

It seems like we averagely spend 52 minutes a day to gossip.

Do you like gossip? You may believe “No way! I’m not such a person who gossips around.” I know how you feel, but I’m afraid you can’t see yourself. In fact, it seems that a man is an animal to gossip. According to a study by UC Riverside, we averagely spend 52 minutes a day to gossip. For your information, the academic definition of gossip is just talking about someone who isn’t there, and it’s not limited to negative topics. Our perception, however, seems to be correct, and the study also revealed that negative gossip was twice as prevalent as positive ones.

Why do we like gossip so much like this? I was curious and made some research to find an article about a study result by the University of Michigan. The article said gossiping would increase the level of progesterone. This substance with an unfamiliar name is well known as a “feel-good” hormone. The hormone is very important especially for women’s health, and this may be the reason why it is often said women like gossip more than men. In fact, the above study by UC Riverside proved that women gossip more. Now, my curiosity goes deeper. Why are we designed to feel good by gossiping?

Gossiping because we can’t live without relationships with others

To tell the truth, I already have the answer to the above question because I’ve read some books by Yuval Noah Harari. In his book “Sapiens: From Animals to Gods,” he wrote “our language evolved as a variant of gossip.” We are first and foremost social animals, and gossiping has been always essential to see who is a friend and who is a foe, according to him. What a harsh world we live in! Anyway, the point is you don’t have to be ashamed of loving gossip. It’s just one of human nature written in our genetic code to survive.

Why was I answering to my own question about gossip like this? It’s because I want to show how important communication with others is for us, using gossip as an example. This is where I begin with today’s main subject. During the COVID restraint period, I believe many people would have been hungry for communication. The use of online communication tools has spread, but we couldn’t be completely satisfied with online communication, could we? We are not designed to be able to live without physical communication, though I have to admit it’s sometimes annoying.

Recently, things have been finally getting back to normal, and I’m back to the days of traveling around the world for business. Surprisingly, I knew for the first time how much I loved going abroad and seeing people out there. In the same way, there must be many people who miss going to Japan. Here’s a recommendation for you: Asahikawa Design Week. It’s held in Hokkaido every June. As some of you may know, June is a rainy season in the mainland of Japan, but we don’t have it here. On the contrary, June (early summer) is said to be the best season in Hokkaido. Don’t miss the chance to satisfy your thirst for communication in person over great food under a great climate!

Photo credit: Image by drobotdean on Freepik /


Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.