Idobata Kaigi (井戸端会議 – Small Talk)

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    Idobata Kaigi

    井戸端会議


    I sometimes see idobata kaigi (井戸端会議) when walking around my town.
    街を歩いているとたまに「井戸端会議」を見かけます。

    Idobata kaigi is when housewives have small talk or gossip.
    「井戸端会議」とは、主婦同士などによる世間話やうわさ話のことです。

    Since ido (井戸) means “well,” bata/hata (端) means “side,” and kaigi (会議) means “meeting,” the literal meaning of idobata kaigi is a meeting at the well.
    「井戸」は “well”、「端」は “side”、「会議」は “meeting” を意味するので、「井戸端会議」の文字どおりの意味は “a meeting at the well” となります。

    In the past, when there was no indoor water supply and public wells were commonly used, housewives gathered at the wells to draw water and wash clothes.
    かつて、水道がなく共同の井戸が使われていた頃、井戸は主婦が水くみや洗濯に集まる場となっていました。

    Housewives often enjoyed small talk and gossip near the well, so such talk between intervals of housework came to be referred to as idobata kaigi (井戸端会議).
    井戸端では、よく近所の主婦たちが世間話やうわさ話に興じていたことから、そのようなおしゃべりを「井戸端会議」と呼ぶようになったというわけです。

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