P.K. is feeling cold, but is anyone willing to warm him up?

There’s a lot to like about the SoraNews24 office: plenty of floor space, nice location in Tokyo’s exciting Shinjuku neighborhood, occasional giant Pikachu visits. One drawback, though, is that it’s pretty drafty, which is why you’ll often notice our writing team dressed in warm clothing in the photos of them hard at work at this time of year.

But you know what’s even more warm and comforting than a hoodie from Uniqlo’s Shinjuku shop, or even one of the cashmere sweaters we can’t afford from the Shinjuku Gucci store? A great big hug from a true friend, and that’s what our Japanese-language reporter P.K. Sanjun was hoping for on a recent afternoon as he sat shivering at his work desk.

So he started looking around the room and wondered who would give him a hug if he asked?

▼ P.K. (bottom right) and the coworkers he wanted hugs from

We should point out that hugs aren’t especially common in Japan. Japanese society in general isn’t all that into physical displays of affection, even of the platonic sort. So ordinarily going around an office and saying “Hey, bro, can I get  a hug!” is going to be a pretty low-percentage play. On the other hand, P.K. likes to think we have especially strong bonds between our coworkers here at SoraNews24, so maybe everyone would be on board?

However, P.K. was worried that if he told everyone he wanted a hug for the sake of an article, all he’d get would be “business hugs,” embraces of the professional kind that lack the sort of warming effect he was hoping for. So instead he simply went from desk to desk and asked, without any sort of preamble:

“I’m really cold, so will you hug me?”

Here’s how that plan turned out.

● Mr Sato: Good hug!

With his penchant for zany antics, it’s sometimes hard to predict how our ace reporter Mr. Sato will act in a given set of circumstances. On this day, though, he was all cheerful agreement. “Actually, I was thinking of asking everyone for hugs too!” he told P.K. as he embraced him.

● Go Hatori: Mediocre hug

In contrast to Mr. Sato’s all-in attitude, Go’s response was much more lukewarm. He didn’t so much put his arms around P.K. as slip his forearms around his shoulder blades, almost like a boxer clinching in the ring. Yes, there was human contact, but not the warmth coming from his hug partner’s heart that P.K. had been seeking.

● Masanuki Sunakoma: Mediocre hug

“Uh, OK, I’m gonna hug you now,” Masanuki said as gave P.K. a quick squeeze. That temerity wasn’t exactly what P.K. had expected of someone bold enough to have recently added a “Super Sexy Snake and Cross Necklace” to his wardrobe.

● Ahiru Neko: No hug

“Look, if you’re not even going to make an article out of it, we’re not hugging,” Ahiru Neko told P.K. flat-out. Maybe he’s still sore about the time P.K. tossed a freshly cooked piping-hot crepe on his face, even though he only did it in the name of science.

● Takashi Harada: Good hug

Salvation came from an unexpected place as Takashi was quick to give P.K. a solid, warm hug. He wasn’t expecting that, since Takashi has a reputation as being a pretty shy guy, but maybe as a result of him being a former rugby player his heart burns with fiery friendship for his workplace teammate.

● Seiji Nakazawa: Mediocre hug

Seiji lost a few points here not because of poor hug technique, but because as he smiled and embraced P.K. he told him “Well, since everyone else is…” Ideally, P.K. wants hugs from people who want to hug him based entirely on the love they personally feel for him.

● Yuichiro Wasai: Great hug

Now this is the kind of hug P.K. wants! “Hey, it’s kind of cold, so could you give me a hug?” asked P.K., and within a second Yuichiro was out of his seat and doing his best to warm him up. P.K. wishes that everyone in the world could go to Yuichiro for a hug when they’re feeling cold.

● Yoshio: Great hug

And last, SoraNews24 owner and founder Yoshio matched Yuichiro’s speed and even exceeded his enthusiasm. By coincidence, Yoshio and Yuichiro have the exact same birthday, right down to the same year, and P.K. couldn’t help wondering if everyone who was born on that day is so willing to give out hugs.

So all in all, P.K. went 7 for 8, which is a really good hugging percentage for a Japanese office. We wouldn’t recommend trying this in most workplaces in Japan, especially if you and your coworkers haven’t all already agreed to drink a love potion together like P.K. and this group has. But at least at the SoraNews24 office, hugs are, statistically, pretty easy to come by, as long as people aren’t giving out scorpion deathlocks instead.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]