15 March 2011

Of Japan and my thoughts

I've never been to Japan.  

On my list of places to visit, not that I love travelling, is Japan but it is not in the top 5 countries I would like to visit.  However, since last Friday, I've been addicted to Japan via the TV following the tragic situation in which she finds herself, especially after the earthquake, tsunami and now the threat of nuclear meltdown.

I've been following news feeds, tweets and also all the comments that appear on Facebook, apart from the usual TV fare.

The news is ongoing even as I write this.  

Today I read about how the Japanese people are facing their situation.  I hear that people queue up for food, there is no mad scramble or pushing and shoving.  They buy only what they need, knowing that others want to feed their family too.  Strangers help one another.  People reach out in any and every way possible. There are so many more stories but these already tell me so much about the Japanese people.

Here is the link if you want to refresh your faith in humanity.

I used to have a low opinion of them because of WWII horror stories I had heard while growing up.  Now I am glad that I see the other side of these people.

It is heartening and heartwarming to read about their courage and fortitude in such heartwrenching and heartbreaking times.

I humbly bow in great respect to the people of Japan.

(pics from photobucket)


Johan H said...

The Japanese are reacting so much more differently than the Americans in Louisiana when Katrina hit. They are much calmer, even though Miyagi is like Aceh, Katrina and Christchurch all rolled into one. I saw a Japanese woman on CNN talking about her missing teenage daughter with calm and poise, even attempting a smile for the cameras. I am truly humbled.

I am also saddened that several of my friends are still harbouring revenge for the suffering their friend's grandfather's daughter's son-in-law's child's brother's friend who got killed by the Japanese in Nanking, saying that this is just payment for the suffering. I'm reminded that it is tragedies like this that bring out the best and worst in people. I pray that when a tragedy does hit us, we'll see more good than bad in our neighbours.

Pat said...

Like you I was touched by their story, and tears came to my eyes when I heard and saw how courteous they remain, how they wait their turn in long lines, how they constantly allow someone else to go first ... the list is endless. To me, coming from here, where everyone has a 'me first' attitude, where it is push, shove and to-hell-with-you, it is indeed an eye-opener.

They are an amazing people. I cannot imagine their pain, but given who they are, and how they are facing this tragedy and all pulling together, I know that this will not keep them down for long.

My heart goes out to them.

STEEST said...


It always boils down to choice. What we choose to remember and how we choose to react is within our control.

I choose to see the Japanese for who they are today. After all, what can we do to change the past? Nothing. All we can do is hope for the future. In this regard, I believe that Japan will weather this difficult storm.

It will take time but, at least, they have the best attitude to start again.

I am also deeply saddened that some people cannot find it in their hearts to take this opportunity to push aside all the hostility and enmity.

In the face of such destruction and devastation, I cannot feel anything else but compassion for the people of Japan.

STEEST said...


I was all choked up when I read the tweets. I don't know if it is possible not to feel for the Japanese people.

I have a friend who is there and she is ever so gentle and polite. It is a great reminder to me to emulate her.

You are right that here we have become accustomed to a "me first' attitude.

I am grateful, however, that my family and friends seem to have a "we first" attitude.

Antares said...

We are all subject to hardship and pain at one time or another. It's how we face these tribulations that matter - not what the actual tribulation is. The stoical Japanese are teaching us the meaning of dignity and honor in the face of extreme adversity. Now, can we as a species wean ourselves from our own toxix anthropocentrism?

joshua said...

I guess Japan has learnt a lot from WWII.

We forgive them.

They're just as human as we are.

STEEST said...


Yes, it isn't what comes across our paths that make us. It's what we do when it does.

The Japanese have loads to teach us about dignity and honour.


STEEST said...


You are absolutely right!