Friday, March 18, 2011

Spotlight: We can all learn from Japan's Strength

I'm supposed to only write one Spotlight feature per month but seeing the devastation that has swept Japan and the strength/courage her people displayed, I can't help but be amazed. We normally joke about how giant monsters always attack Japan or ponder about apocalyptic messages in many an anime feature. But the 8.9 earthquake and the tsunami attacks that followed seem to be just a few of Japan's real-life enemies.

After my initial horror at seeing live footages of the tragedy, I found myself reading up on the Japanese people's response to the calamity. One of the things I stumbled upon was Jun Shiomitsu's compilation of Tweets reflecting how the Japanese really feel about their plight. What beautiful people! They displayed surprising resiliency despite the tragedy. Here are a couple of snippets:

You can read his entire compilation here. Let me just say again how amazed I was that there were no signs of riot or mayhem amidst all these. They assisted each other calmly. I never thought it was possible for a nation to act so dignified at a time like this but I had been proven wrong.

For those who wish to lend a helping hand, I've previously blogged about the little ways in which you could reach out to Japan. I'm also trying not to read negative comments about Japan (Pearl Harbor etc. when the damage to Hiroshima and Nagasaki was hundred-thousand times greater) because that would just spark unnecessary negativity. All I know is that whenever a country suffers some natural catastrophe, Japan had always been quick to aid.

So I'm taking a break from reviewing anime, manga and video games this week just to offer this tribute. Japan, I hope we all learn from your shining example.

On a brighter note, I wonder if this steadfast behavior is common to the animals, too. I mean, many otaku have heard of Hachiko, the dog whose legendary loyalty has earned him a commemorative bronze statue in Shibuya. Here's another story about a loyal dog in the wake of the earthquake+tsunami combo:

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