Tōhoku Disaster helps to explain why I love Japan

On March 11th 2011 North-east Japan was rocked by a powerful earthquake that triggered a destructive tsunami that devastated the coast and killed thousands of Japanese. Following up closely on that double whammy was the news (which unfolded right before the eyes of the world) that one of the nuclear power plants in the affected area was badly damaged and the authorities are experiencing extreme difficulties in getting the situation under control.

It has been said many times before and after the crisis that Japan is the most prepared country in the world when it comes to earthquakes and was proved true as the earthquake itself and hundreds of aftershocks were not the main cause for concern it was the deadly tsunami and the possible nuclear fallout.

I have been a Japan enthusiast for a long time. Most of my close friends and family members are aware of this but very few understand why I am so crazy about country many of my friends can’t even tell apart from China. I have always struggled to put into words just why Japan fascinates me to level far deeper that my love of anime, video games, motor vehicles and giant robots. It’s funny because last last year I was helping my sister with her homework and telling her that “tsunami” is a word that originated from Japanese.

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2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

In a strange way the disaster in Japan has helped me to explain and show why I love Japan. Even my mom has a new appreciation and understanding of the country and how  disaster was prepared for and handled afterwards. Japan itself isn’t perfect but seeing videos and pictures of Japanese citizens lining up for supplies, helping each other out and not looting and rioting says a lot about the people. In Japan from an early age you are taught to be considerate and to deter your personal interests for the betterment of the larger group. So many people especially those in my native Jamaica could learn so much from Japan’s experience and response. Stay strong Japan, I know you will bounce back and recover to be even better. Inspiration for Operation Visit Japan just keeps getting higher.

Poster by my Illustrator pal Micheal – http://www.flickr.com/photos/freestylee/

Throughout the crisis I stayed on top of the news via online streams and Twitter, below are a selection of interesting links and articles I shared in random order that could be useful.

Earthquake – Tsunami – Nuclear Crisis useful links and articles

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14 thoughts on “Tōhoku Disaster helps to explain why I love Japan

  1. I too have a great respect for the Japanese and how they handle crisis and their general approach to development. They are a unified people with a common goal of better living for all.

    Throughout history they have stuck together to overcome many challenges and it is their unification that has helped to make Japan a great country.

    I really hope that this disaster will not affect your plans for visiting.

  2. Thanks for these words. I share your passionate appreciation for Japanese culture (past and present), and I too have an “Operation Visit Japan” initiative under way. I’ll continue to follow your excellent blog and of course, fervently hope for Japan’s strong recovery.

  3. Kirk, good post as always. There is indeed a lot to admire about Japan, Japanese people and culture in the aftermath of this disaster. Like you, I’m planning to return to JP in summer – I was a bit reticent given the hyperbole from certain news orgs, but I’m confident that everything is on its way to being settled. Besides, the last thing Japan needs or deserves is a falloff in tourism.

  4. Thank you for the heartwarming and encouraging post.
    Since the earth, we, Japanese, have received so much love from all over the world. Following the news about the earthquake, tsunami and nuke plants really depressed me, but I can not say enough about how much I was encouraged by #prayforjapan tweets and caring, heartwarming and encouraging blog posts like this post. I really appreciate for you to write the post and share your idea.

  5. I know.. I live in New Zealand, and have fallen in love with Japan about two years ago now.. I learn the language etc.

    We have had a quake here also, and although it was nowhere near as bad, many people decided that it would be the perfect timing for looting :L

    I agree, the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear combo has helped me show others why I love Japan and why I care about it and its people..

  6. I too respect that about Japan. Compare that against people I know here in the UK making silly jokes about the disaster. To see the calm and dignified reactions of the Japanese. It truly ached my heart to witness such devastation so it confused me that people could joke about such a situation. That’s the difference I think, here in some of the west people have lost the ability to empathise, to think about more than themselves.

  7. Ernie, the keyword you used in your statement was government. We love the japanese culture and people, not the government perse. Yes the government is made up of japanese people but it doesnt reflect the personality or culture of the japanese people. To look at it another way, people from the mid-east dislike the american government because of its foreign policies. At the same time, those mid-east people love the american people and culture. ^_^.. Sidenote: I to am a jamaican who loves japan.

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