One American reporter mentioned that, in all her years of reporting from the sites of disasters, she had never seen a situation in which (despite the desperate need for food and clean water) the vending machines and stores remained un-violated. Another mentioned the stoic courage of the Japanese -- their unfaltering dignity, even as they stood among the ruins of their homes.
I heard an interview with one old man who, at the end of the questions, closed by saying to the reporter, his voice formal and unwavering: "Thank you for coming." My eyes welled with tears, at this. I could feel the dignified bow in his words.
Still another reporter pointed out the manners of the Japanese people in shelters -- how they lined up for meals with the utmost courtesy and self-organization; how they remained silent at night out of respect for each other, even in rooms packed with hundreds of displaced souls.
|"The Great Wave Off Kanugawa," by Hokusai|
Their courage is obvious and their composure and dignity should be a model to us all, in every part of the Earth.
I do have a number of Japanese readers, who have continued to read my posts of late. I write this to honor them and to honor an ancient culture which is full of tradition yet constantly relevant and important to international happenings; a culture that stands as firm as the venerable Mount Fuji, strong and immovable, despite the great waves and the shaking of the Earth -- just as it does in the distance of the famous work by Hokusai, above.