Donnerstag, 8. September 2011

Thoughts about Japan

On March 11 this year a magnitude 9.0 earthquake occured off the japanese coast. It triggered a 40 metres high tsunami-wave, which damaged 3 nuclear power plants in Fukushima. everyone in a radius of 50 miles around the plants got evacuated. The overall cost could exceed US$300 billion, making it the most expensive natural disaster on record. 

The National Police Agency has confirmed 15,774 deaths, 5,929 injured, and 4,227 people missing across eighteen prefectures.
Of the 13,135 fatalities recovered by 11 April 2011, 12,143 or 92.5% died by drowning. Victims aged 60 or older accounted for 65.2% of the deaths, with 24% of total victims being in their 70s.
I don't remember exactly what i did on that day. Presumably i was suffering through a horrible day at my workplace, hoping for my shift to end so that i could see my girlfriend. I do, however, remember how i reacted to the news:
I did not react at all.
Well at least not on the first day. In fact, it took my around a week to fully realise what had happened there. That's how numb i had become by the trivialities of daily life. 
Japanese (Pop-)Culture had played a large part in my life up to that point. I'm a big fan of Japanese Jazz and Fusion Musicians. As a kid, I admired japanese Animated Shows and (sigh) Manga. And the countless hours i played my Super Nintendo! I thought of all the famous japanese People i knew by name: Akira Jimbo, Issei Noro, Nobuo Uematsu, Shigeru Miyamoto, Koji Kondo, Tetsuo Sakurai, Takashi Miike, Katsuhiro Otomo, Hironobu Sakaguchi, etc etc
I may not be proud of all the times i watched Pokemon or Dragonball instead of doing my Homework. But it doesn't matter how much it may emberass me nowadays, Japan sure as hell has shaped me and made me the Person I am today.

The second thing that crossed my mind was: "Fuck, now I'm never gonna be able to visit Tokyo, cause of all the Radiation!" The way the Japanese were handling the situation was awe-inspiring. People who lost their homes and families shrug their shoulders, fight back their tears and get busy building their destroyed citys all over again!
In a way, it was weird too see all the destruction and the chaos. Japanese culture after World War 2 is crammed with Destruction and Death. Just look at all the Godzilla-Films!  In Fiction, Tokyo gets completely annihilated practically once a week! It seems, they haven't been able to stomach their trauma from the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings, and now they're facing a similar horrible situation. You really have to feel sorry for these guys, unless you have a heart of stone.
In conclusion, what I'm basically trying to say here, is that, in spite of all their Problems the Japanese are still going strong and i think we can learn a lot from them. And yes, we should pray for them.

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