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The recent earthquake has done some horrible things to Japan. Shinkansen knocked out, reactors melting down, bodies washing up on the shores, people displaced from their homes, the list keeps going. One of the things that keeps impressing me, though, is the spirit of the Japanese people. There is a sense of civil service that is at the heart of the Japanese culture that touches my heart and warms my spirit. I’ve been watching news broadcasts on TV Japan and reading statements by Japanese officials… and I’ve noticed something. The majority of Japanese people seem to respond to an event like this the same way. They attempt to keep living normally and try to find a way to help the others live normally too. They go to work, trying to set things right and bring everything back to status quo. I guarantee you that the Shinkansen will be repaired quickly and people will try their best to go back to living normal lives. I believe this because that is what I’ve seen from the Japanese people over the years, a strong sense of civic duty, work ethic and personal responsibility.

There are, sadly, exceptions. Do you remember Governor Ishihara? He was one of the ones who pushed through the ridiculous anime ban a while back. Well, he has done something that has me angry at him again. I suppose he has been listening to a few American religious extremists because he has said that the earthquake and ensuing tsunami were divine punishment for Japan’s egoism. Now, he has since apologized for his remarks…  but the fact remains that with heaven-only-knows amounts of his kinsmen washing up dead on the shores… or desperately trying to stabilize reactors… or working on housing and feeding the displaced… his first reaction was “We deserved this.” Really?! I used to think of Ishihara as a man who hated anime for no good reason… but now, I’m starting to think of him as a man who hates anything that reminds him that Japanese people are human beings… and that saddens me.

So, folk out there on the internets, setting Ishihara aside, you might have noticed that the anime has been rolling in as normal. I watched Onii-chan this week with a news overlay of affected areas, but I watched it none the less. I don’t think much will change from the perspective of the overseas anime fan. If there is a country that has experience recovering from anything earthquake or nuclear-related, it is Japan. They will get up and tell themselves everything is fine, because that is what they are best at. When we see something like this happen, most Americans first reaction is “That is terrible! I need to send them money!” I’ll not discourage you from doing so, but I believe in my heart that even if Japan didn’t see a cent from America, they will be fine. The Japanese Red Cross hasn’t sent any requests for aid, but various organizations in other countries have been gathering donations to help Japan. Remember, if you wish to donate to help Japan, only do so through legitimate routes. I don’t want to see a scam artist getting rich off of the suffering of the Japanese people because you texted JAPAN somewhere. Keep an eye out for scams like that now, and during any similar tragedy in the future. It is horrible to think that people are capable of such things… but corpses always bring out the vultures.

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5 Comments

  1. not to be morbidly disrespectful, but I cannot wait to see what kind of anime comes out after this. Real tragedy, real pain, that can make some good stories. I’d like to see how apocalypse style is colored after this more modern event.

    • Actually, I expect a renewal of Western Fantasy and Period. Nothing makes folk wish for worlds of magic, wonder, elves, honor and “the olden days” like some sort of great modern tragedy. While it might seem heartless to say, part of the reason for the great success of the Lord of the Rings franchise was that it came at the perfect time for Americans. After September 11th, the American psyche called out for fantasy. Of course, there was no way that they could have known that when they started filming. Regardless, my bet is on a new wave of Fantasy and Period.

    • Yeah that Tokyo Magnitude anime did suck….

  2. Seeing as i’m a bad person and treating japan like i’ve been treating the rest of the world i do pop off the occasional japan earthquake joke. I sometimes wonder if its too soon though.

    • Not at all. If you can not ease the tension of the Unfortunate through humor it will always be taboo. Trust a Nigger.


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