Sunday, March 13, 2011

がんばれ日本! がんばれ東北!

It was very sweet that the Independent in the UK had this phrase on their front page. It's been a very busy and exciting (in the negative sense) few days in Japan. Thankfully, everyone I know is accounted for and safe as far as I know, but many were not so fortunate. I've changed the title of my blog to a more somber phrase for a bit - it's a haiku by Issa, written after the death of his young daughter.

I will have more to say on the situation soon, but right now I'm still in processing mode. My one word of advice to observers is to look past the Fukushima reactor complex problems and focus on the un-sexy but far more important human toll in the Tohoku region.

I will say that it's interesting (and really, rather understandable) that much of the world is paying more attention to the reactor problems than many of the other issues. This is perhaps a common human thing - the quakes are (for now) largely over (this is leaving aside the aftershocks), and the tsunami is done (again, for now), so we pay attention to the immediate drama at Fukushima. I don't think the instant gratification culture is to blame here, rather I think it's just in our nature to be attracted to the more dramatic issues. The cleanup and search efforts are just not as exciting, though I'm sure we'll see a few stories of people beating the odds and surviving in amazing circumstances, but soon enough even this will be forgotten by most people not directly involved.

Give money if you can, give your time if you can, give your thoughts and encouragement if that's all you can give.

No comments: