I had been upset about a work-related email since yesterday but woke up this morning to the horrific news from Japan which put things into perspective and I quickly got over myself.
– David Abraham, a Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations based in Tokyo, writes about the search for solid ground ;
Civility still reigned though: pedestrians waited for traffic lights to turn green before they crossed the road and no car horns blared. (New York Times)
– The London Review of Books also has an eye witness account ;
– Japanese skyscrapers swaying dramatically;
– In Focus has photographs of the damage (The Atlantic)
– but things would be a lot worse without Japan’s remarkable disaster readiness (Frum Forum) ;
– one of my favourite journalists, Nicholas Kristof, covered the 1995 Kobe earthquake which killed more than 6,000 people when he was Tokyo bureau chief for The New York Times and he offers some words of hope :
In an essay in the Times after the Kobe quake, I ended with a 17th century haiku from one of Japan’s greatest poets, Basho:
The vicissitudes of life.
Sad, to become finally
A bamboo shoot.
I find something noble and courageous in Japan’s resilience and perseverance, and it will be on display in the coming days. This will also be a time when the tight knit of Japan’s social fabric, its toughness and resilience, shine through. So maybe we can learn just a little bit from Japan. In short, our hearts go out to Japan, and we extend our deepest sympathy for the tragic quake. But also, our deepest admiration.