“Emergency centers, where more than 450,000 evacuees are being housed in stadiums or schools, are neatly organized, with people constructing origami boxes made of newspaper in which to nestle their shoes. This is a country where people do not wear shoes inside, and the habit extends to the little islands of blankets that each evacuated family claims in their emergency shelter” (Time’s Global Spin blog)
Jomon pots are used as cultural ambassadors for Japan in major exhibitions around the world. Most nations look back to imperial glories or invading armies – and I think it’s extraordinary that a technologically, economically powerful nation like Japan proudly places the very origins of its identity in the early hunter-gatherers. As an outsider, I find the meticulous attention to detail and the patterning of the surface, and the long continuity of Jomon traditions, already very Japanese.
– author Marie Mutsuki Mockett gives us an insight into modern day Japan in her wonderful piece Memories, Washed Away ;
– the Daily Mail on the courage of the Fukushima fifty workers at Japan’s stricken nuclear plan ;
– CNN on how Japan’s religions confront tragedy ;
– philosopher Alain de Botton on tsunamis and Stoicism ;
– an interesting take from Larry Elkin on the Japanese emperors’ speech explaining a constitutional monarchy to Americans :
We have seen many times how monarchs can inspire their people, raise morale and even change history, all without any real political power at all. Royals are at their best when suffering is greatest and they provide whatever relief they can.
Japan’s suffering is the greatest it has seen in a very long time. I hope their emperor can help the Japanese through these trials.