Mar 12, 2011

Japanese used to disaster- and resentment

Japanese must be the most enduring of people.  They are used to natural disasters, being in an earthquake and tsunami hot zone.  THIS one was pretty over the top for so much of northern Honshu's coastal areas are in ruin.  Most people in Japan do live near the seacoasts.

Imagine whole towns obliterated by a wall of water and debris!   We do remember what happened in Southern Japan in August, 1945.  Shown here, school children posing in Hiroshima in front of the "Peace Memorial", usually called the "Atomic Bomb Memorial".

Today, ground zero is a bustling modern, rebuilt city.  Japanese manage to rebuild after disaster--when two cities' inhabitants were burned alive in atomic bombings which abruptly ended WWII.   Disaster..whether historic from Mother Nature or of their own making is a horrible thing.  Yet imagine a city like Hiroshima looking today like this, everything new, reborn from the world's first nuclear attack just 2 generations ago!

Earthquake - Tsunami 2011

If you've ever surfed in an ocean, you know that a 3 foot swell can knock you off your feet with its power.  This wave was 30 feet and it just rolled over everything for up to six miles inland.  It took out cars and big boats and houses, and people who didn't hear the brief warning on their radios--and that was only a minute or two.  While the numbers of caught-off-guard Japanese dead in 2011 may not match what happened that ended their misfortune and ill-conceived war 65 years ago to a bomb, it is a disaster nonetheless for those in it.

Prayers probably won't help to our God who inexplicably allows these things to happen.  So donations probably would.  Red Cross seems the best place to send them.  We might consider that our uncles and grandparents who fought them last century, and have now died, would not have forgiven them for their barbary.  But today, most Americans who were not there, do.

Not everyone agrees.  I happened to buy dinner from a Korean woman I knew tonight... a woman who's country was enslaved by Japanese in WWII.  I asked her, "Tough days in Japan".  She smiled...and said, "they're getting what they deserve."  Not everyone can forgive atrocities against their parents, atrocities which Korea definitely suffered.

In some ways, we Americans who DO forgive and move on, are as amazing as  are the Japanese for their endurance.

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