The Samurai people

March 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm 11 comments

Japan, a group of many islands in the Pacific Rim, is the land of the most enterprising, hard-working and disciplined people belonging to the Nipponese tribe. Short in physical stature, the contributions of the Japanese towards the progress of human race are nevertheless gigantic and touch all endeavours of human activity- from science to spirituality, from music to martial arts. The nation, often threatened by natural calamities and once ravaged by a nuclear holocaust, is also the birthplace for the most fertile and creative minds.  The ideas and ideals emanating from here have often transformed human thoughts and fuelled human progress and there isn’t a civilization that has remained immune to its defining influences.  The small Japanese cars are a rage the world over, its electronic and digital goods are house-hold essentials and its engineering expertise has created architectural marvels in far-off cities across the globe.  While an Ikebana is signature statement for a connoisseur in fine living, Kaizen today is a technique employed the world over for constant plan, process and product refinements, all originating from the land of the rising sun.

Such colossal achievements have naturally given the Japanese a very firm grip on global markets, economies and politics. We thus have today more Japanese multinational companies in the world than any other nation, have trillions of Yen invested in all major economies and Japan play a very crucial role in the geopolitics of our world.  And by virtue of these commending positions, it occupied a pride of place in the comity of nations until that fateful March afternoon when the earth beneath it shook violently and altered its topography and with it, its destiny, beyond recognition.  

The advanced technology of the Japanese ensured that the buildings the quake shook stood erect but the churning of the oceanic waters spelt catastrophe to the nation that is often complimented for it high level of disaster preparedness. And soon the monstrous waves breached their natural boundaries and engulfed vast swamps of land, bringing down and sweeping away in the fury all that came in their way- people, houses, vehicles, bridges, farms, ships and even aircrafts!  Finally when the waves retreated, what were left behind are huge masses of rubble with undistinguishable human bodies stuck beneath them, flames leaping across from a hundred blazing fires and the threat of many impending nuclear accidents. As the nation face multitudes of human tragedy, a thick dark cloud of despondency hangs over the country.

But Japanese are no ordinary people to wallow in desperation and lament over the untold cruelty that the nature has inflicted on them. They are the descendents of the “Samurai” who would face the gravest situation with undaunted courage and fight till their last breathe, not for their selfish ends but for the well-being of the society and of the nation. They are cowed down neither by the severity of the crisis nor by the enormity of the tasks ahead.  They are the warriors who are duty-bound to safe-guard the nation and uphold its honour and self-sacrifice is a natural instinct of every Japanese to achieve this goal.

This trait of the “Samurai” is in amble display as the nation struggles to find a grip of its multifaceted problems in the aftermath of the Tsunami. Scores of engineers and technicians, with utter disregard to their own personal safety, are battling it out at the various nuclear plants to minimise radiation levels and to re-start their operations. Thousands of volunteers are on the streets in biting cold, looking for survivors and providing succour to millions, again putting behind their own safely and the need for minimum personal comfort.  Many of these people are themselves shattered by the calamity and herein comes to fore the innate quality of putting the interest of the nation and its people first and foremost – the true characteristics of a “Samurai”.    

Neither the earthquake of magnitude “9” on the Richter was powerful enough to shake or even to jolt the fundamental character of stealthy resolve of the Japanese nor the 33 feet high tsunami forceful enough to wash away the very distinctive spirit of communion and comradely among them. Again, the subsequent multitude infernos that blazed off and reduced to ashes all that it touched was not thermal enough even to bruise the mighty towers of national pride and purpose nor was the lethal radiation that spewed out of the ravaged nuclear plants  penetrative enough to mutate the essential DNA of courage and industry of its people.

In the midst of all-round destruction and the prospect of a grim and hard life that lay ahead, it is the extraordinary sense of   discipline and self-restraint of average Japanese that evokes awe and admiration the world around.   He might be the one who lost all his dearest ones, whose home and belongings are turned to a heap of soaked rubble and the one to whom future stares blank – but he holds within himself the sorrows of grave personal loss and patiently waits in unending queues for his turn to get essential supplies. These are qualities not seen in lesser men and are a product of generations of idealism and again it is these qualities that erase any doubt in the minds of the world community on the capacity of the Japanese people to emerge out of this crisis.  This sentiment of faith in its people is loudly echoed in the fast regaining values of the Japanese stocks the world over.

The world is truly humbled by the valour of this exceptional human race.

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11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. umeshjairam  |  March 20, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    It was reported in the channels that not even a single shop/house was looted. The survivors patiently waited at the counters, super malls for getting the food.

    My salute to the people of Japan, who inspite of such a catastrophic natural calamity, are showing great amount of re-silence.

  • 2. chapter18  |  March 20, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Yeah. There is lot to be learnt from them.


  • 3. balakrishnan  |  March 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    My immediate boss is a Japanese. Richter Scale 9 did not shake him. His wife is alone back home. He continues to work as if nothing has happened. There are many things we need to learn from this race and sit back and mull over.

    Now let me draw your attention to another issue. Japan sits on a fault zone. The joint between two geographical plates of the earth’s outer surface, which are constantly moving against each other is in this vicinity. The energy released by each of these movements is equivalent to that of thousands of nuclear bombs. This is the reason why Japan is subjected to frequent quakes. There are hundreds of underwater volcanoes towards north east of Japan (called ring of fire). Therefore Nuclear power plants are not only totally unsuitable but potentially detrimental to Japan. This country made of small islands has 52 Nuclear reactors. This is a major hazard to the whole world. They must immediately start dismantling these reactors. They are ticking bombs!

    The genius of Japan will enable them to discover new forms of alternate energy sources in the near future, I am sure.

  • 4. rekhabaala  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    They will bounce back… as they always have. Their strength, resilience and humility is something that the rest of the world has to be learnt from.

    • 5. Chatterbox  |  March 26, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      I totally agree with rekhabaala 😛

  • 6. balakrishnan  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    We must also examine why Japanese today are so docile, peace loving etc. We must have the correct historic perspective.

    How did second world war come to an end? The Japanese were the only country to have been bombarded by a nuclear weapon in history. Why? What provoked it?

    Historically Japan was not the same. Japan had territorial ambitions. Do you know that they had colonies in India? During my stay at Port Blair (capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands) between 2006 to 2008, I heard about the horrors unleashed by Japanese on the locals during their occupation of these Islands in the 30s and 40s (pre-independence). The large number of concrete bunkers strewn around there bears testimony to their presence and ambitions there.

    Do you know how the air-port in Port Blair was built? The Japanese chopped the heads of a few villagers in that area and displayed them in public and told the others to clear the forest for making the air-port. Whoever resisted were also beheaded. All the heads were displayed in public to silence the villagers untill they complied with their tyranny to clear the forest and make way for the air-port.

    Their transformation to what they are today is partially out of historical compulsion. They know that they can not survive by being aggressive.

    They have no natural resources. Their land is made of fly-ash from the volcano. They get raw materials from all over the world, convert them into value added products and export them to the rest of the world. They are the second largest economy in the world. For this their capital is hard work and commitment to quality. But in the process, they have become the largest consumer of petroleum products in the world. I feel Japan should tone down its ambitions and integrate with the rest of the world.

  • 7. chapter18  |  March 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Wonderful insight. Maybe there is a lesson for countries who are equally aggresive to emulate the Japanese. Your exposition also somehow suggests that there is a Karmic pattern to what is happening there now, though I don’t want to sound anything like tit-for-tat or pre-designed consequence of earlier actions. Lots to ponder/reflect over.


  • 8. Evie Garone  |  March 24, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Nice blog…very interesting. I do commend the Japanese people and wish them nothing but luck and good health in the future! I hope this disaster can have the best outcome possible, it is so unfortunate.


  • 9. Enigma  |  March 25, 2011 at 12:27 am

    Whatever you say is true. We surely have a lot to learn from the Japanese.

    From what the comments say, the Japanese might not be as humble and peace loving people as they seem to be today but then, every person has some short comings. So does every nation.

    But the main thing is they tried their very best to become strong and prove themselves to the world after the second world war.

    Even now, just like before they are trying their very hard to make things better. I salute them for their courage to stand up and face this calamity and not giving up.

    I wish all Japanese good luck with their future and may all souls who lost their lives rest in peace.

    And thank you for visiting my blog.
    Nice post. Your writing style is very appreciative! 🙂

    • 10. chapter18  |  March 26, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      Thanks for the comment. Nations, as individuals, also learn and grow.


  • 11. trisha  |  March 27, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    japanese are really remarkable persons. hope things will get better, am a bit worried because of the radiation- thats not a very comfortable thing to think about.


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