Spirit of Japanese

Japan is famous for electric products, bullet trains, earthquake, sushi, ninja and so on in the world. But I do not think that people know about Japan correctly or particularly, also the day is coming when the great earthquake occurred. So I decided to explain Japan and Japanese now.

First, Japanese electronic products have the best quality in the world. You know Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Nintendo, Canon, Nikon and Casio. European car industry is distinguished indeed, but Japan has Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Mazda and Mitsubishi. for your information, I really love Subaru. I think you should buy all the Subaru’s vehicles. It will cost more than 130,000 dollars, deal with it.

Second, the great earthquake occurred in Japan on 11 March 2011. I am writing this because the day is coming soon. The magnitude was 9.0 and nearly 16,000 people died. And more than 3,000 people are missing, 26,992 people were injured, 342,509 people are still refugees, 129,101 buildings were completely destroyed, 254,057 buildings were half-destroyed and 691,678 buildings were partly destroyed. (These data are based on 8 March or earlier.) And these numbers will never tell what really happened in disaster areas. Only one biology of a victim will tell it much better. Now disaster areas are in the middle of recovery, 20,000,000 tons of removed debris are planned where to bury. Disaster areas cannot bury all of them owing to the too many amount. However, few prefectures and cities permit disaster areas to bury the debris because of concern over radioactivity. My city declined as well. These fear against radioactivity prevent disaster areas from recovery, this is so sad. Yes, Japanese know horror of radioactivity by two atomic bombs. I would permit it if I were the mayor, but contrary movement must break out. And I will not be able to object against atomic bomb victim — because I have never undergone that. It is obvious for the victims to hate any radioactivity.

When the earthquake occurred, 100,000 Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF) troops arrived in disaster areas within 36 hours. The number of troops of JSDF is about 230,000 so 43 per cent of troops were called in. This percentage of mobilization is the highest figure in the world, so we Japanese can be proud of it. Sad to say, however, there are people who insist that JSDF is bloody imperialistic troops in Japan. Actually I cannot believe that, but they do exist. They only see weapons of JSDF. They do not intend to see the people. If there were no JSDF, who would protect Japan, your own country? Get real. The world is not heaven. China has designs on Senkaku Islands, Korea illegally occupies Takeshima Islands and Russia does Kuril Islands too. They also say “Get out of here United States Force Japan!” I would not like USFJ to stay in my country, but according to them, their opinion makes Japan be no troops in Japan. I said, who would protect Japan? Seriously, who?

Third, Japanese food is familiar to the world because of its healthiness. It respects virtues of the ingredients, so it makes a thing of its freshness. In other to take account of virtues of the ingredients, it even makes much of the taste of water. Japanese even eat weeds (it does not mean marihuana) if it is healthy, for instance Nana-kusa gayu, seven-herb rice porridge. Oh, and I heard Westerner do not eat octopuses. Such a delicious ingredient for sushi!
And I must mention whales to you here. In fact, I would not like to talk about it with Westerners because they always make me upset. But let me say, it can be related to Japanese honor. However, if you think you will be disgusted by my opinion, please start to read from paragraph that begins with “Fourth, Japan had many ninja.”

Precisely, Japanese have whaled since Jomon period. We are the oldest nation that whales. Norwegians began whaling 3,000 years ago, Makah people have done it for 1,500 years, and Basque did from 11th century. But believe me, Japanese have whaled for 8,000 years. And you rarely see this figures in English literature, they would not like you to know it. Then, why is only Japan blamed by Western countries on a large scale? Norway does whaling too. So does other minority group in United States, Canada, Russia and Greenland. I guess it is a kind of Japan bashing by Westerners. Mainly, United States and Australia which have many immigrants from Norway, Russia and so on only blame Japan. Isn’t it strange?

In addition, I have not heard of criticism toward Japan from Asia, Africa, Middle East and South America. We are only blamed by North America and Europe despite Japan whales within the amount of allotment of International Whaling Commission (IWC). I feel discomfort in it. Norway is in Europe, Makah people are in Alaska, Chukchi people are in Russia and Kalaallit people are in Northern Europe. Anti-whaling group blame Japan much more than Norway and these minorities. Isn’t there anything wrong? United States and Australia once whaled and they made whales be in danger extinction. The pots call the kettle black.

People say “killing whales is cruel.” how about cows, hogs and chickens? An anti-whaling group leaked a video of slaughter of dolphins. Yes, that was terrible. The sea was dyed in red. But think about it, slaughter of cows, hogs and chickens is based on standard same as whales. Cows, hogs and chickens bleed as whales or dolphins. This is animal-racism. When I discussed whaling with Australian people, he said “But man, it’s a whale!” Oh please, what do you think about other animals? I’m confused. Are whales human or more? Extremists like Sea Shepherd make it much harder. What I would like to say is “be cool.” We should not be emotional when we talk about other nation’s culture.

I know I will get many criticism about what I said whaling. You may call me a devil or something. But I had to, sorry for the long talk.

Fourthly, Japan once had many ninja, soldiers of an old Japanese special operations forces. In Western country, they are thought that nobody can see their figure. I do not know if that is true because I have never seen them in my life. Oh, does this mean…? Just kidding. In Iran, it has female ninja army. You can see them by your eyes, but they are actually ninja. I approve. I have no idea why Ahmadinejad established such a awesome army, I cannot stand to laugh when I watch videos introducing them. Speaking of Iran, Japan is among friendly nations of Iran because of oil. Even if there were no Palestine conflict, I would blame Israel and United States for Iranian nuclear problem.

Did you know ninja did not wear black clothes? Usually they wore dark ocher color clothes because black color stands out in darkness of night. Also ninja only carry one or three to four “shuriken” about because many shuriken were too heavy. So real ninja did not throw many shuriken at enemies as film or comics. Their main goal was to get information, not to fight against enemies. Yes, they mainly aimed to escape from enemies.

Fifthly, you probably know Japanese samurai. They were like Japanese knight, but were different from knight in many ways. Knights follow Chivalry while samurai follow Bushido. Bushido requires 1) bowing to the liege sovereign, 2) searching after meaning of life, 3) mastering military arts, 4) comprehending mental logic. Japanese school do not teach up any religions. M. de Laveleye, a Belgian jurist, heard it and said “How do you impart moral education without religion?” After that, a Japanese realized that Bushido plays this role in Japan. That Japanese was — yes, he was Inazo Nitobe. Also let me say: not being taught religion in school does not mean Japanese have no religion. Bushido has no relation to war or terrorism. Japanese are peace-liking nation. Japanese merely do not like disregarding injustice and intend to make a clear distinction.

I really would like you to read “Bushido” written by Inazo Nitobe. You will see how invaluable moral Japanese have. It is sometimes related to kamikaze attack in the World War II, but you must realize it is lie when you read “Bushido.” And even kamikaze attack have nothing to do with terrorism as suicide attack like September 11 attacks although al-Qaeda referred Japanese kamikaze.

The word “kamikaze” literally means “divine wind” and represents “Country Gods protects.” (Technically, this word “Gods” does not mean the Lord of monotheism.) Kamikaze blew in 1281 (and possibly in 1274) when Yuan Dynasty attacked Japan. Kamikaze, a great typhoon made ships of Yuan sink and let Japan win. From this history, Japanese have thought that Gods protect Japan. And kamikaze attack was a military operation, not guerrilla terrorism. To tell the truth, my grandfather was a kamikaze pilot in 1945. If the war had continued one more month, I would not have been born.

It is easy for you to criticize kamikaze pilots were fanatical barbarians. But is that so? Only a few high places in Japanese military made them do that. Also there is a thing you generally misunderstand about the then Emperor of Japan. Most of people including Japanese think he was militant man, but he loved peace so much. The military authorities began the war, not the Emperor. He tried to stop the uniform, but sadly, he could not. If you doubt it, please read his biography and you will believe me. When he passed away, India mourned him for three days and Bhutan mourned him for even one month. You can guess how he was respected from it.

Lastly, I would like to introduce Japanese international contribution to you. Although there are people indifferent as to international affairs, many Japanese organizations work for people in the world. First, please let me introduce Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). This independent governmental agency helps people in all over the world in many aspects. This coordinates Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) and has over 80 overseas strongholds. It also send youth/senior people to other countries so that they could volunteer and give their good technique — like agriculture, fishery, education, medical aid and sanitation. I am thinking of joining it while or after I am in university.

And I like the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) based in Okayama prefecture, where I live in. This organization helps people around the world in medical support. In 1995, this organization was approved United Nation’s General Consultation Status by Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) because of its contribution to international medical aid. Also AMDA sent doctors to West Kurdistan (Turkey) after the earthquake in Kurdistan.

In my city, a member of “Peshawar Kai (Peshawar Society)” lives and its photographic exhibition is sometimes held here. This organization acts in Pakistan and Afghanistan by helping people in agriculture and medical aid. Tetsu Nakamura, the leader of Peshawar Kai, says “Peace is not philosophy but life-and-death problem. 100 per cent of safety means to do nothing. It is important to light up when it is dark, it is important to fire when it is cold.”

I hope I did not bother you with my opinion. I am just being one of Japanese patriot, please excuse me if you got upset owing to this essay. And last but not least, thank you very much for the reading.

JICA’s link: http://www.jica.go.jp/english/
AMDA’s link: http://www.amdainternational.com/english/
Peshawar Kai’s link: http://www1a.biglobe.ne.jp/peshawar/eg/index2.html (No updates from 2010)



On 13 March, Governor of Okayama prefecture announced that he began to discussing to bury the debris in Okayama. He said “the time has come.” I think it is late but a beam of hope is coming to the disaster areas. I appreciate this decision. According to every autonomy in Okayama, they can accept 70,000 tons of debris.

2 responses to “Spirit of Japanese

  1. What makes whales different is their intelligence, they communicate and show emotions like we do, that`s why they are so popular. We can mass produce chickens and cows, but we can`t do the same with whales. And whales are about to be extinct. You don`t see them the same way, because it`s deep in your culture, and that`s cool. But I hate how they only talk about the Japanese. Every time they point fingers at someone on TV, they are only trying to cover up some shit they do! So many countries kill whales, this has to stop now. Even if it does, they may never recover. We all eat what we have, but we have to take care about our environment. I had shark a year ago in a fancy ryokan in Wakayama, my Japanese friends didn`t know what it was either, but we had it anyway. I can`t get over it because I love sharks… I have met Hatsumi sensei, the last true ninja. He is very popular in the West, check Bujinkan out, please. They`re in Noda, Chiba-ken.

  2. thinking about the article today..yes it was the west who hunted the whales to extinction…once they developed ships that could process the whales without returning thousands of miles home the numbers declined rapidly…there are still many misconceptions about the japanese…especially with regard to religion..ty for your honesty…

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