Japan vs. US - Society After a Natural Disaster

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    Mar 15, 2011 5:10 PM GMT
    We have a lot of learning to do... well, kinda.

    PTImbz*yNzY2Zjk1ZTk4NmQ*YzQ2OGU3ZTU1YWUz

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/japan-victims-show-resilience-earthquake-tsunami-sign-sense/story?id=13135355

    Japanese, Waiting in Line for Hours, Follow Social Order After Quake
    Survivors Value Helping Spirit, But Are Fatalists; Their Resilience Could Be Tested With Nuclear Dangers

    BY SUSAN DONALDSON JAMES AND RUSSELL GOLDMAN

    Overnight and into the grey, chilly morning, long lines formed outside small convenience stores and supermarkets throughout the tsunami-ravaged city of Sendai.

    At one, Daiei, the orderly lines had begun 12 hours before the shop opened and stretched for blocks.

    "I came to get baby food for my 2-week-old nephew," said Maki Habachi, 23, who had been patiently standing for four hours and still had an eight-hour wait to go. "My sister only has one day's food left."

    Without fuel for her car, she had ridden for two days by bike just to find food. Even bottled drinks in the ubiquitous corner vending machines were sold out.

    Despite the line's length everyone remained calm and polite.

    As Japanese survivors cope with food and gasoline shortages amidst the aftershocks and rising body count, they draw on a sense of social order. Unlike scenes in natural disasters in Haiti and New Orleans, there is little anger, no looting.

    Neighbors are willing to share with others and are cutting back on energy use on their own to limit the need for rotating blackouts.

    Four days after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami, "They are doing OK," said Ron Provost, president of Showa Boston Institute for Language and Culture, a campus of the University of Tokyo. "These are tough, strong, strong people.

    "I think they are coping as well as could be expected or even better, if you imagine us being in that situation," he said. "That strength and resilience are rooted in a culture that has historically relied on social organization."

    Some of that community-minded resilience may come from its geography and dense population. Japan is only slightly smaller than the state of California and has a population of 127 million people.

    The public broadcaster NHK is reporting 1 million Japanese missing and some have estimated the death toll could climb into the tens of thousands. An estimated 2.5 million households, or 4 percent of Japan's total population, are without electricity.

    Showa Boston's Tokyo-based faculty are reporting that commuter train stations are jammed with sporadic service and up to four-hour delays, forcing many to stay overnight in the city.

    "People have opened up their homes to others," he said. "I heard someone say they had two bottles of water and gave one to someone else."

    On a daily basis -- in tragedy and in good times -- the Japanese have "come up with a system to accommodate each other," said Provost.

    "They are kind to the neighbors and look out for their neighbors," he said. "That's why the crime rate is low. You see someone doing something and you go to the local police."

    Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan addressed the nation Sunday night and said this is the most serious crisis to face the nation since World War II, calling on people to come together deepen the bonds that unite them -- a phrase, "ittai," that means to become one body.

    Family ties, social hierarchies and a collective spirit are important to the Japanese, unlike the culture of individualism that predominates in the United States.

    "There is no question the Japanese respond well to this kind of catastrophe, but even if it looks remarkable from the outside, it's not new," said Carol Gluck, a professor of modern Japanese history at Columbia University's Weatherhead East Asian Institute. "It's not cultural or religious -- it is a historically created social morality based on a response to the community and social order."

    "It's not that the Japanese are naturally passive and obedient," she said. "There is a historically created social value to it. People uphold it. It works. Someone leaves something in the subway and they get it back. When you find something you give it to the lost and found."

    Follow this link for the full story: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/japan-victims-show-resilience-earthquake-tsunami-sign-sense/story?id=13135355&page=2

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 15, 2011 5:43 PM GMT
    Just wait til' shit hits the fan than they will go ballistic!

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    Mar 15, 2011 6:41 PM GMT
    AvadaKedavra saidWe have a lot of learning to do... well, kinda.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/japan-victims-show-resilience-earthquake-tsunami-sign-sense/story?id=13135355

    Japanese, Waiting in Line for Hours, Follow Social Order After Quake
    Survivors Value Helping Spirit, But Are Fatalists; Their Resilience Could Be Tested With Nuclear Dangers

    BY SUSAN DONALDSON JAMES AND RUSSELL GOLDMAN

    Overnight and into the grey, chilly morning, long lines formed outside small convenience stores and supermarkets throughout the tsunami-ravaged city of Sendai.

    At one, Daiei, the orderly lines had begun 12 hours before the shop opened and stretched for blocks.

    "I came to get baby food for my 2-week-old nephew," said Maki Habachi, 23, who had been patiently standing for four hours and still had an eight-hour wait to go. "My sister only has one day's food left."

    Without fuel for her car, she had ridden for two days by bike just to find food. Even bottled drinks in the ubiquitous corner vending machines were sold out.

    Despite the line's length everyone remained calm and polite.

    As Japanese survivors cope with food and gasoline shortages amidst the aftershocks and rising body count, they draw on a sense of social order. Unlike scenes in natural disasters in Haiti and New Orleans, there is little anger, no looting.

    Neighbors are willing to share with others and are cutting back on energy use on their own to limit the need for rotating blackouts.

    Four days after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami, "They are doing OK," said Ron Provost, president of Showa Boston Institute for Language and Culture, a campus of the University of Tokyo. "These are tough, strong, strong people.

    "I think they are coping as well as could be expected or even better, if you imagine us being in that situation," he said. "That strength and resilience are rooted in a culture that has historically relied on social organization."

    Some of that community-minded resilience may come from its geography and dense population. Japan is only slightly smaller than the state of California and has a population of 127 million people.

    The public broadcaster NHK is reporting 1 million Japanese missing and some have estimated the death toll could climb into the tens of thousands. An estimated 2.5 million households, or 4 percent of Japan's total population, are without electricity.

    Showa Boston's Tokyo-based faculty are reporting that commuter train stations are jammed with sporadic service and up to four-hour delays, forcing many to stay overnight in the city.

    "People have opened up their homes to others," he said. "I heard someone say they had two bottles of water and gave one to someone else."

    On a daily basis -- in tragedy and in good times -- the Japanese have "come up with a system to accommodate each other," said Provost.

    "They are kind to the neighbors and look out for their neighbors," he said. "That's why the crime rate is low. You see someone doing something and you go to the local police."

    Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan addressed the nation Sunday night and said this is the most serious crisis to face the nation since World War II, calling on people to come together deepen the bonds that unite them -- a phrase, "ittai," that means to become one body.

    Family ties, social hierarchies and a collective spirit are important to the Japanese, unlike the culture of individualism that predominates in the United States.

    "There is no question the Japanese respond well to this kind of catastrophe, but even if it looks remarkable from the outside, it's not new," said Carol Gluck, a professor of modern Japanese history at Columbia University's Weatherhead East Asian Institute. "It's not cultural or religious -- it is a historically created social morality based on a response to the community and social order."

    "It's not that the Japanese are naturally passive and obedient," she said. "There is a historically created social value to it. People uphold it. It works. Someone leaves something in the subway and they get it back. When you find something you give it to the lost and found."

    Follow this link for the full story: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/japan-victims-show-resilience-earthquake-tsunami-sign-sense/story?id=13135355&page=2



    MHM. theres a word for it. It's called omoiyari.
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    Mar 15, 2011 8:26 PM GMT
    When I watch the news about the earthquake and tsunami, somehow the American newscasters find a way to throw in some Japanese stereotypes into the report. It's quite sad, actually.

    Something like, "in spite of the disaster, the Japanese people are very polite."
    "They patiently wait in line for disaster relief."

    It's only a matter of time before they say something about the Japanese being good at math, bad drivers, or having small penises.
    Stupid reporters.

    /rant
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Mar 16, 2011 12:15 AM GMT
    Ermine saidWhen I watch the news about the earthquake and tsunami, somehow the American newscasters find a way to throw in some Japanese stereotypes into the report. It's quite sad, actually.

    Something like, "in spite of the disaster, the Japanese people are very polite."
    "They patiently wait in line for disaster relief."

    It's only a matter of time before they say something about the Japanese being good at math, bad drivers, or having small penises.
    Stupid reporters.

    /rant


    But...... look at it in comparison to Haiti or post Katrina New Orleans and then you will see what a different people the Japanese are in times of crisis.
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    Mar 16, 2011 12:24 AM GMT
    I do hope you're not implying that the people of New Orleans didn't have a right to be angry at the government's response to Hurricane Katrina.
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    Mar 16, 2011 12:40 AM GMT
    ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
    Drama-Queen1.jpg

    Dude, lay off the dramatics
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Mar 16, 2011 12:53 AM GMT
    pbsny saidI do hope you're not implying that the people of New Orleans didn't have a right to be angry at the government's response to Hurricane Katrina.


    They had every right to be angry. I was referring to the behavior exhibited by some. And you know what of I speak.
  • SomeSiciliano...

    Posts: 543

    Mar 16, 2011 1:16 AM GMT
    Ermine saidWhen I watch the news about the earthquake and tsunami, somehow the American newscasters find a way to throw in some Japanese stereotypes into the report. It's quite sad, actually.

    Something like, "in spite of the disaster, the Japanese people are very polite."
    "They patiently wait in line for disaster relief."

    It's only a matter of time before they say something about the Japanese being good at math, bad drivers, or having small penises.
    Stupid reporters.

    /rant


    Interesting....im glad i am not the only one who noticed that icon_rolleyes.gif

    I have been lucky enough to have been to Japan over 30 times (thanks to my job).....Tokyo/Narita, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka....and yes, their social structure is TOTALLY different from self-centric Western thinking. Perhaps it is rooted in the Shinto tradition of Kami (that God exists in all people and things) or the simple fact that the nation is so densely populated that without self--directed discipline...Japan would have descended into chaos generations ago.

    Last time i was in Tokyo proper, I was with a Japanese-American colleague. We were on a very crowded subway platform where everyone...and i mean EVERYONE...was standing single file on the green lines awaiting the train. Kai said 'you want to see something funny?' and started to casually lean on a pole...as most Americans would do. The people in line who saw this actually moved to another line so they wouldn't be associated with his behavior. Was pretty compelling.
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    Mar 16, 2011 1:17 AM GMT
    pbsny saidI do hope you're not implying that the people of New Orleans didn't have a right to be angry at the government's response to Hurricane Katrina.

    They had every right to be angry at the city, state, and federal government. What they didn't have is a right to loot, as we all remember from the CNN footage of people wading down Canal St. with looted flat-screen TVs. Not only illegal, but also idiotic, since there was no electricity within a 40-mile radius.

    My family lived in Japan when I was 11-12. My memories of the Japanese people were exactly as described above - polite, honorable, always observant of the rights of others. My parents let me roam around freely in shops, on the trains, anywhere I wanted to go. What parent of a 12-year-old in any American city would dare to do the same, assuming that they were in their right mind?
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    Mar 16, 2011 1:52 AM GMT
    pbsny saidI do hope you're not implying that the people of New Orleans didn't have a right to be angry at the government's response to Hurricane Katrina.


    Anger? Up to the point where lots of folks were looting and killing, being irked at "Brownie" could be excusable.
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    Mar 16, 2011 2:18 AM GMT
    TexDef07 said
    pbsny saidI do hope you're not implying that the people of New Orleans didn't have a right to be angry at the government's response to Hurricane Katrina.

    They had every right to be angry at the city, state, and federal government. What they didn't have is a right to loot, as we all remember from the CNN footage of people wading down Canal St. with looted flat-screen TVs. Not only illegal, but also idiotic, since there was no electricity within a 40-mile radius.

    My family lived in Japan when I was 11-12. My memories of the Japanese people were exactly as described above - polite, honorable, always observant of the rights of others. My parents let me roam around freely in shops, on the trains, anywhere I wanted to go. What parent of a 12-year-old in any American city would dare to do the same, assuming that they were in their right mind?



    alphatrigger said
    pbsny saidI do hope you're not implying that the people of New Orleans didn't have a right to be angry at the government's response to Hurricane Katrina.


    Anger? Up to the point where lots of folks were looting and killing, being irked at "Brownie" could be excusable.


    When it comes to survival, looting for food and water is understandable. I do agree that looting non-essentials for life (e.g., televisions) is unwarranted. I recall anecdotal reports of media racial bias in the use of the word "looting" and "finding". However, I'm not going to side with Kanye and say that George Bush (or TexDef07 or alphatrigger) doesn't care about black people. Just wanted to point out that looting may be the natural thing to do in times of disaster. There was looting in Japan too. Here is an article and video from a Japanese site (you can use Google translate to convert the article into English). Just because the ignorant Western media don't report on such things, doesn't mean that they aren't occurring.

    Notice the looters in the warehouse:
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    Mar 16, 2011 2:19 AM GMT
    We didn't do so bad as a society after Katrina... as a government? Not so good, but America stepped up to the plate.

    I'm still waiting for Pat Robertson to blame the homerseexuals for the earthquake.. or gods wrath at all the Buddhists over there.

    That jackass never misses an opportunity to spew his gold gilded hate.
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    Mar 16, 2011 2:25 AM GMT
    Proof that peace, order, discipline and kindness exist more-so in the absence of nut-job religions
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    Mar 16, 2011 3:31 AM GMT
    I commend the U.S. government for getting aid and help aaaaaaaaall they way across the Pacific in less that 48 hours, if only we could work out the kinks in response to major hurricanes hitting major cities on the same continent..... just sayin
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    Mar 16, 2011 3:42 AM GMT
    ATX611 saidI commend the U.S. government for getting aid and help aaaaaaaaall they way across the Pacific in less that 48 hours, if only we could work out the kinks in response to major hurricanes hitting major cities on the same continent..... just sayin


    wow thats actually true!!! But then Bush was president.
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    Mar 16, 2011 3:49 AM GMT
    dsmith123 said

    Notice the looters in the food warehouse:


    Edited.

    Notice how the warehouse staffs are not putting any effort to deter the looting. Almost as if they are being encouraging/understanding given the circumstances.
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    Mar 16, 2011 3:53 AM GMT
    AvadaKedavra said
    dsmith123 said

    Notice the looters in the food warehouse:


    Edited.

    Notice how the warehouse staffs are not putting any effort to deter the looting. Almost as if they are being encouraging/understanding given the circumstances.


    I certainly agree. In a more homogeneous population in Japan (race-wise), it's easier to have empathy for one's fellow man. In the United States, where many tensions still arise from racial differences, those tensions can unfortunately be exacerbated in the time of disaster. Note the calm responses to the Japanese news article as well.