It was my first thought to do my weekly feature "International Eats" today and showcase another American culinary standard and how it is interpreted in different parts of the world. We're going to skip that for today...
|Minami Soma, Fukushima prefecture 3/12/2011|
And yet, my heart is broken for people of Japan. And as they still race to assess the damage and prevent the worst case scenarios from happening at their nuclear sites, I feel as though I am helplessly watching a close friend fight for their life. It's like I got a late night phone call about a good friend involved in a hit and run, and I am too far away to get to the hospital. Why? What makes Japan so different in my heart than Haiti or Chile? Both of those places are in my own hemisphere, and my country has never been at war with either of them. Neither country are anywhere as rich as Japan, so the humanitarian crisis was even worse. How was I able to go about my day those two times and not now?
|Original Japanese woodblock print of Admiral Perry (center) and his officers|
Could these events have been prevented if Japan was not forcibly yanked out of their isolationism? Who can tell? Second guessing what could have happened is pretty useless. But something happened to Japan that made them finally stop and pause. They lost their first war. And for the first time it it's history, the conflagration of war that they had so liberally inflicted upon their neighbors was visited upon them, on their own soil. That's when the natural brilliance of the Japanese people finally kicked in. And from 1945 on up to this very day, Japan has become a model for peaceful nations everywhere.
|The Japanese commitment to the weird is one of their most endearing traits.|
I end this post with a challenge to you, the reader. Get involved. Even if it's not financial, go to the various streaming news sites like wwiTV.com and just give them your eyes and moral support. The result we want with this is going to be a long term thing. It means that with every disaster and event that comes in the future, each of us will feel it as whole just a little bit more. And in the end, it will be our empathy that saves us as a race and a species....
Today, We Are ALL Japanese