By now you've followed the heck out of Kyodo and BBC and Al-Jazeera. As fits the "charmed life" model perfectly, Fukuoka is almost entirely unaffected by the disaster at large. Unlike Kanto and Tohoku areas, we have electricity 24 hours a day, no earthquakes/aftershocks shaking us several times daily, our grocery stores have food on the shelves, and gas stations are operating normally. It is incredibly surreal, and if I believed in survivor guilt I would be feeling it. I don't, though. Instead, I intend to celebrate my own life doubly in thanks that it has been spared.
Today I gave blood. Tomorrow, payday, I will put forward a sizeable chunk of my paycheck toward the relief donation campaign my school is running. I won't waste electricity and I won't stockpile or hoard bottled water or batteries. Life marches on.
That's what I like about the Japanese. Unlike my countrymen who dwell lingeringly on tragedy in a very masturbatory and selfish way, the Japanese accept what befalls them and work together to move beyond it. Their powerful stoicism and strength has reappeared, easily forgotten in a sea of effeminate man-babies, a frustrating educational system and suicide-inducing workaholic corporate culture. Some people misinterpret the "perseverance" attitude as disrespect, but I understand it more as a refusal to break under pressure. In this perseverance I see unmeasurable bravery and pride. No one is running away.
Except the French of course. What's with that?!