Monday, 12 March 2012

Ame ni mo Makezu (Strong in the rain)

For the people in Japan, Japanese and non Japanese alike, we all love and pray for you...

Ame ni mo Makezu (Strong in the Rain), original poem by Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1933), recited by actor Ken Watanabe a year ago:

Ame ni mo Makezu (Strong in the Rain) sang by Asian artists (including Andy Lau and Jackie Chan) a year ago:

Original poem by Kenji Miyazawa:

Strong in the rain
Strong in the wind
Strong against the summer heat and snow
He is healthy and robust
Free from all desire
He never loses his generous spirit
Nor the quiet smile on his lips

He eats four “go” of unpolished rice
Miso and a few vegetables a day
He does not consider himself
In whatever occurs … his understanding
Comes from observation and experience
And he never loses sight of things

He lives in a little thatched-roof hut
In a field in the shadows of a pine tree grove
If there is a sick child in the east
He goes there to nurse the child

If there’s a tired mother in the west
He goes to her and carries her sheaves
If someone is near death in the south
He goes and says, “Don’t be afraid”

If there are strife and lawsuits in the north
He demands that the people put an end to their pettiness
He weeps at the time of drought
He plods about at a loss during the cold summer

Everybody calls him “Blockhead”
No one sings his praises
Or takes him to heart

That is the kind of person
I want to be

See also:

Sunday, 11 March 2012

One Year Ago in Japan

I don’t often post these months, but I’d like to take this opportunity to give a silent remembrance and prayer to the people of Japan who had suffered a major lost last year due to the earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011 and the nuclear power plant leakage that ensued.

It takes great strength to build back from zero (or perhaps minus, in this case), and I salute the Japanese (and people of other nationalities living there) for going hand-in-hand helping each other in the midst of the disaster.

The plight is still ongoing now. I just watched Channel News Asia who reported the difficulties of mothers trying to supply their families with uncontaminated vegetables from areas faraway from Fukushima (where the nuclear reactors melted down). Then the news also interviewed a local Fukushima farmer who suffered because no one bought his products. And the children – many of them are orphans – who cannot play outside for fear of radiation. It’s cruel, it is really cruel. I could barely look at the footages of the adults suffering because of the triple disasters, let alone the children.

But if there is something ‘good’ coming out of this disaster, it would be that the Japanese know how strong they are, and that the whole world will never let them be alone in the dark. Also good in my opinion is the anti-nuclear movement in Japan and other parts of the world. God knows we do have global climate change to think of, and hence reduced footprints to target. But even that cannot replace safety. And to me, nuclear power plants are just a big NO for safety.

The Japanese are one of the smartest people on Earth. I trust they are more than able to produce green energy, if they truly want to. It’s up to the government to support the voice of the people and provide their brilliant scientists with opportunities and funding for a greener, safer future.

Pic: Pray for Japan

PS: for those who want to donate, Red Cross (International and Japan) and ‘Save the Children’ are two good, reliable outlets for your funding.