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Jakarta Post

Message for Japan: Japan: Standing tall on shaky ground

  • Ashwini Devare

Singapore   /   Wed, April 13 2011   /  11:02 am

One month ago, the destiny of thousands of Japanese was altered when nature unleashed its unbridled fury on the world’s third largest economy. Today, the story may have slipped from the front pages of global newspapers, but in Japan, the roar of the tsunami continues to haunt.

Standing taller than the monster tsunami that pummeled its coastline is the indomitable spirit of the Japanese.

What a raging sea and a heaving earth could not ravage was the deep-rooted Confucian ethos, the philosophy of endurance or gaman enshrined in the national psyche.

So much has been written about gaman and its significance in the Japanese context. “Calm endurance”, “control for the sake of others” and “bearing the unbearable” are some interpretations of this word, widely credited for the incredible stoicism displayed by the Japanese during this crisis.

What karm...