Friday, March 18, 2011

Japanese - Coolest People On Earth

Hantu Laut

Watching live over TV the tragic aftermath of the earthquake and tsunamis that hit Japan recently smitten me to see how impassive and dignified the Japanese people are in times of tragedy and tribulations.There was no chaos, no unruliness, no looting and hardly anyone showing state of despair even in the face of such forlorn landscape of brutal destruction.

It's heart-rending and my heart goes out to them.

Even in such great devastation and desperation the Japanese people have been very cool, calm and collected and accepted their fates with quiet dignity.A cultural trait not seen in many other Asian societies.

I remember seeing a footage of the great flood in Pakistan last year and saw how unruly and indiscipline the Pakistanis were when foods were distributed to victims of the flood and the same can be said of Africa and other parts of Asia.

It brought me back to the eighties when I visited Japan quite frequently on business and had good taste of the unique Japanese culture some what different from other parts of Asia.A contemporary hybrid culture that mixes the influences of Asia,Europe and North America.The traditional and the contemporary.

The Japanese are known for perfecting what they copied not only in technology but in social etiquette as well.A fusion culture that have made the Japanese probably the most discipline people on this planet.

Punctuality, which is more peculiar to the West and not your garden-variety in most of Asia is the exception in Japan.The Japanese are now better timekeeper than even the Westerners and frown upon those who are late.Of the many appointments I had with my Japanese clients not in any instance as far as I can remember any of them have been late.They usually called my room at least 15 minutes before the appointed time announcing their presence in the hotel lobby.

For those who have visited Japan they would also have noticed most Japanese would not cross the road if the light is red even if there were no cars, which baffled me on my first visit to Japan, wondering what was wrong with them.

What was wrong?....... it's not with them, it was me, a typical Malaysian alien to a culture of discipline.I soon learn to be like them but only in Japan and reverted to the Malaysian bad habits as soon as I got home.

Tokyo, or any of the big city have little or no street crimes then.I can walk the streets late at night without worrying about being mugged.

In Japan if you forgetfully left your thing any place there is hundred percent chance you'll get it back. I remember once I left my overcoat on a train from Tokyo to Niigata and only remembered hours later.I could not believe that I would ever get it back.Surprisingly, I did, from the Niigata train station.How they knew I disembarked at Niigata is still a mystery to me.

Throughout history Japan has been isolated in one way or another.For hundred of years under the Tokugawa shogunate it kept its doors close to foreigners until abolished by the Meiji restoration period.

The tragic earthquake, tsunamis and a potential radiation fallout from broken reactors will have far-reaching economic repercussions for Japan but with the diligent and positive attitude of the Japanese people it will not be a bridge too far to cross.

Let us hope and pray for the well being of Japan and its people.


anwa18 said...

Dear Hantu Laut, thank you for your posting. I believe the true character and value-system of a nation is how the people act/behave when faced with a devastating crisis such as this. I truly admire their resolve and wish them well. I join prayers with all around the world that they(and other places too)are spared from further disaster and hardship .

Anonymous said...

With all the excellent traits that you mentioned I can't for the life of me imagine what the Japanese army did in Nanking China during the second world war! They had gone berserk there.

Anyway I am amazed at the Japanese work culture which we Malaysian should try to emulate but with the cultural hang-ups that we have I doubt we'll ever be as successful.

Anonymous said...

I saw that too. Truly, the japanese people deserve our admiration. They displayed such dignity in the face of tragedy. Really, really stoic.

Kalau kita kat m'sia ni tak tau lah. So kiasu and everything. Remember the open house free-for-all.

lohos said...

No need to go so far. Just look at how the Perkasa fellas talk and behave and you will see how shameful they are as compared with the Japanese.

Anonymous said...

I presume it is all because of their literacy rate. Almost all Japanese are literate, hence they display a high standard of discipline

eddy said...

Good post Bro, reminds us that there are people out there who knows how to face a disaster with their dignity intact. The Japanese people will emerge from this disaster stronger and more resilient, that I am sure.

Sadly here in this blessed country many of us are so preoccupied with our differences that we forgot how to be nice with one another.

Al said...

Indeed.Hats off to the Japanese for being cool, calm and collected when faced with a severe crisis. I was with a total of eight of them during their business trip for several days to Malaysia when disaster struck North eastern Japan- a huge earthquake, the tsunami then the stricken nuclear plant leading to radiation fears. Of course they were worried deep inside. But Japan with a long history of disasters,they have learned from young to be enduring, resilient and able to persevere in the face of suffering. They know calamities such as the much anticipated Big One which is long overdue will hit Tokyo some day but nobody knows precisely when. Let hope this the the Big One and it is over. I know Japan will recover real soon and emerge stronger than ever. Lets pray that Japan and everywhere in the world will be spared of any tragedies natural or man made for a long long time to come.