I really enjoyed reading Marianne Riley's story titled The Spirit of Japan. It was interesting to see the affects of the earthquake through her perspective. Marianne first describes her trip to the grocery store with her mom. Many people are stocking up on supplies causing the shelves to be bare. She describes the panic of people and how the local grocery store was full of people. She then says that water was so valuable because they we unsure of what would happen to their water source. I think that statement really emphasizes the fact that the Japanese were unsure of what would happen next. When we they stop being afraid? Is the earthquake the end of it or do we have to go through more? How many things will I have to buy to make sure I can make it through tomorrow? When can I go back to living my everyday life? These are the unanswered questions that had everyone in panic because there was no one there to answer them. These kind of things were unknown and everybody wanted to be prepared.
Marianne also mentions that they had to conserve energy because the nuclear reactors were down. As I was reading this, I kept wondering what it would feel like to have so much taken away in a small amount of time. How might one be able to persevere? She then mentions gaman and gambaru. Gaman is to cope with a person in any kind of situation even if it is unpleasant. Gambaru is to be optimistic and persevere. She says that the Japanese ideas of gaman and gambaru probably help a lot of people get through this tough time. I thought that was really amazing. Instead of moping around feeling sorry for themselves, some people are just so optimistic. It's nice to think that even if we live in a world full of hate, tragedy, and prejudice, there is still hope out there. These ideas of optimism and perseverance are helping people of Japan get through everything that their country is going through. When most people think of Japan nowadays, they might think about disasters and earthquakes and maybe money to be able to help them. I think the only thing they really need now is reassurance so that they know everything is going to be okay.