Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan

Earthquake. Tsunami. Radiation. Any one of these things on their own is a serious tragedy, but to have all three happen in one geographical region within a few days of each another is incomprehensible. The notion that the earthquake in Japan was so massive that it actually shifted the country 8 feet to the west simply boggles the mind. These interactive before and after images from The New York Times are disturbing, although, tragedy aside, I have to admit that they also are an incredible use of digital image technology (thanks to PR for the link). Like many, I have been going through periods of information gathering to know more about how the people of Japan are doing through this catastrophe. As of my writing this, 2400 people are dead, more than 3000 are missing, and they are still talking up to 10,000 deaths from this tragedy. Anderson Cooper was reporting on CNN that he was amazed at the dignity of the Japanese who waited patiently in line for water, only to be told there was no more, and not a single person complained. Another CNN reporter responded to him by noting that is part of the legacy of the Japanese people, their need and respect for order.

In honor of that spirit, I thought I would share a little piece of Japanese cultural history. The image above is of a beautiful summer kimono made of silk gauze with carp, water lilies, and morning glories, made during the Meiji period about 1876, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is just one of the many cultural items that the Japanese can call their own. Haiku. Samurai. Sushi. Ukiyo-e. Zen.

To help Japan during this crisis, consider donating to the Red Cross, because they seem to have taken the lead in helping them. The Japan Society here in NYC is also accepting donations for an earthquake relief fund.

2 comments:

short order said...

I watched a bit of Anderson last night. I was struck by his observation of the people and the discipline they displayed waiting to be rescued and for water. It says alot about them especially under the stress they are suffering. Thanks for the great post!!

bklynbiblio said...

Thanks, short order!