Tuesday, March 15, 2011
( 9:06 PM ) teahouse
It's just so heartbreaking to read about what's happened in Japan recently.
Fortunately, everyone I know there is ok. Well, so far. If the radiation leaks are contained.
But from what I've heard, it's been as orderly and un-chaotic as it can be, given the circumstances.
People all over the world are so surprised to hear there's been pretty much no crime like looting, violence, etc.
It reminds me of a story a good friend told in 1995, when he was in Kobe during the Great Hanshin earthquake.
He said everything was flattened and desolate. There was no electricity, no food, no water.
He took a walk to a neighborhood convenience store, whose doors were opened but whose owners were nowhere to be found.
He said everyone in the neighborhood was there, lined up in an orderly fashion, entering the store in small groups so as not to mob it.
There was a pile of money on the checkout counter. People kept adding to it on their way out - paying for their groceries as they left.#
I've taken to wondering what NYC would be like in such a situation. The events of 9/11 indicate that the city would do pretty well all in all, but probably not as well as Japan.
Slate.com has a great write-up on some of the cultural factors on why, a great quote from a Yakuza leader.
My uncle lives in Japan (he and his family are OK thank God) and he reports same - no violence, no looting - and how this orderly process by citizens and the government in the aftermath, somewhat cushions the devastation of being struck by this disaster
It's probably most likely that if something like that happens in the US, people would loot the stores which is really unfortunate. That really shows you the stark differences between the East and West.