By now I'm sure most of you are aware of the devastating Earthquake and resulting Tsunami that hit northeastern Japan late Friday of last week.
There are no words to describe the loss of life and property, now estimated to be upwards of 10,000 souls and $35 Billion in initial assessments. Having lived in Japan as a youth I can tell you that minor earthquakes were a common occurrence. At first, it is a bit unsettling, but as time goes on, it becomes just another part of life that is beyond our control. No one among the Japanese people that I observed gave it a second thought.
Perhaps it is because they live by the attitude of "Shigate ga nai" or "that which cannot be helped".
In a 2007 National History Day award winning paper titled "The Triumph and Tragedies of Japanese Women in America" , young Japanese-American writer, Taylor Sakamoto provides insight into the evolution of the Japanese women's movement and how ancient customs made life difficult for females in their culture even here in America where their U.S counterparts, while not yet at parity with men, had more opportunity and better chances for success. Ironically, her Maternal Great-Grandmother, Kazue Aoki, emigrated to the US in 1912 as a "picture bride" from the island of Honshu where the recent earthquake and tsunami was most devastating.
Let us show support for the Japanese women in our network as they struggle to deal with the after effects of this terrible tragedy, especially those who have lost Children and loved ones. There is no greater pain that the death of a child or the anguish of not knowing the whereabouts or condition of those that are missing.
The strength of women in times of struggle and challenge are legendary. Please give generously to one of the myriad of relief efforts now underway. But most importantly remember to cherish each day as if it is your last, and live by the attitude of "Shigate ga nai".