Japanese Jishuku and the Coronavirus

The power of cultures that have traditions of sharing consideration during times of crisis

It’s October 2020, and there is still no vaccine. Yet I look at what’s going on in Japan, and I look at what’s going on in the United States — two starkly different realities on what normal looks like now.

Recalling the 3/11 earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima nuclear disaster

I was in Japan during the Fukushima disaster, and I remember that day like an American remembers 9/11. It was shocking and devastating, and it challenged my understanding of stability and safety. School was temporarily cancelled, my friends left Japan, I wasn’t supposed to leave the house for fear of radiation poisoning, and in general there was an air of paranoia and fear.

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Photo by Abby Chung from Pexels

The novel coronavirus and Japan

When coronavirus happened, it was reminiscent of what I had already experienced. Again I saw schools close, graduation ceremonies cancel, celebrations and festivals end, and people restricting themselves to staying at home. The purpose of these actions were even more critical, in that they had the immediate urgency in preventing the spread of the virus and protecting the lives of the immunocompromised and at-risk.

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Photo by vaea Garrido on Unsplash

Raised in Tokyo; living in the US. I care about helping others learn to live a better, healthier life. My site: www.kakikata.space 🌱

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