Japan’s been on my mind. Your’s too? Words fail to convey the depth of our sorrow for and horror at the loss of life, home, livelihood, basic necessities, and connectedness for countless families. Words fail at conveying our admiration for the heroism of the workers risking their lives struggling to bring six runaway nuclear reactors under control. Words fail to express the depth of our cynicism about the nuclear power industry’s assurances of safety. What more is there left to express?
As Zen practitioners, we have a natural affinity for Japan as an ancestral home of our practice. I’m not the praying type, so I haven’t offered any prayers. But I’ve done something practical: donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society. Google has made it easy to do at this URL:
Please do more than metta and tong-len. Let’s put compassion into action.
I’ve never been to Japan, but I found myself free-associating this morning on the word “Japan” and all that it signifies in my imagination. It’s not exactly a poem, but maybe it will remind you of whatever Japan signifies for you. Feel free to add your own associations below in comments.
Japan — Land of…
Shinto, Shingon, Jodo Shinshu, and Zen
Hakuin, Basho, Ryokan, and Dogen
Honen, Ryonan, Shinran, Nichiren
Sega, Sony, Nintendo, and Canon
Seiko, Toshiba, Yamaha, and Nikon
Bushido, samurai, ninja, and ronan
Honda, Toyota, Mazda, and Nissan
Kagemusha, Yojimbo, Ran, and Rashomon,
Gojira, Mothra, Gamera, and Rodan
Sushi, sashimi, miso, and daikon
Kurosawa, Miyazaki, Murakami, Mishima
Pillow book, floating world, samisen, and geisha
Nanking, Guadalcanal, Burma, and Iwo Jima
Karate, Ju-Jitsu, Sumo, and Aikido
Hirohito, Tokyo Rose, Matsui, and Tojo
Rock gardens, cherry blossoms, chrysanthemums, origami
Kobe, Sendai, earthquake and Tsunami
Hiroshima, Nagasaki — now Fukushima Daiichi