The Japanese

When Westerners are asked about the Japanese or Japan, what things come to their minds?  Attack on Pearl Harbor that brought us into WW II, their delectable and unique cuisine like sushi, their beautiful artworks like the Great Wave of Kanagawa by Hokusai or a well know ritual to commit the ultimate show of dedication to purpose or cause called Hara-Kiri.  Perhaps you’ve even visited Japan to witness their impeccable dedication to quality and customer service. In my personal experience and perhaps my personal experience may not be totally objective, I continue to be puzzled by Japan and its people. For instance, Japan is the only country that has experienced the devastation of a nuclear bomb, not just once but twice – Hiroshima and Nagasaki and yet just 20 years later, they embraced the benefits of nuclear power and became the world leader in nuclear generation, only to be devastated by the great tsunami event of 2003 that completely wiped out their Fukushima station, the largest in Japan, which housed six nuclear power plants.  Or how can the people of Japan, known for their love and dedication to peach and tranquility, and the pursuit of “The Way” honor practices like “Hara-Kiri?” In the following few pages, I’ll try to explain, based on my limited search and readings, also sprinkled with my personal experiences and observations.