My Japanese friend called me up last night and sort of said good-bye to me. She, her family and all our mutual friends are ok but the general atmosphere of the country is dark and of course desperate, particularly after the government announcement that yet another earthquake of a similar scale is expected within 3 days.
When I first started teaching at my language academy, my boss sat in from time to time and he´d give me some constructive feedback after class. I was always grateful for this as I´d had no experience with kids whatsoever and I overall respect his method and style of teaching. Still, the most striking comment was that maybe, out of respect towards the local mindset, I should say America or England in examples and stay away from mentioning Japan. And I was rather incredulous when I heard that some people here would never buy cars or anything coming from Japan. And some, aware of the situation, would pass themselves off as Korean, carefully hiding their national identity. I´d thought then this was bit of an exaggeration and my boss was just being over-cautious.
Although there are many, who admire how Japanese people are dealing with the problem what I´ve heard in the last few days is quite evil, I guess. While some of my 10-year old students who giggle and shout ¨So glad it happened in Japan¨ and ¨They copy us¨ (huh?) cannot be taken seriously, it is definitely some sad reflection of their parents´ attitude.
Just today we talked about visiting Sichuan in May with Nelly. Japan helped China a lot after that earthquake. So please, don´t, people.