For the last five days I have sat as I worked listening to, and watching the BBC’s 24-hour news channel, as I monitored the traumatic events unfold in Japan. The scenes of devastation look almost as if they are from some sort of disaster film, and I feel a cold shiver run down my spine as I witness the personal stories of those left to deal with the heartbreak of losing a home and a way of life, and in so many cases, a member of their family.
For me it feels very much like a personal tragedy, as I follow each of the horrific events in the lives of a race of people who have been one of the biggest collective influences in both my professional and private life. They have suffered the greatest set back of their entire history, dealing with not only one of the biggest ever recorded earthquakes, but also the crushing power of a tsunami, and after such a heartbreaking blow of destruction, they have to find the strength to begin the struggle of clearing away the devastation, whilst under the threat of a nuclear disaster. I cannot help but feel that the peace loving people of Japan deserve this less than any, and it has made realise how lucky I am to be here safe with my family and free from harm.
The Japanese have contributed so much over the years to many of this world’s countries and cultures. Their innovations within the electronics world alone stands as beacon to man’s achievements, and it is hard to find a field where they have not contributed great influence in its development of those modern products. In horticulture alone, my working day was enhanced by their dedicated work towards improving and creating better plants and trees, our gardens are adorned with bright and vibrant Rhododendrons and Azaleas, and chrysanthemums as well as a whole host of other plants. Spring in my hometown is brightened by the addition of many new strains of colourful flowering cherry trees, and my home has the added beauty of the Bonsai I have grown in the last 25 years of study of this ancient Japanese art.
For my family, they have created the most beautifully drawn Manga and Anime to watch in our spare time, providing all of us with the wonder of escapism and fantasy, and an addition to all our dreams. Their art is inspiring and I indulge in the love of reading about their culture and philosophy, and if you sit back and take a long look, I am sure you will find there is a huge depth of the Japanese’s influence in your own lives. They have added so much to the daily lives of all of us in their unassuming and quietly calm well-mannered way, and this, just impacts more on the tragedy that they have to endure at the moment.
Today the Japanese Red Cross has asked for financial aid, the fact that these proud independent people have asked is in itself surprising, and is a very strong indicator of the troubles they are facing, and I would ask everyone who has just a few pounds free to join the growing numbers of those who have benefited from this wonderful culture, to please help them in their hours and days of great need.
For now all any of us can do is to watch and hope that this strong close community culture, can find the strength with the aid from the rest of the world, to rebuild their lives and their country and make it a greater nation than before.
No nation has ever suffered on such an unprecedented scale, and the one hope I hold is that with my understanding of these creative and determined people, is that they will find a way to move forward and recover, and in doing so, they will again show the world what man is capable of, and give us a lead for the future. In the mean time I will watch and hope for them all in their plight, as I send them my deepest sympathies and best wishes.
For those who would like to offer help and financial support, The Red Cross, is on the ground in Japan trying to help as many as possible, your contribution will be a great help and gratefully appreciated by them. You can donate directly and securely using the link below.