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Wanted to share this article from TOI Sunday times 20th March 2011 Japan, take a bow for grace under fire, from Amrit Dhillon, TNN.

Not one but three cruel ironies are being played out in Japan as the country tries to comprehend the apocalypse of the past 10 days. The Japanese prize nature, beauty and order, yet the tsunami has mocked all three. It has been distressing to see a people whose culture values cleanliness, refinement, delicacy and graciousness, wandering around in the clothes they fled in and sitting on the street near giant saucepans waiting to be served from soup kitchens.


The love of nature is the very basis of Japanese aesthetics. They show their joy at the arrival of 'sakura' or cherry blossoms with picnics, tea ceremonies, musical concerts and special meals. The Japanese cherry tree is not cultivated for its fruit — it is not fruit-bearing — but purely for the ephemeral beauty of its blossom.

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