Monday, March 14, 2011

Gaman kudasai!

Nicholas Kristof wrote a lovely piece on the New York Times blog about the strength, fortitude, and sheer guts of the Japanese people, entitled "Sympathy for Japan, and Admiration."

He writes about the Japanese word "gaman," which he translates as "toughing it out," but also means something like "do your best."

我慢 (がまん)


The way I remember the word being used was when a Japanese person is studying for a test or competing in a race...doing something that requires great strength, discipline, and concentration, others will say "gaman kudasai." This article talks a little bit more about the meaning of the word.
 
In the aftermath, small glimpses of hope arise...such as the man found on the top of his house, which was floating 9 miles from the shore (sadly, his wife was washed away)...and this 4-month-old baby, found in the rubble:
 
 
Here's a lovely piece written by a writer/online friend Suzanne Kamata, who lives in Shikoku, Japan...she shares her thoughts of loss and grief for people who have lost so much.
 
I know the Japanese will "gaman" better than any other people can. They have already begun this process. My heart is in Japan right now, and I ache for what they are going through.

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