The only country to ever suffer an attack by nuclear weapons might now be facing the worst peacetime nuclear contamination in history. It’s not Chernobyl yet, but Japan is an island nation; there aren’t a lot of places to hide.
In 65 years, the Japanese pretty much became the people they attacked in 1941 and who dropped atom bombs on them in 1946; they embraced the Western way of life.
Theirs is such an ancient culture – I wonder if there aren’t some today in Japanese universities or think tanks re-examining all of it, wondering did they choose the right path?
Westernization has nothing to do with the fact of the earthquake or the tsunami of course – God laughs when God laughs. But I think the ugliness of the aftermath, the horror of twisted steel and broken infrastructure and now, radiation turned to poison the builders, I think these things offend beauty and serenity, thinks the Japanese have always treasured.
Just a thought.
UPDATE April 4, 2011: A writer I admire, James Howard Kunstler (been perusing his site today) pretty much said the same thing about Japan and it’s esthetic. (He said it six days after me, think he got it here? Heh, fat chance.