Sunlight Shining Through Cloud

Man Up For Japan

Posted on: March 18, 2011

It’s eight days now since the quake.  I wonder if we’re becoming fatigued by the constant, awful news.  One can only hope not.

The American Red Cross and it’s equivalents around the world quickly organized relief efforts which this blog has been proud to publicize.  But there’s another story I thought might interest you.

Relief efforts have been organized within Japan.  The country, itself, is renowned for its emergency management capability.  These national resources  have not been as stretched in seventy years.  The Japanese – as a people – are deeply in the middle of saving their countrymen and physical assets.  Their efforts take many forms: search and rescue, feeding and housing the displaced, medical, transportation of the injured, and a host of other needs – covered without anyone asking for the help.  You could call it human nature in the face of extraordinary circumstances.  But in tomorrow’s post, I will talk about the specific nature of the people of Japan.

College graduates from around the world live and work in Japan; some for a year, others for up to five years.  They teach their home languages and culture & customs.  Languages are exchanged.  Relationships are formed.  Over four thousand of these graduates work with one program, alone.  It’s called the JET Programme; JET being the acronym for Japan Exchange and Teaching.  These individuals call themselves “JET’s”, and have an association of their own called AJET.

As the title of this blog post is Man Up For Japan, a bit of language, cultural and monetary explanation is in order.  The Japanese word man is the romanized spelling of the word for 10,000 (  ). In monetary terms, for example, 10,000 yen = 1 man of yen.  In recent history, 1 man equaled about $100US and the reference remains intact today regardless of the actual exchange rate for the yen.

AJET’s have organized a relief fund of their own: Man Up For Japan.  Their idea is for JET’s to donate a man, $100, to the fund which will be used to support the work being done to help the Japanese people.  There’s a lot of love and appreciation among the JET’s for their hosts and, just today, thousands of them “manned up” for Japan.

I thought you’d like to know how our kids are doing over there.  There is much consideration and action revolved around the hazards of being in Japan just now.  But there’s more.  Our kids are pitching in as best they can, be it by helping their towns dig out from the rubble, or rendering aid in any number of ways, or “manning up” for the country that has treated them so well.

If you are moved to pitch in, the Man Up For Japan Facebook event page provides links to several ways you can give money.  Let’s surprise them and swell the fund beyond their wildest expectations.  Man Up For Japan, and then drop them a little note of support on their Facebook event page.  Your good wishes will go a long way toward helping the wonderful people of Japan.  Thanks.

Give to the Red Cross Japan Earthquake & Pacific Tsunami Relief Fund.

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