Japan is a fascinating country, almost as if it were an extraterrestrial planet, especially in some of its customs. However, Japan is vulnerable and unstable. Epithets of those that, ironically, have obtained their greatest capacity for resilience (the ability of a person to overcome traumatic circumstances).
The reason why Japan is so prone to earthquakes is that it is surrounded by four plates that collide with each other at a speed of 4-10 centimetres per year.
The earthquake of March 11, 2011, was the most powerful in Japan and the fifth strongest recorded on Earth since there are measurements, reaching to displace the axis of the Earth 25 meters and the island of Honshu 2.4 meters to the west. It caused 120,000 deaths, generally drowned by the tsunami that followed.
However, most earthquakes are small, although they are still relatively lethal. In 2014, for example, there was a small 6.4 degree that killed 42 people. Another in 2016 killed 50 people. Both earthquakes occurred in Kyushu.
However, the earthquake that caused the most damage in Japan took place in 1923: the Great Kanto Earthquake. With 7.9 degrees on the Richter scale, it caused the death of some 105,000 people and the loss of 1.5 million homes.
These continuous disasters, far from creating an imprint of fear and despair among the Japanese, have turned them into a strong, collaborative and even able to find a way to reinvent themselves through the tragedy, as explained Florentino Rodao in his book The loneliness of the vulnerable country due to the reactions of the Great Kanto Earthquake:
The writer and poet Paul Claudel, who at that time was ambassador of France, remembered the instructions to avoid the defeatism in the days that lived in a camp of survivors: “I did not listen nor a lament, it was not necessary to bother nor to bother the neighbours with movements sudden or negative feelings, everyone had to remain calm, together in the same boat. “
This feeling has been transferred to culture and language. Not surprisingly, the word “crisis” (危機 = kiki) is composed of the characters 危 = »danger» and 機 = »opportunity»: