A Taste Of The Japanese Spirit After The Earthquake

Posted: March 18, 2011 in Non-fishing stories, Out of Thailand
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Watching the news these past few days has been heart-breaking. First the earthquake that shook Japan, then the devastating tsunami, followed by many more aftershocks and to top it off there are now all these nuclear plants leaking radiation everywhere. Still, in a time of crisis we see the Japanese spirit shining through the devastation and today I wish to share with the rest  of the world a light-hearted story the best exemplifies this inspirational quality.

This story happened to my childhood friend Roj in his apartment situated in downtown Tokyo in a location that is just minutes away from the Tokyo Tower. At 2:06pm, our friend enjoyed a lazy afternoon in his one-bedroom apartment following a hard night of work. He picked up his phone and made an order for something rewarding. He ordered sushi.

At 2:26pm JST the 9.0 magnitude quake happens.

Without warning, things were falling off the wall, the dresser tipped over, bottles in the kitchen came crashing down and everything was shaking. Our Thai-German friend realised, “this is the big one!” Instead of panicking and fearing for his life (you know, what you should do) his priority was diverted towards his brand-new 40″ LED TV, an act that definitely shows up on the “do not do during an earthquake” list, but hey man, it was a friggin’ 40″ LED TV! With that in mind, Roj protected his precious livelihood instead of his life.

The entire apartment was in shambles. The already messy den was even messier. His late grandfather’s 50-year mirror lay in a heap of sharp shattered shards on the ground. The shelf had spilled over leaving the living room floor with a carpet of DVD boxes. The sour smell of vinegar from the broken bottles in the kitchen wafted through the air. It was a mess but at least the nine-storied building was still standing.

Ten minutes later, the doorbell rang. “Probably my neighbour coming to check up on me. It can’t possibly be the sushi guy”, he thought to himself as he sifted through the mess in his room. He opened the door. It was not the sushi man. Instead it was a man clad in uniform  from Yamato delivery, Japan’s UPS equivalent

Perplexed by the sight of a calm looking deliveryman standing in front of his doorstep just minutes after one of the country’s biggest natural disaster in modern history, my friend asked with a shocked stutter, “a.. a… are.. are you ok?” The response was something a little unexpected considering the situation. In the most nonchalent of all tones this calm, almost stoic man comments on the 9.0 magnitude quake as if it were a normal occurance like the air being a little chilly, “that was some shake huh? Here is your package from Amazon”. In utter disbelief with a blank and confused look on his face, Roj took his package and went inside to inspect. It was his new copy of Fight Night Champions, a boxing game by EA Sports for his Playstation 3 that he had ordered the day before from the internet. It’s a good thing that he saved his 40″ LED TV from joining the mirror in Shatterland.

Then the amazing happened. The doorbell rang again. This time it was the sushi man. In his hand was Roj’s sushi order delivered roughly an hour after his phone call was made! Now let us think about what had happened here. At 2:06pm Roj placed his order. At 2:26pm the earthquake happened. At around 3pm his order arrived meaning that somewhere around that time there was either a chef working in a messed up kitchen or a delivery guy soldiered through Tokyo to complete his delivery during the earthquake. Either way, it’s something incredible. I’m sure if most of us were hit with a 9.0 magnitude earthquake we’d easily call it a day, stop whatever we were doing and head home but as demonstrated by the two brave deliverymen that day it shows that the Japanese are a tough bunch and if there are any group of people who are going to bounce back from a natural disaster stronger than ever, I’d place my money on the Japanese people.

Get well soon Japan, our thoughts and Sandra Bullock are with you.


  1. Tom says:

    Whoaaaaa. Nice reading here.
    We could all do with a little more Sandra Bullock

  2. Heinz Eggenberger says:

    Bangkokhooker, i like your stories and the asia people too…

  3. Thanks for reading 😀

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