In Japanese, god is “kami”(神), an homophone for the imperial court and by extension the government, the authorities “kami”(お上、御上), leading to a black humor pun : the government helps those who help themselves ! (small businesses in Japan today will fully understand the irony)
Natural disasters are common in Japan, and the Japanese resilient response is to endure (耐える). A pragmatic approach of not predictable, not influenceable happenings, earthquakes, tsunamis or Corona. Somewhere the decisions from “above” being in the same register.
As a result, as lately seen in 2001, Japanese are able to show an astonishing solidarity (団結 to bind the group), even if the very concept of volunteering is very differently lived.
Another result is the very little contestation towards the government decisions. A very recent and very exceptional exception is the pull back Prime Minister Abe was forced in concerning Mr Kurokawa’s (head of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutor’s Office) scandal. Let us see if “stay home” and “new normal” will influence this aspect of japan’s exception.
THE JAPAN EXCEPTION ? (04/06/2020)