2024/05/29 17:45

There is a great leap forward after overcoming a crisis.


There is a great leap forward after overcoming a crisis.


March 11, a massive earthquake struck the Tohoku region, including East Japan. As many have already experienced, even in such challenging circumstances, there has been international praise for the diligence of the Japanese people. Reports highlighted the considerate actions of a company employee turned evacuee who, despite exhaustion, sat on the stairs, making way for others. Ironically, the admirable qualities of the Japanese character were shared globally in this way. Nevertheless, it remains true that the Japanese possess a cooperative and resilient spirit, a fundamental strength inherent in their nature.

Historically, Japan has been an agrarian society, evident from the fact that around 80% of the population were farmers until the Edo period. This influence is still visible in our daily lives. For example, Japanese holidays such as the Vernal Equinox Day, Autumnal Equinox Day, New Year's Day, Children's Day, and Labor Thanksgiving Day all have origins in Shinto rituals celebrating abundant harvests. In Japan, holidays are referred to as "shukujitsu" or festival days, emphasizing their connection to religious observances. Even Respect for the Aged Day, by aligning with the agricultural off-season, signifies a time to seek the wisdom of the elderly. The Japanese way of life is deeply rooted in agriculture, combined with the ancient religious concepts of Shinto, giving rise to the distinct qualities of the Japanese character.

This combination of Shinto spirituality and agriculture is the foundation of Japan's unique traits, including cooperation and perseverance. It is not only about Shinto or agriculture individually; it is the synergy of both that defines the functional aspect of these traits. This is not easily replicated, as observed in many developing nations that, despite engaging in primary industries like agriculture, exhibit different national characteristics than Japan.

In the face of the recent disaster, there have been numerous victims. Yet, by invoking the robust spirit of the Japanese people, there is a certainty of recovery. Japan stands as a nation with a unique blend of cooperative spirit and enduring patience.

(Shrine Person Operator, Representative of Culture J, Ltd., Hidetoshi Tojo)

Hidetoshi Tojo was born in 1972 in Saitama Prefecture and is the representative director of Culture J, Ltd. He is the direct descendant of Hideki Tojo and the 18th head of the family. Exploring a unique social welfare model in Japan, he turned his attention to the presence of shrines and Shinto. Advocating for cultural tourism through shrines, he aims to revitalize new local communities and cultural entertainment.

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