Mar 30 2011

Fall down seven times, get up eight : The power of Japanese Gambaru


Garr Reynolds has lived and taught in Japan for many years.

He writes:

Japanese culture and ways of thinking can not be adequately addressed in a short space, but this Japanese proverb “Nana korobi ya oki” (literally: seven falls, eight getting up) reflects an important and shared ideal. This speaks to the Japanese concept of resilience. No matter how many times you get knocked down, you get up again….

The concept of gambaru is also deeply rooted in the Japanese culture and approach to life. The literal meaning of gambaru expresses the idea of sticking with a task with tenacity until it is completed—of making a persistent effort until success is achieved.


This week at Presentation Zen he write about the Japanese resilience in response to the earthquake.

On the same subject, Andrew Knight points us towards the British Medical Journal blog of Ryuki Kassai, Professor of Family Medicine at Fukushima.  Andrew writes that the Prof “came with some of his registrars to visit our practice in 2009.  I have visited him and his registrars in Fukushima.  He gives a fascinating and moving insight into living through such events”

Sometimes it became difficult to keep our strong Fukushima tradition of endurance (gaman) and non blaming culture. The mental well being of the caregivers who were under constant demanding pressure is an ongoing issue. A video clip on YouTube entitled Pray for Japan: be strong deeply moved us into tears. That was a good example how music and narrative can heal us

Read the Profossor’s blog in the BMJ.

He has also posted an update for the second week.





What I Learnt On 30th March in other years

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