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As for the Japanese, I believe their determined spirit will help them through this time of great trial in their lives. That spirit is aptly captured in the phrase fukutsu no seishin (不屈の精神).
Fukutsu no seishin means “never give up” and is used especially in extreme circumstances. In the wake of the 9.0 earthquake, massive tsunami and burgeoning nuclear emergency, the phrase is often heard in Japan today. It reflects tenacity, perseverance and hope.
Equal in importance to the spirit of fukutsu no seishin in Japan is the strong sense of shared purpose. The thread of community is woven tightly through all Japanese. They are devoted to the cause of saving one another and their communities, not simply themselves. The foreign media have marveled at how calmly and patiently the survivors line up for food, water or gas. But it is no surprise to me that even when supplies run out, not only do the Japanese not riot, they do not even murmur an objection.
After the Quake, Japan Says ‘Never Give Up’, Howard Stringer, March 18, 2011