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Cool Japan / Cool Japanese Person / Steve Yamaguchi (山口スティーブ)

(Steve Yamaguchi hard at work (photo by Masaru Komiyaji))

Taking up herewith Mr. Steve Yamaguchi, one of the Japanese Citizen with Blue Eye, like Professor Donald Keene who received Japanese Citizenship in the begining of March, 2012. Please visit the page "Cool Japan / Keene calls for orderly, beautiful cities to be rebuilt in disaster areas".
Also regarding Mr. Steve Yamaguchi, many people in the Northeast are grateful for Mr. Steve Yamaguchi's efforts to support Tohoku Region Reconstruction from the Earthquake of Mar., 11, 2011 and Tsunami disanter.

He is from USA and received Japanese Citizenship due to his marriage with a Japanese woman, Mrs., Yamaguchi. And he is now the CEO of Travel Tohoku Co.

Quote herewith one of the articles of Kanagawa Notebook titled "Tanabata, Temper Tantrums, and the Prime Minister ‘s Woes" and hope you'll check full article.
In the article, the author referred to Mr. Steve Yamaguchi as follows;
Well, it depends on who you ask. Steve Yamaguchi, a naturalized Japanese citizen living in Yamagata Prefecture (just North of the worst-hit areas in Tohoku), claims to hate the phrase “Ganbaru” , because of what it implies. In a recent interview with Mamiko Takahashi of the Asahi Shinbun, Yamaguchi (who arranges tours of the disaster areas for volunteer workers), speaks his mind. “The word oozes with a sense of despair because it implies bearing with an issue that has been forced upon oneself……everyone thinks,’there is nothing I can do, and since I cannot change it, all I can do is do my best.` That also leads to resigning oneself to not always achieving the desired results. ” Yamaguchi also expressed his frustration with what he sees as “passivity” in the people of Tohoku. “I think everyone should be much more angry at politicians and local government officials….As someone from the Tohoku region, what I am concerned about is the feeling that people are becoming passive and holding the feeling that `someone else will do it for me.`…..A strong leader will not be born unless there are strong followers.”

(Temporary community center being constructed by Mr. Steve Yamaguchi
at Higashi-Matsushima City, Tsukihama based on his management experience
in construction company, named Yamaguchi Corporation)

Yamaguchi’s thoughts echo those of the blogger from Chiba Prefecture who I wrote about in my last post; the guy known as “Our Man in Abiko”. Our Man was concerned at the number of people still in shelters, speculating that their “patience” was really closer to passivity and lack of courage. My own thought on the matter is that it takes a foreigner living in Japan ( Yamaguchi is a Japanese citizen, but raised and schooled in California) to say what needs to be said, and to do so respectfully as well. Protests are happening, and people are raising their voices and organizing themselves, but hardly in proportion to the extent of the suffering and indignity that disaster victims are continuing to experience. Too many people seem to be too quiet, having resigned themselves to waiting rather than taking action. And, as both the blogger from Chiba and Steve Yamaguchi point out, waiting in itself cannot effect change or serve a positive purpose.

By TS on Mar 30, 2012
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tag : Cool_Japan



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Author:T. SATOH