Japanese 'warriors' seeking to save country from tsunami/earthquake-damaged reactor

Kamikaze, commonly translated as "divine wind," were suicide attacks by Japanese military aviators against Allied naval vessels in the closing days of World War II. The planes were loaded with explosives and the objective was to destroy as many warships as possible. The men gave their lives in service to their country. 

A Japanese samurai was a member of the military nobility in pre-industrial Japan. The men who served in these ranks followed a set of rules known as "Bushido," which emphasized the virtues of loyalty, honor, obedience, duty, filial piety and self sacrifice.

The kamikaze and samurai represent old Japan. Or do they? 

Fast forward to today, and you find a new breed of brave Japanese warrior – the Fukushima 50.

Ever since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, these brave workers have been struggling to prevent a meltdown to four reactors that were critically damaged during the event. They have been repeatedly exposed to dangerously high radioactive levels as they attempt to bring vital cooling systems back online. 

They have been quoted as saying they have committed themselves to die, if necessary, to save Japan. If they don't die from radiation sickness now, they'll likely die from cancer in the future.

Bushido is defined as "the code of the samurai, stressing unquestioning loyalty and obedience, valuing honor above life." The word comes from the combination of two words: "Bushi," which means "warrior," and "do," which means way. So it literally means way of the warrior.

There are 50 warriors trying to save Japan, and by doing so, perhaps the world. Sounds like a cheeky plot for some Saturday morning cartoon. Unfortunately, this time it's real.

Published Thursday, March 31, 2011 12:45 PM by bulldog
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