Kamikaze or Heroes? Japanese Elders Tackle Fukishima - Page 2
Despite the hesitation of officials, some have suggested that the pensioners are literally giving their lives to help their country and preserve the future for younger generations. Michio Ito, a retired school teacher, is one of Yamada's willing recruits. He says, "I don't think I'm particularly special. Most Japanese have this feeling in their heart. The question is whether you step forward, or you stay behind and watch. Most Japanese want to help out any way they can."
Yamada, also quite modest, seemed a little offended by the comparison of himself and his fellow volunteers with kamikaze pilots, that some have made. "We are not kamikaze. The kamikaze were something strange, no risk management there. They were going to die. But we are going to come back. We have to work but never die."
This story ties in with the tales of Japanese honor, courage, and national composure that poured in following the massive earthquake and tsunami that caused the nuclear catastrophe 2 months ago. People from around the world tend to distinguish the people of Japan, kamikaze or not, by their willingness to sacrifice individual considerations, comfort, and lives, for the greater good. These elder Japanese, clamoring to put their lives on the line in behalf of the younger generation, certainly exemplify that honor and national character.