Learning to burn and shine like the Japanese

In schools, what had singled out our Indian friends from us was their tireless pursuit of being studious. It was obvious, that they topped every exam and did not spared even a tiny test. So from early on, noticing in my Indian friends this industrious trait, I grew up with a belief that they were the most hardworking people.

Even as I went to a college in India, the trend never failed to amaze me. I rather stumbled upon many Indian friends who would commit diligently in study matters.

Not until I came as a student in Japan did the very belief I have held firmly for the last many years begin to falter gradually. Simply put, I almost went mad at first sight.

Then I pondered heavily on my resilience as a postgraduate student and mused if my “its ok” mentality could fare strong in the survival of fittest. Not before long the confidence slowly dwindled away in the face of an overly workaholic atmosphere.

It has been quite some time now in the lab. Ever since the start, I have been in attendance for not less than nearly eight hours every weekday. However, mine deserves no mention (comes nowhere near comparison) as some of our Japanese lab members work as late as 2 or 3 in the morning.

Their indefatigable stamina and patience to work for any stretch of time defines how robust they could be in chasing their dreams.

In a country where people work day in and day out, I have seen, felt and heard, as they endeavour to achieve perfection in everything they do. And the best of all- people take work, whether white or blue collar, personal or public, as their own and grumble very less. Thus, there is hardly any compromise in the quality of the work.

Needless to say, this is why even at the mention of the name Japan, many relate to it as ‘near perfect’. They have stood the test of time, created annals of history and achieved immensely in diverse areas within a short span. It is thus only natural that many developing countries look up to Japan as a big brother.

As to myself it as infallible proof that anything that calls for sacrifice is worth the reward.

I came from a 9am to 5pm working culture. Because my circadian rhythm was fine-tuned for working within a fixed amount of time back home, it took quite a long to cope up with the engaging schedule and move a little beyond.

Now that I am able to get rid of the complacent attitude, it feels wonderful to have an aura of willingness to work at any point of time. Conceivably, without even my realizing it, the Japanese formula has really helped the social circle around me expand along with a stronger network.

Moreover, now I have come to deeply empathize the connotation- the land of rising sun. And I will fain accept that the making of this great nation was like the sun itself- burning and shining.

Every day, every morning witnessing the rush hour of cars in the streets and people in the subways, and as the busy nation teems to life…. I wonder if the sun could ever set in the hearts of the Japanese people.

By Pelden Nima

The writer is a post graduate student at Nagoya University in Japan

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