"The Sakura were late this year as if they too observed some form of “Jishuku” .......quoted from a photo essay by Francis Harrison , a photographer who captured
Instead, the country went into a deep mourning, very quietly and informally. The government requested the people to observe a state of Jishuku, compelling people to refrain from any public display of happiness.(although later they requested people to refrain from Jishuku and to lead normal lives in order to protect the country's economy)
Graduation ceremonies and Hanami parties were put off. Concerts, sports and other events, even weddings were either postponed or cancelled. Out of respect for the profound suffering of their fellow citizens in the disaster stricken areas, people avoided going to restaurants and bars. Several electronic and gaming companies ceased or delayed the production and launch of their products. The release of new movies was postponed...and the list is endless...
Although many have willingly or unwillingly (out of fear of appearing indiscreet to others) followed what was expected of them, not everybody thinks it is a logical thing to do, especially at a time when the country is reeling under recession and at the same time trying to deal with the massive economic impact, both direct and indirect, that the recent crisis has had on the country. It is true that emotions tend to run high during such times but one has to be practical - too much of holding back and prolonged grieving can hurt the economy.
I feel Jishuku is something that probably comes naturally to us (at least most of us) when we experience such a traumatizing scale of loss of human life, for that is how we human beings are "designed" to feel and behave, and to an extent such behavior is legitimate. All we need to take care of is that it does not become an obsession and that there is always a right balance between what we want to/are asked to do and what needs to/should be done.
There should be a time to grieve and a time to refrain from it - for that is what life is about - it is all about change and does not or should not come to a stand still....it has to move on....and it is important that it does...for our own well being, for the well being of those who have suffered and for the well being of the country as a whole...
I have pasted a link to the photo essay - “Jishuku”: Tokyo after the earthquake" by Francis Harrison (mentioned above)