A Kiwi take on a Japanese philosophy

 The Kiwi philosophy of ‘she’ll be right’ is sometimes at odds with Japanese culture, except at the same time it also helps form the basis of one of their core principles.

The philosophy of ‘she’ll be right’ is that things will all turn out ok in the end. This is a great philosophy to have, because it means you don’t fret over the small unimportant things, but sometimes there is value in doing just that.

The Japanese very much have an opposite attitude to when it comes to preparing anything. They prepare for any eventuality, that’s why they are over-insured, which is great for someone like me who sometimes isn’t prepared, because I know I can rely on other people, but if everyone was like me in that sense, it probably wouldn’t work.

There is a philosophy in Japan called ‘sho ga nai’, which would probably be translated as ‘it can’t be helped’ or ‘there’s nothing that can be done about it, so why worry?’

This philosophy is very similar to the Kiwi ‘she’ll be right’ in that it’s about not caring too much about the small or unimportant things, the difference being when they happen, however. It can’t be used before an event like ‘she’ll be right’ can.

This may be a case where language has an influence over culture. ‘She’ll be right’ is talking about the future, ‘Sho ga nai’ Is talking about something that is happening now, or that has happened before.

Both have their place in society, and both can be useful ways to view the world. I think though it’s probably better to take the Japanese stance on the issue, just to be safe. But then again, you truly cannot predict the future, so knowing ‘she’ll be right’ is probably just as useful. Use with caution.



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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


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