Inspiring stories of friendship and support


  Inspiring stories of friendship and support

What is friendship? It's a word that evokes an image of two people sitting next to each other, sharing their dreams, laughing with one another about the small things in life. But friendship can also be defined as a relationship between people who do not know each other well but respect and support one another. Â After all, we wouldn't say that everyday families are friends!

In this article I will be talking about 10 stories of friendships from around the world. All these relationships share an important quality: they were developed despite some issue or obstacle between the two individuals. And for whatever reason, these relationships were mutually beneficial.  Since this is an international article, I will be using the Japanese word " nakama  " in this article. It means "friend," but it also carries a meaning of "companion in arms," or even "comrade." Whatever word you choose, they all share some element of trust and mutual support.

If you speak Japanese and are interested in the etymology of words, interesting vocabulary and other linguistic tidbits, check out these articles by Tofugu :
1.  Babies in Japan get to play with robots!
2.  Try saying this sentence: "The Indian elephant is pink."
3.  Japanese parents have a lot of rules.
5.  How to use Japanese "anata" and "kimi."
6.  The Kanji origins of the Japanese alphabet .
7.  What Japanese schools teach you and what they don't teach you .
8.  Weird Japan: The culture that never dies .
9.  Why there is no word for "I love you in Japanese" .
10.  Grammar school in Japan: A guide from the bottom up . If you are interested in more information about friendship outside of Japan, check out these articles: 11.    Indian friends based on social networks 12.   Pakistanis Connect Through Facebook 13.  Chinese Friends through Street Connections
1.  The Last Samurai . In 2003, a revolutionary new technology emerged: virtual reality. For the first time, people could be transported to other worlds and experience them in real time. The technology existed to make people feel they were actually there, but it didn't exist on Earth for the public to use. It took help from Japan's elite NTT communications corporation and their chief scientist Dr. Naoya Tanii to bring this amazing discovery to the world . Tanii is co-founder of HeadSpace , a virtual reality company in Tokyo that aims to create "a life-size avatar of someone you can converse with. Think: Star Trek's holodeck in real life."  Tanii's story is set in the not-so-distant future, but it's not hard to imagine that these VR headsets could become a reality in the next 20 or 30 years. Meanwhile, many people are making friends online using social networks.  Some people have hundreds of thousands of friends! Our next story is about a much smaller group of people with six friends. 2 .  The Friendship Group  or " Six-pack " . This is the story about an art professor and several artists who became close because they were interested in making art together. One night, the professor told them that the Japanese word for "I will bring you sushi and sake."  The next day, all of the students showed up with boxes of food to make sushi and sake for everyone. The professor said he never knew why they did this. To him, it seemed like a gesture that had nothing to do with art, but since they did it, he decided to include them in his art class and have a six-pack of friends. These people became each other's best friends and were together every day until one talented painter decided to move on. 3 . The Artists Club . This story is from Milan , Italy , where there are several art clubs dedicated to the arts.  One of the most famous ones is called "The Artists Club." This club was started in 1991 by a group of artists who wanted to be around other artists.  They believe that the arts are what makes a person human, so everyone in this club has something to offer to everyone else.  
The club has over 4000 members--all of them artists!  Club rules prohibit "making decisions based on rank, monetary value, authorship or commercial success," and therefore it's an open environment for everyone from starving students to bestselling authors. The People Magazine wrote that the club is one place you can say: " Where stars go when they want to be just like everyone else ."
4 . The Football Team . This story is about a team of six friends in India that play football (soccer).  These boys are from Chennai , a city in southern India.  They were part of a sponsored football team, but they noticed they weren't getting the same attention as the other more famous players. But at practices, these six friends were always together. They spoke about how they didn't have many great goals or victories, but even though they weren't living their dreams on the field, they were still living at their best and creating memorable moments together. In all of these stories, there are some common threads between the characters: The people involved realized something important once they found each other: 1 . Finding a place to belong . 2 . Finding a shared interest 3 . Sharing an experience These experiences create bonds of friendship.  They are real connections with real people.  And they are the key to creating lasting, global friendships.
The main characters in these stories could have been any age from 10 to 85 years old--and that's what makes this topic so interesting because "friendship" can be any age between those ages! You see this in your own life: you may not have many close friends at the moment, but you still have friends you've known for years. And in time, being able to find genuine friendship with someone else is one of the best things that can happen to you. Here's the opening scene from the movie, "The Last Samurai."  This is where we meet William, a soldier from America who has been raised in Japan by a samurai master. This is an excerpt from The Last Samurai , which was released in 2003. (No spoilers.) Clip:
Stay tuned for Part 2, where I will tell you about friendship on other continents!
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I have studied many aspects of friendship. I would like to say a word about them briefly, and hope you will understand their meaning. My intention was to give a complete explanation for the crucial problems that exist in the field of friendship. Above all, I hoped to help you answer these basic questions: How do we make friends? How do we stay friends? Are friendships eternal? Is it possible to be unhappy in friendship? What are the foundations of friendship and fellowship? What are the foundations of family life and marriage? How can one become a good friend or a good family member or husband or wife?
I agree with Aristotle that closest friends have little need for long explanations as to why they prefer each other's company.

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