Bing Japan’s condolence image of the day

As someone who pays a lot of attention to the Bing websites’ image of the day, the picture for Bing Japan today grabbed my attention. Unusually there was no breathtaking photograph, instead, just a humble block of text on a plain background. It turns out to be a message of condolence for the recent disasters in Japan.

Thanks to a translation provided by reader David Warner, who emphasized it was written in a very formal writing style which is difficult to capture in English, it reads as follows.

Concerning the Tōhoku region Pacific Ocean offshore earthquake

May those killed by the earthquake that occurred on Friday the 11th of March rest in peace, and to all those who suffered and to their families, you have our heartfelt sympathy.

We pray for as quick a recovery as possible.

This company will do as much as it can to support the recovery effort.

Microsoft Co. Ltd., Japan

Although this sincere message is trivial in the context of all the relief support contributions from Microsoft, I think it’s still a very noble gesture.

5 insightful thoughts

  1. I think they had to do an image that was respectful of the occasion to sets the right tone, but I really don’t buy that corporations should express outright feelings of sympathy like this.

    Who is speaking? A public relations person. Why are they speaking? To get and keep customers. There’s nothing heartfelt about it, its a canned response, and I find the idea that I should take it seriously kind of patronizing.

    It would be different if Bill Gates, as a person, or Steve Ballmer, wanted to use the website to express their sympathy. They’d be using their assets to represent their feelings. Instead we get a person that was hired to express feelings for them.

  2. I’m sorry Redfish, with respect…you are mistaken here.
    In Japan, where I have spent considerable time, this expression means a great deal. (I lived for a time in Sakata, Yamagata, helping at Seiko Epson-san’s 8″ wafer fab; I was deep in the far side of the country, not in westernized Tokyo or Chiba.)

    In Japan, Companies have considerable respect from the people, it’s not “just a job” to them. My working with Epson opened doors that I, being gaijin (non-japanese… and particularly being a gringo/cracker/honky/american) could never open.

    Especially given the clue about it being written in a formal style that doesn’t have an English cultural or linguistic counterpart, this is the equivalent of a company crying, mourning from loss.

    Yes, in Japan, Microsoft cries. He deeply mourns the loss of his family and friends, and for their families and friends, in a large and extended social network. The Japanese share a culture of togetherness that you do not, at this time, understand.
    I hope you can you trust what I’m saying. But regardless, it is truth.
    I share Microsoft’s loss; and I know Microsoft-jp, and many of my personal friends there, are crying still, and are striving to do all they can for those who have suffered most. And you know what? It’s having a positive impact you would not imagine!

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