Japan, 'kongo', and the earthquake

Author Robert Twigger has an article in The Independant about why Japan will recover:
In all areas of life the Japanese extol, in a light-hearted but determined way, konjo, or "guts". To possess it is seen as the norm rather than the exception. When I was earning my living in Tokyo as a teacher, I once phoned in to say that I had a temperature of 40C. I was told to go in anyway. (The Japanese sound like nurses! - ed.)
. . .
The tragedy now unfolding in Japan must dwarf any trite evaluation of that country's ability to recover, yet, as anyone who has experience of Japan and its history will opine: the Japanese are different.