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Palgrave Macmillan

Apocalypse in Contemporary Japanese Science Fiction

ISBN 9781137373540
Publication Date January 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Starting with the history of apocalyptic tradition in the West and focusing on modern Japanese apocalyptic science fiction in manga, anime, and novels, Apocalypse in Contemporary Japanese Science Fiction shows how science fiction reflected and coped with the devastation in Japanese national identity after 1945. The structure of apocalyptic science fiction reveals what is at stake in Japanese society - cultural continuity, tradition, politics, ideology, reality, communities, and interpersonal relationships - and suggests ways to cope with these crises and visions for the future, both positive and negative. By looking at the postwar period, Motoko Tanaka observes how Japanese apocalyptic discourse has changed in its role as a tool according to the zeitgeists of various decades.

Motoko Tanaka is Associate Professor at Miyazaki Sangyo-Keiei University, Japan. She received her PhD in Modern and Contemporary Japanese Literature at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

1. The Trajectory of Apocalyptic Discourse

2. Apocalypse in Japan

3. Apocalyptic Fiction from 1945 to the 1970s

4. Apocalyptic Fiction in 1980s Japan

5. Apocalyptic Fiction after 1995 – Sekaikei Works

6. Apocalyptic Imagination after 2011


"Apocalyptic scenarios occupy a critical place in Japanese science fiction, and since the disasters of 2011, it has become even clearer that such fictions represent an important conceptual tool for trying to think through these unthinkable events. Motoko Tanaka moves us beyond facile generalizations about Japan's preoccupation with disaster, by examining the changing ways that Japanese literature has conceived of the apocalyptic and tracing these ideas through a fascinating array of texts and media." - Christopher Bolton, Associate Professor of Comparative and Japanese Literature, Williams College, USA and co-editor of Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams: Japanese Science Fiction from Origins to Anime
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