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By Motoko Tanaka (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1137373555

ISBN-13: 9781137373557

ISBN-10: 1349476668

ISBN-13: 9781349476664

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For example, movements such as the new religion called Fujikō became very popular. It derived from esoteric mountain Buddhism, and developed into a popular religious organization for the townspeople of midnineteenth century Edo. It warned that when people were attached to 34 Apocalypse in Contemporary Japanese Science Fiction worldly desires, lust, greed, and idleness, apocalyptic events such as natural disasters would occur and the world would face its end. 8 In the world of fiction, the jōruri plays by Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653–1725)—in the domestic genre (sewa mono) which deals with double suicides—reflected the Edo apocalyptic trend.

However, after all seven seals are opened, Armageddon comes and amoral empires and Antichrists are destroyed. After Christ’s perfect thousand-year reign, Satan revives temporarily and triggers the final war. 45 The Book of Revelation seems to function according to opposing values such as virtue versus vice, temporality versus eternity, and decadence versus morality. The story is based on binary oppositions, seemingly with one side of the binary clearly valued over the other. In fact, however, the apocalyptic ideology in this book is used much more ambiguously.

The modern apocalypse always requires us to cope with the crisis of facing one final end. The postmodern apocalypse makes this question invalid; the The Trajectory of Apocalyptic Discourse 23 historicity of an event is no longer singular, and there will be no major end or goal to reach. If a historic event were given an absolutely unique value and meaning, it would be impossible to survive the burdens of historicity; yet suppose that the event has relative value and is approached with ­multiple expedients, and this may bring multiple interpretations and ­re-evaluation of the event.

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Apocalypse in Contemporary Japanese Science Fiction by Motoko Tanaka (auth.)

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