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

By Motoko Tanaka (auth.)

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48 In Hindu mythology, everything in our universe is happening in Vishnu’s dream; Brahma, the creator of the universe, is born from a lotus growing in Vishnu’s navel. When the ­universe is destroyed, Vishnu absorbs Brahma; one cycle ends at this moment. In the next step, Vishnu goes back to sleep and the creation of the universe begins anew. 49 Epilogues in traditional apocalyptic myths mostly describe the happy or promised “ending” of the stories, yet modern apocalyptic narratives are often tragic and hopeless.

The Sun shrinks and the solar system itself begins to die.

One planet is described as a cooperative totally lacking government, where everything is equal. On this planet people do not work since they have biologically artificial human beings for labor. 12 As Japan became an imperial nation state, political novels began to deal with the power of the state aiming at the expansion of the empire. Science fiction at this time period came to feature adventure and simulation in futuristic settings. Sugiyama Tōjirō’s 1887 Toyotomi saikōki (The Restoration of the Toyotomi Clan) is a simulation story in which Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who unified Japan in 1590, unifies the entire world, subjugating Korea, China, Siam, India, Turkey, Arabia, and Siberia.

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