The article addresses the topic of utopia and dystopia in contemporary Japanese literature. Among the novels that are analysed are: Murakami Haruki’s latest novel 1Q84, Kirino Natsuo’s I’m sorry, mama. and Takami Kōshun’s Battle Royale. These pieces are considered literary adaptations of the “lost decade”, which establish the point of origin in the Japanese media for the growing precariousness and the country’s decline.
Contemporary Japan is in itself a dystopia: In order to adequately depict the magnitude of hopelessness and fear of the future, hyper-realistic scenarios of violence are employed in the literary medium. In the distant horizon of utopia these texts search for “healing” (iyashi) – through the force of love. However, dystopia turns out to be generally more contemporary in this day and age.