|Genre||Thriller Science fiction novel|
|Published in English||1976|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
Japan Sinks (日本沈没 Nihon Chinbotsu ) is a disaster novel written by Sakyo Komatsu in 1973. Komatsu took nine years to complete the work. The publisher wanted it to be written in two different sections, both published at the same time. The novel received the 27th Mystery Writers of Japan Award and the Seiun Award for a Japanese novel-length work.
The novel has led to works in other media as well as sequels: a film based on the novel was made in the same year directed by Shiro Moritani, a television show made in 1975, and a remake in 2006 by Shinji Higuchi. In 1995, after the Osaka-Kobe earthquake, Komatsu published a second English abridged edition (ISBN 4-7700-2039-2). In 2006, a sequel to the novel was published and there is talk of a third.
Japan is on a destructive plate boundary, where the Philippine Plate subducts the Eurasian Plate. It is a triple junction and three subduction zones are involved. After the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, towns like Ishinomaki did actually sink.
The novel represented the growing discontent in the minds of many Japanese people during the 1970s, as their cultural, economic, and political identity and stability had become under attack from international pressures, and the many adjustments that had to be made after the Cold War ended. This novel is now seen as an important look into the cultural context of 1970s Japan, particularly in its level of popularity.
A parody movie called Nihon Igai Zenbu Chinbotsu (Everything Other than Japan Sinks) was released in 2006.
- Napier, Susan. "Panic Sites: The Japanese Imagination of Disaster from Godzilla to Akira",Journal of Japanese Studies,Vol. 19, No. 2 (1993).