Japan Sinks

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Japan Sinks
Japan sinks novel.jpg
AuthorSakyo Komatsu
Original title日本沈没
TranslatorMichael Gallagher
GenreThriller Science fiction novel
PublisherKodansha International
Publication date
Published in English
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages224 pp

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.

Geophysical background[edit]

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 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, towns like Ishinomaki subsided.[1]

Political background[edit]

This novel is now seen as an important look into the cultural context of 1970s Japan, particularly in its level of popularity.[2]

Parody movie[edit]

A parody movie titled Nihon Igai Zenbu Chinbotsu (World Sinks Except Japan) was released in 2006.


  1. ^ "Page not found". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ Napier, Susan. "Panic Sites: The Japanese Imagination of Disaster from Godzilla to Akira",Journal of Japanese Studies,Vol. 19, No. 2 (1993).

External links[edit]