In a World Without Love: Society, Religion and the Individual in Haruki Murakami's 1Q84

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Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 is a near-past novel set in Cold War Japan, where the system is run silently by a powerful religious group that can undermine individuals who go against it. As we delve into Murakami’s Sakigake/Akebono cult, we delve also into the complexities of a postmodern Japan where neither good nor evil are clearly demarcated. To understand the role of religion that surfaces in the novel, this paper contextualizes organized religions in relation to the suppressed histories of modern Japan. It is the contention of this author that contemporary organized religions in Japan provide a venue for the liberation of suppressed ideals and histories. As mainstream society turns away from such issues, Murakami suggests that religious groups (as in the case of his fictional Sakigake/Akebono) address it.