Date of Award


Degree Type



Moore School of Business

Director of Thesis

Junko Baba, Ph.D.

Second Reader

Anne Gulick, Ph.D.


While consuming Japanese popular culture, it is easy to notice the reoccurring themes of the apocalypse though they are often very different in their presentation to the audience. Through investigation, the study found that the Japanese people draw their understanding of the apocalypse from many different religions and ideologies, also known as religious pluralism. An influential aesthetic inspired by the Buddhist doctrine of impermanence in Japan is mono no aware which is the idea of seeing the beauty in the chaos and destruction, with sadness and compassion, including the apocalypse. Stemming from the ideologies of reincarnation and masse, the Japanese have a unique viewpoint of the end of times, seeing it as the beginning of a new era. This ideology, as well as themes of death and renewal, is represented in many artistic works such as Osamu Tezuka’s Phoenix and Yoshinobu Nishizaki’s Space Cruiser Yamato. Through exploration of articles and Japanese popular culture, the apocalyptic themes change over time to reflect the social and political views of the Japanese people during that period.

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