On Independent States #4

Table of Contents

Fascism of Love and Fantasy (Ai to genso no fashizumu, 1987) and Exodus of the Country of Hope (Kibo no kuni no ekusodasu, 2000) are both Ryu Murakami novels depicting the establishment of independent states. In Fascism of Love and Fantasy, a fascist party plots a coup d’état and ultimately succeeds in seceding Hokkaido from Japan as an independent state. In contrast, the mass truancy of junior high school students is the theme of Exodus of the Country of Hope, wherein the truants build a community using the internet, launch an IT business, and circulate their own regional currency, thereby establishing in the end what amounts to an independent state.
These works, which deal with the idea of a coup d’état, were written with the February 26 incident and Yukio Mishima’s suicide in mind. Yet, neither has referred to the emperor system. Reflecting on Japanese history, it can be observed that there has never been political upheaval or a coup d’état in which the emperor was completely uninvolved. Thus, it is unnatural for these works to exclude the emperor system and Japanese social ambiguities. It is precisely the cause of this unnaturalness that we must decipher. Indeed, these works are, in fact, attempts to deal with the paradox of the emperor system.