Setting a New Relationship for a Sustainable Future

  • Byeongjin Kim Ewha Institute for the Humanities at Ewha Women University, Seoul
  • Yi-jin Park Academy of East Asian Studies at Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul
Keywords: Apocalypticism, Ecologism, Disaster Narrative, Kōbō Abe, Post-Apocalyptic Narrative, The Ark Sakura


In this paper, the authors analyse the post-apocalyptic narrative as an environmental crisis discourse and suggest a vision of SDGs from the standpoint of ecological criticism. Kōbō Abe's post-apocalyptic narrative in The Ark Sakura presents ethical challenges to the readers. Furthermore, the myriad of formal elements (surreal space composition, fictional apocalyptic hypothesis, and biblical motifs) and themes (threat of nuclear war, human greed, loss of humanity, and littering problem) are converged on ecological themes to convey warning messages to humanity. This literary imagination of apocalypse and disaster plays a role as a tool for self-reflection and warning against the absurdities of reality, while at the same time presents alternatives and solutions for a new vision for the future. In particular, it demands critical reflection on collectivism, that is, nationalism founded on human selfishness. This is a strategic worldview that deals with the disasters and the destruction of people and planet, as well as a lesson to be taught by ecological writing for a new future society.

Author Biographies

Byeongjin Kim, Ewha Institute for the Humanities at Ewha Women University, Seoul

Dr Byeongjin Kim (corresponding author) is a Researcher Professor of Ewha Institute for the Humanities at Ewha Women University, Seoul. His area of research is Historical Sociology of East Asia.

Yi-jin Park, Academy of East Asian Studies at Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul

Dr Yi-jin Park (first author) is a professor of Academy of East Asian Studies at Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul. His area of research is Japanese literature.


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How to Cite
Kim, B., & Park, Y.- jin. (2021). BEYOND NATIONALISM IN THIS ‘ERA OF DISASTER’. Journal of Dharma, 46(2), 145-164. Retrieved from