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‘All Shook Up’: Post-religious Responses to Disaster in Murakami Haruki’s after the quake

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the way Murakami Haruki's 1999 short story collection after the quake, which deals with the theme of post-religious responses to disaster. It considers the most important story of the collection,all god's children can dance. The all god's children can dance story describes a young man who abandons the God of his mother's religion, but who is nevertheless open to the unseen presence of an unknown person or power as he dances on the pitcher's mound of a baseball diamond late at night. The chapter looks at how theory of mind, together with what some cognitive scientists label 'hyperactive agency detection', put simply, one constant vigilance for other minds, primes one ability to see others 'out there', to always wonder who, whether visibile or invisible, is watching one and why. It focuses on how this leads to a sense of moral cause and effect in the universe.

Keywords: after the quake; disaster; Japan; Murakami Haruki; Post-Religious Responses

10.1163/9789004268319_011
/content/books/b9789004268319s011
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