by Fuminori Nakamura
Cult X is without doubt one of the most thought-provoking dark books of all time. Fuminori Nakamura is the author of this book. Fuminori has won numerous prizes for his writing, including the Oe Prize, Japan’s largest literary award, the David L. Goodis Award for Noir Fiction and the prestigious Akutagawa Prize. Nakamura peels back the Japan’s façade, the gentile, hard-working, striving, respectful society, and instead, introduces us to world of fringe religious cults. Matsuo leads the almost accidental group, an intellectual, peaceful assembly whose devotees listen to his far-ranging sermons. Lectures, really, covering black matter, philosophy, DNA, the collective unconscious, etc. The splinter group, Cult X, is led by the apostate Sawatari , who presides over Monday orgies that include rape. Cult X is at the center of a massive terror attack on home soil.
The purpose of this attack is to support a conservative, war-like political administration. Shadowy government agents and over zealous police wait in the wings to enable or thwart the attacks. Easily lost in this epic is a love story. Narazaki searches for his enigmatic girlfriend, Ryoko, and it is this search that leads him through the labyrinth of these cults. Think of Fuminori Nakamura as his generation’s Yukio Mishima. Mishima, who came of age during World War II, never adjusted to Japan’s non-militaristic stance during the years following the war. Nakamura, while not advocating for the samurai spirit that Mishima put forward, offers intriguing arguments that question Japan’s role in the age of terror.