Last June, the death of author Ben Goto did not escape notice in the media. Goto was best remembered for "Great Prophesies of Nostradamus," published in 1973, and several spinoffs.
Goto's works concerned the prognostications of 16th century French astrologer and physician Michel de Nostredame, who in 1555 published a book of poetic quatrains that are believed by some to have accurately predicted wars and other catastrophic events.
Japanese readers purchased over 6 million copies of Goto's scary books, although skeptics also had fun attempting to debunk them, disparaging the medieval French seer as "Nostre-damasu" -- damasu being the Japanese word for cheat or deceive.
Goto might have departed to the big catastrophe in the sky, but some Japanese are flocking to works in a similarly scary vein by manga author Ryo Tatsuki, Friday (April 9) reports.
Published in 1999, her comic, titled "The future as I see it," predicted that "a huge catastrophe will occur in March 2011." What's more, Tatsuki also issued a prediction on her home page to the effect that "around 2020, an unknown virus will appear, reaching its peak in April; it will then vanish but reappear 10 years later."
That particular issue of Tatsuki's manga has achieved cult status, with a copy in good condition selling on web auction sites for 100,000 yen or higher.
Upon further research, Friday's writer found that in other manga issues Tatsuki also predicted the deaths of Freddie Mercury of the rock band Queen in 1991, and Princess Diana in 1997.
What scared the writer even more however, were predictions of things that have yet to happen, namely a major eruption of Mt Fuji and a megathrust earthquake along the Nankai Trough.
"Tatsuki-san says that her prophesies follow a 15-year cycle," says Leo, the manager of her website. "She foresaw the 2011 disaster in Tohoku, in March 1996. But should something she predicts not occur, then an additional 15 years should be added, so the next time for it to occur would be 30 years from now, or 45 years, and so on.
"So since the major eruption of Mt Fuji did not occur 15 years after the prediction, in 2006, then there's a high probability of it happening on August 20 of this year."
"Likewise for the Nankai Trough earthquake. As it came to Tatsuki in a dream in the summer of 1981, the next probability of it occurring will be 45 years later, between June through September of 2026."
Through Leo's good offices, Friday's reporter made contact with Tatsuki -- who generally does not conduct media interviews -- after patiently waiting for one month.
"There's a strong chance of a major eruption of Mt Fuji this year," Tatsuki is quoted as saying. "In the dream that inspired the prediction, I saw the eruption from a long distance. So for that reason I wasn't able to be specific about the degree of damage it will wreak.
"But in the case of the Nankai earthquake, I was also washed away by a tsunami," she continues. "As shown in my illustrations, extensive parts of Kanagawa Prefecture are inundated, including the area around Aokibashi in the Kinko-cho area of Yokohama's Kanagawa Ward."
Not leaving anything to chance, Tatsuki says she plans to move out of Kanagawa Prefecture before June 2026.
And how about this coming August? Is there anything a person can do to prepare?
"Realistically, I guess what you can do is refrain from mountain climbing," Tatsuki advises.
"I do not possess a power of prophetic dreaming, but rather view my dreams through the process of 'seven dimensional shogi,"' she explains. (Shogi is a form of Asian chess.) "My role is to 'issue warnings to reduce the damage.' Everything stems from 'them,' in accordance with their strategy."
Tatsuki adds that her dream about the Tohoku catastrophe, in March 1996, was "the last" one of its kind.
"I have regular dreams, but the ones that contain a prophecy are different. It's hard to explain," she says.
Asked if she had a message for Friday readers, Tatsuki replied, "If a major earthquake occurs, even if you are living in a place that was never hit by a tsunami back to your grandparents' generation, evacuate at once!"© Japan Today