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The Nostradamus fad might have been just that, a short-lived blip that would evaporate when the next big thing came along. And it might have been dismissed as nothing more than a few whackos’ nutty obsession with doomsday. But a lot of un-nutty Japanese take it seriously and it’s influence has persisted for nearly three decades. The most alarming development occurred when certain cults including Shoko Asaharas Aum got in the act. Aum which allegedly masterminded the deadly sarin gas attacks to attract followers already bitten by the Nostradamus bug. Other groups did likewise while also providing avenues for surviving doomsday.

Writers like Goto fanned a sense of fear. The books sells but they do not have any answer and the cult steps in and generates followers in mere sensationalism.

These days Nostradamus has become such as ingrained part of Japanese pop culture that most people are well versed with his doomsday scenario.Even many skeptics pause to consider his predictions when confronted with the real world dangers. Ever since pyongyang sent a mission flying over Japan last August, North Korea has been considered as the most plausible source of apocalyptic of the yen, Martina Hingis loss at Wimbledon would suffice among the faithful as evidences that Nostradamus was on to something.

This fever in Japan tends to skew towards young people like $18$ year old Inoue, who wanted to feel as if she had achieved something before the world ends. The goal she decided would be to create fashion. She promoted beach clothes, cosmetics and drugs that enhance a woman’s bust. Here it not sure whether she was using Nostradamus to promote a career in marketing. And she is a perfect example of how fact and fantasy can coexist in today’s Japan. Nishimoto on other hand has made full preparations and needs no convincing. He has outfitted his home in Habikino, a suburb of Osaka with a personal bomb shelter. It has $30$ cm thick concrete walls reinforced with steel escape hatches, a hand cranked battery operated generator and a ventilation system that pumps in air while filtering out radioactive elements and biological and chemical contaminants.

“Here it is not sure whether she was using Nostradamus to promote a career in marketing.” What is the underlying tone in this line?

  1. Appreciation
  2. Sarcasm
  3. Criticism
  4. Both (A) and (B)
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