Aum Shinrikyo’s Impact on Japanese Society

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Winner of the Adele Mellen Prize for Excellence in Scholarship
Aum Shinrikyo gained great notoriety when its leaders killed and injured thousands of subway commuters in Tokyo in March 1995. This work analyzes the vast impact that Aum Shinrikyo has had on Japanese society, including its great appeal to Japanese youth, the so-called “Aum Generation”. There is also an in-depth study of the question of civil liberties in Japan now that so many Japanese wish to ban sects. Final chapters detail many political questions raised by the Aum crisis, Aum’s revivalist mission to Russia, and attempts by Aum and other New Religions in Japan to gain money and fame by pushing a strong “Armageddon” theme. One chapter includes case histories of many Aum members.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Foreword; Preface
1. Aum Shinrikyo and the Aum Generation
2. Aum Shinrikyo: Past and Present
3. The Teachings of Asahara and Aum Shinrikyo
4. Aum’s Appeal to Younger Japanese
5. The True Believers of Aum
6. The Voices of Aum
7. The Farce of the “Great Russian Salvation tour and Ventures Elsewhere”
8. Aum and Civil Liberties in Japan
9. Marketing the Apocalypse in Japan
10. Conclusions
Appendix I: Cast of Characters
Appendix II: Time Line of Events in Aum History
Bibliography; Index

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