[the Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche]Book - 2001
On a clear spring day in 1995, five members of a religious cult unleashed poison gas on the Tokyo subway system. In attempt to discover why, Haruki Murakmi talks to the people who lived through the catastrophe, and in so doing lays bare the Japanese psyche. As he discerns the fundamental issues that led to the attack, Murakami paints a clear vision of an event that could occur anytime, anywhere.
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Haruki Murakami's Underground is an abridged version of two Japanese books that addressed the 20 March 1995 sarin gas attacks in the Tokyo subway system by the Aum Shinrikyo religious cult. The first section, Underground, consists of 34 of the 60 interviews Murakami conducted with victims of the attacks, family members of those who died, or doctors who treated the victims. Each interview is preceded by a short sketch written by Murakami about the person's background. The interviews themselves, with rare exceptions, consist of narratives in which the victims recount how they came to be on one of the five subway trains that were attacked, their experiences during the attack, and how they coped with the physical and psychological effects of those attacks. The second section, The Place That Was Promised, consists of eight interviews with members or former members of Aum Shinrikyo who had not participated in the attacks. These interviews consist of responses to Murakami's questions about why each person became a member of the cult, how they learned of the attacks, and how the attacks affected their views of Aum Shinrikyo.
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