- 京都社会学年報 : KJS = Kyoto journal of sociology
- no.6, pp.41-59, 1998-12-25
The purpose of this paper is to reflect upon what the statements refered to the Aum Shinrikyo Affair manifested. On 20 March 1995, 'the Aum Shinrikyo Affair' was happened. In Japan, it was the first case of terror with poison gas, and the first case of terror by cult which caused a calamity that assailed many people. The number of dameged sufferers in this terror is over 5, 000, and eleven persons were killed. Japanese mass medias naturally reported this calamity everyday, but these reports become too excessive gradually. Syoko Egawa -- she was famous for her reportage of the Aum Shinrikyo Affair -- was the most famous 'Aum Watcher'. 'Aum Watcher' means the watch for Aum Shinrikyo, she was regerded the leader of Aum Watchers. In this paper, Syoko Egawa's reportages of the Aum Shinrikyo Affair are used as materials for consideration of the Japanese religious - cultural characteristics. The final purpous of this paper is the reflection on the Japanese religious - cultural characteristics with her texts. We contrust The books by Syoko Egawa with the books by Hiromi Shimada -- he was a university professor, but he was made to give up his job for his statement refered to the Aum Shinrikyo Affair. He estimated Aum Shinrikyo's religious life and practices very highly. His statement was opposed to the statement by Egawa Syoko who criticized the Aum Shinrikyo's conduct of their organization. But it was not discussion that settled this controversy, the event itself -- murder by the Aum Shinrikyo. This incomplete controversy still requires thorough discussion of us. Through this work we show that to consider the problems related to the Aum Shinrikyo Affair is, at the same time, to consider the problems related to the Japanese religious - cultural characteristics.