Sunday, October 30, 2016

So As Not to Have the Mistake Repeated by Future Generations, Chapter 1

We post the private note of Yoshihiro Inoue here (with his permission). 
As the private note is long, it will be posted chapter by chapter. 
Please read the following. 

Chapter 1 Why? 

I've been pondering on countless occasions why I perpetrated a heinous crime after my arrest. In the final analysis, before joining Aum Shinrikyo, I already had problems. Going back to the past, it was because I didn't understand what a religion is, it seems to me that it was because I didn't open my eyes to the meaning of being contradiction with human life. On top of that, my weak point of personality is to be impatient, to play cool, and to make a quick judgment.

As an event which symbolizes these problems, I remember when I visited my maternal grandmother who was admitted to a geriatric hospital. It was just full of old men and old women, and their unspeakably sad-looking eyes followed me around. "It's like a modern Ubasuteyama(mountain where old women are abandoned) here! Although they had been devoted themselves to children and society, they are secluded such a place and only waiting to die, I have to do my best about this." I felt sad and anger.

If I try to realize my thought at that time, "I have to do my best about such a thing", why people can feel easy to leave their beloved ones admitted to a geriatric hospital where I thought that the aged were abandoned, I should have opened my eyes to such human contradiction. But I one-sidedly longed for the utopia which had no contradiction. Looking back now, although it was young man's sense of justice, it was perilous without knowing the world. I think one reason why I was attracted to such utopia is because of the discord within my family.

I remember when I was a kindergarten student, my mother attempted suicide. My mother fell on the floor of kitchen. "What? Yoshi, come here". My mother swingingly raised her body and beckoned to me. Although I wanted to fly to bosom of my mother, but I couldn't, I wanted to run away, but I couldn't. Finally, I heard an ambulance siren, my mother cried "Please leave me die. Please leave me alone", she was carried into ambulance, and it ran away leaving me. Since then, I always trembled to think about my mother.

As for my father, I remember he was behaving violently in my house. If occasionally my mother and I had a meal with my father, he suddenly shouted and flipped the chabudai over. My mother screamed and quarreled with my father, and then she retired to the room on the second floor. My father sustained in the drawing room on the first floor, and my elder brother immediately went back to his room. Nobody cleaned the room, always I did, I was excessively sad, I cried alone. But about such my family, I didn't think to be unhappy. When I was a child, I loved documentaries and I knew that there were many people who had nothing to eat and suffered in the world. Although my father didn't smoke, didn't drink, didn't do gambling, and was a serious man, when I saw my father who couldn't take his ease even at home, I began thinking "there is no happiness in his way of living". When I was in middle school, I couldn't have ideals what kind of adult I wanted to be. At that time, I learned the idea "deliverance from the wheel of life" of yoga through Martial arts that I studied by myself.

Although I couldn't believe in the philosophy of rinne (a belief in reincarnation), by the fact it was said clearly that world is mutable, I was moved to think that I met the truth without deception for the first time. Then I felt that all happiness is chained to mutable suffering without exception, and I was shocked to think humans were living in so endless sufferings. I was attracted to emancipate myself from the suffering, and I thought that I found what I would like to do in life for the first time.

As for the above itself, I think it was not things to be blamed if I caused no one inconvenience. I think that my great offense was to be constrained by the word "social revolution by developing spirituality" of Agonshu I met in searching what emancipation was by self-study without studying the context. What was said was "the modern society is full of various problems, if human mental ability stays the same, humans use modern technology violently and then humans may come to end, by only developing spirituality, humans can escape from such risk". Aum called this relief from Armageddon by gods' intention.

Thinking back now, this was not religion nor thought, but it was an agitation which agitated saying that changes of individuals were widely used to changes of society, it was an illusion.

But at that time, I was fifteen years old, and I took it seriously and my passion was flamed up to think I should have done something. But when I entered Agonshu sect, I found that it lacked the developing spirituality and I disappointed. But because Asahara suggested the part, I was interested, I entered Aum when I was sixteen years old, and then I fell into it.

Is there an answer to sufferings and sadness of human beings? Now, I realize how hard it is to face sufferings which have no answer. Asahara drew the conclusion that sufferings were only sufferings, and taught that there were true happiness, emancipation in another place where there was no suffering, and he called the path truth. I believed that there was an answer to mutable sufferings in Asahara's teachings, tried to obtain it, believed that it would be salvation for everyone, and spread his teachings.

At first sight, Asahara's teaching seems to be the same as emancipation from sufferings of transmigration, at that time I understood so. However, after my arrest, I was shocked to learn that what Buddhism originally tries to deliver is not the saving from sufferings based on simple dualism which divides good and bad.

To be specific, it seems that religion's essence is to know love which spreads in one's heart for the first time when humans bear and accept sufferings of various contradictions which humans create and to raise one's character. I think this was obviously the path to be an adult.

So there is no clear answer to suffering, on the contrary, believing that there is the answer given by other person, and relying on it were to lose oneself, and it was a trap of religion. Like Asahara's teaching, teaching which rejects human contradictions can't be said as religion, it was only for losing mind as a human.

At the age of 16 I fell into the trap of religion. In the sect, it was as if the experiences so precious to becoming an adult were taken away from me.

Continued to Chapter 2. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

About this Blog

Today, terrorist attacks by religious groups occur frequently worldwide. How can we solve this problem?

In Japan, the Subway Sarin Gas Attack by the Aum Shinrikyo (the Aum Supreme Truth cult) occurred in 1995, causing many casualties and 12 deaths. Its leader and many members of the sect were arrested and prosecuted in a series of Aum-related cases. In December 2009, the death sentence given to Yoshihiro Inoue, one of the former members, was upheld.

Mr. Inoue was initially sentenced to life in prison at his first trial for his involvement in the Subway Sarin Gas Attack and other activities. However, he was sentenced to death in his second trial, and the Supreme Court dismissed his final appeal to the death sentence.

After his arrest, he separated himself from the Aum Shinrikyo at an early stage, deeply regretting what he had done. He has been seeking a way to make reparations for his crimes ever since.

We are acting to support Mr. Inoue's appeal to the death sentence so he will be able to make reparations for his crimes. We stand with him as he faces his crimes, and wish to think about them together.

In this blog, we will publicize the personal notes he wrote in prison.
We hope that we can help prevent similar incidents from happening again by providing readers of this blog the opportunity to learn about the current thoughts of Mr. Inoue, his experiences with the Aum Shinrikyo, and the process of his separation from the cult's ideas, and by sharing the lessons learned from the incident.

Moreover, while more and more countries are abolishing the death penalty, Japan still retains this system. This blog intends to provide opportunities to think about what it means to make reparations for crimes, and alternative ways to atone for them other than the death penalty.