Asahara's Daughters Want To Know Why
File under: Gurus Doin' Time
Today's LATimes explores the plight of Mayumi and Kaori Asahara, the daughters of subway-gassing AUM guru Shoko Asahara, who is in the pokey waiting to be executed. The girls are working hard to get dad off the hook, claiming–as his lawyers have been–that he is insane and therefore not able to understand what is happening to him. Nor has he seemed able to provide his daughters with an adequate explanation for what he did:
They desperately need something back from their father too. They are seeking an explanation of why the man who taught them to cherish life, even that of an ant, could be a cult leader responsible for Japan's worst terrorist attack.Geez. Insanity seems like the best explanation for that. Maybe Asahara really shouldn't be dropped down the chute.
But the Japanese public will not have it. Asahara shook up Japan that way 9/11 did to us:
When Japanese close their eyes they still see Asahara as he was when he was orchestrating mayhem: A white-robed guru with a flowing black beard and glass eye, a man who twisted the minds of well-educated men and women who seemed indistinguishable from everyone's else's sons and daughters. The image has become the icon of evil in modern Japan.Crazy or not, it doesn't look good for Asahara or his daughters. It's their family tragedy on top of all the tragedy that Asahara brought to Japan. We're feeling sorry for them all right now.