Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche

Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche


Author: Haruki Murakami | Paperback

In this haunting work of journalistic investigation, Haruki Murakami tells the story of the horrific terrorist attack on Japanese soil that shook the entire world.

It was a clear spring day, Monday, March 20, 1995, when five members of the religious cult Aum Shinrikyo conducted chemical warfare on the Tokyo subway system using sarin, a poison gas twenty-six times as deadly as cyanide. The unthinkable had happened: a major urban transit system had become the target of a terrorist attack. In attempt to discover why, Haruki Murakmi--internationally acclaimed author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and arguably Japan's most important contemporary novelist--talks to the people who lived through the catastrophe.

From a Subway Authority employee with survivor guilt, to a fashion salesman with more venom for the media than for the perpetrators, to a young cult member who vehemently condemns the attack though he has not quit Aum. Through these and many other voices, Murakami exposes intriguing aspects of the Japanese psyche. And as he discerns the fundamental issues leading to the attack, we achieve a clear vision of an event that could occur anytime, anywhere. Hauntingly compelling and inescapably important, Underground is a powerful work of journalistic literature from one of the world's most perceptive writers.

"Chilling. . . . Murakami weaves a compelling true tale of normal lives faced with abnormal realities." --Sunday Tribune

"Powerfully observed. . . . A rattling chronicle of violence and terror." --Kirkus Reviews

"Through Murakami's sensitive yet relentless questioning, it emerges that the people who joined Aum felt just as adrift in the world as Murakami's own [fictional] characters do." --The Guardian

Publisher: Vintage | Pub Date: April 10, 2001 | Format: Paperback | Pages: 384 | Dimensions: 0.86" H x 8.02" L x 5.24" W  | 0.7 lbs