In 1995, I was living in Higashi-Koenji, and commute to my office in Otemachi, Tokyo by Marunouchi subway line, which was one of the subwaylines that Aum Shinrikyo attacked by the Sarin gas. Fortunately, I felt sick and took a day off at my work on the morning of the Sarin gas attack. It was possible for me to be a victim of this attack, so I couldn’t think that this was someone else’s affair.
Just after this attack, there were full of reports about Aum Shinrikyo in every media, but most of them were based on the stereotypical views. The book “Underground” is a series of interviews with the people that affected by this attack and the members of Aum Shinrikyo. Only “Underground” presented these people as individuals.
Everyone in the world is special, but at the same time it is difficult for us to avoid stereotypical views. In fact there is no one who is completely evil or right, even including Shoko Asahara, the cult founder, or Jahar, the the bomber of Boston Marathon.
After September 11 attack, Bush Jr. started to use the words "war on terrorism." Now, every government that wants to suppress its opponent uses these words. The Egyptian army calls the Muslim Brotherhood "terrorist."
Of course, I don't have any intention of justify the Sarin gas attack, September 11 attack, and the bombing Boston Marathon, and we should care about every victim of these affairs individually, but I want to know exactly why they caused such affairs.
When you read "Underground" or his essay about the bombing Boston Marathon "Boston, from One Citizen of the World Who Calls Himself a Runner," you would understand how deeply he cares about the victims of these affairs. At the same time, he didn't write a founder of the cult as just an evil person in his novel "1Q84."
I got a little knowledge about him from the article “Jahar's World.” Although I can't say that I completely understand why he did so, it's much better to read it.