Chapter 9 The Awareness of the Crimes
When I turned my face toward my parents just after the second trial judgment was pronounced in court, my mother called my name strongly in no voice and cried with her face crumpling, and my father closed his eyes still with his face distorted bitterly. The figures of my parents are branded in my mind, and tears well up in my eyes whenever I remember them.
I terribly worried about my parents than myself and keenly recognized for the first time how deeply the families who had been suddenly bereaved of their family members were pained, sad and tortured. The thoughts how much the fatalities would have been concerned about their families, been regretful and fearful about being suddenly snatched were approaching me clearly. And I understood I absolutely had to reward my too serious crime.
On the other hand, I was incredibly shocked that the life imprisonment sentence of the first trial was assumed to be misconception and therefore I was sentenced to death in the second though no new criminal evidences were presented, the fact situation was not confirmed by the examination of the accused and I was not given even an opportunity to explain the misconception from the beginning in the second court.
However, this cannot be compared with the regret of the victims who lost their lives though there were no faults on their parts, so I just bowed my head without being able to find the words.
I agreed to the proposal of my legal counsel for the final appeal. All my words and actions were by no means such that the second trial judgment could assume the first to be misconception.
"The Group supporting Yoshihiro Inoue, a criminal condemned to live and continue atoning for his crimes and sins" started on January 11th, 2007 in relation to Mr. Yusyo Koto who had taught me religious studies in my first year at Rakunan Senior High School and gave testimony at the first trial. Mr. Gyoyo Kodama acting as a representative of the group is the former director of the institute for Shinshu sect religious doctrines of Otani school of Shinshu sect and one of the Buddhist priests inheriting the teachings of Shinran. Furthermore, my teachers and friends of the group besides my parents lent me a helping hand and gave me the opportunity to look back on my own crimes and sins.
I had thought it my responsibility to have committed the crimes until then, but in the back of my mind, I had defended myself by thinking "I had no choice but to commit the crimes because I had been deceived and given the fear of death by Asahara". To put it another way, I had attributed my crimes to Asahara and turned my eyes away from them actually. However by facing up to my death, I got to be aware of having to take the full responsibility for the crimes and also the sins of having believed his teaching by myself. Thereby the overwhelmingly strong sense of not excusing myself for them any more surges up within me.
In the admonition given in the first trial judgment, Mr. Hiromichi Inoue spoke to me as follows:
"You must throw away all of your pride, self-esteem, arrogance and conceit that caused you to commit these incidents, and spend your days apologizing as an obedient person."
What I think honestly when I apply myself to his words and phrases again now is described below.
My pride caused me to try to support the murder deceiving myself though I realized that I was not able to carry out it. Because of my pride in saving others and being ascetic, I avoided accepting my inability to act as required.
My self-esteem caused me to join Aum Shinrikyo and to be absorbed in it. I was confident of my ability in the religious training. The other members of the Aum group believed it to be unusual as well and I was proud of it. Such my self-esteem made me try to deal with the difficult tasks assigned by Asahara. As a result, I had committed many crimes.
My arrogance caused me to take the irreplaceable lives of others in the name of salvation. I thought the world to be destroyed by Armageddon seriously as if I had understood everything in it despite no sufficient experiences in the complex society. In addition, I didn't try to know the reality of living of others and looked down on them for spending their lives meaninglessly in ignorance of the truth. And, I blindly believed that we had to save many people from Armageddon even though there would be sacrifices to be made by. Such my thoughts were arrogance itself.
My conceit caused me to lose the social skills. At that time, I entirely believed that guru's will were absolutely right and I could not make a mistake as long as I practiced what the guru intended to do. And I completely lost the viewpoint of judgment on my actions and was not be able to look at the world outside of Aum Shinrikyo any more. Such my conceit made me lose the social skills and the human heart gradually.
In conclusion, such my desire caused me to commit the incidents.
I continued suppressing my conscience by my pride, self-esteem, arrogance and conceit. This is why I supported the murder without considering the lives of others and the other followers of Aum. I denied the dignity of others that should be called "life" by suppressing my conscience.