Shoko Asahara Biography
Birthday: March 2, 1955 (Pisces)
Born In: Yatsushiro, Kumamoto Prefecture
Shoko Asahara, born Chizuo Matsumoto, was a cult leader who founded the Japanese doomsday cult group ‘Aum Shinrikyo’ that conducted the deadly Tokyo subway sarin attack in 1995. Asahara was partially blind and attended blind school. He also studied acupuncture and pharmacology. He opened a pharmacy specializing in Chinese medicaments but was arrested for selling fake remedies and then convicted for fraud. Following this, his business went bankrupt. Meanwhile, he developed an interest in religion and studied different religious concepts. He eventually started practicing esoteric Buddhism, esoteric Christianity, western esotericism, meditation, and yoga. He founded ‘Aum Shinrikyo’ (later renamed ‘Aleph’) and gradually earned a considerable fan base. By the time the ‘Tokyo Metropolitan Government’ granted the group legal recognition as a religious corporation, Asahara had started calling himself “Tokyo’s Christ”, the “Holy Pope,” and “Saviour of the Country.” He appeared on TV and magazine covers, attended lecture-meetings at universities, and wrote religious books such as ‘Declaring Myself the Christ,’ in which he declared he was the “Christ.” Asahara led several terrorist attacks through his secret organization that gathered firearms, developed biological weapons, and obtained the nerve gas sarin. He was found guilty of masterminding the sarin-gas attack in the Tokyo subway and was executed by Japan for the attack and other crimes.