Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche - Haruki Murakami (2003)

Part I. UNDERGROUND

TOKYO METROPOLITAN SUBWAY: HIBIYA LINE (Departing: Kita-senju / Destination: Naka-meguro)

TRAIN A720S

The team of Yasuo Hayashi and Shigeo Sugimoto planted sarin on a southwestbound Hibiya Line train that departed from Kita-senju Station for Naka-meguro.

Yasuo Hayashi was born in Tokyo in 1957, and was 37 years old at the time of the gas attack. Apart from Ikuo Hayashi (no relation), Yasuo was the oldest person in Aum’s Ministry of Science and Technology, a deputy leader under direct command of Hideo Murai. Yasuo came from a science background, but unlike the sheltered species of the “purebred” scientific elite represented by Ikuo Hayashi, Toyoda, and Hirose, he’d had his share of hard knocks and setbacks. His father had worked for the Japanese National Railways prior to privatization, but died twenty years ago. The youngest of three children, his mother spoiled him—as much as she could on such a low income.

After finishing high school on a part-time schedule, he entered Kogakuin University to study artificial intelligence. Without any prospects for steady employment after graduation, he was a temp in company after company, then went overseas. In India, he awoke to religion and began to frequent yoga ashrams, finally encountering the Aum cult, then becoming a follower of Shoko Asahara. In 1988, he took vows and rose to the number three position in Aum’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

Said to have been one of the staunch defenders of the cult, he also had his kind and gentle side, and was looked up to as a sort of big brother by many of the younger converts.

The morning of March 20, when everyone else received two packets of sarin during the training session at Satyam No. 7, Yasuo Hayashi got three. The extra packet was a flawed leftover he himself asked for. It was all part of a ritual “character test” that Hideo Murai (and very likely Asahara himself) had set up. Who among the five gets the extra packet? When Hayashi came forward without hesitation, Murai smiled knowingly. Hirose, who was also there, recalled rather glumly that “it was as if Murai had just won a bet.”

Asahara had once suspected Yasuo Hayashi of being an undercover spy, which had apparently affected him deeply and made him exaggerate his “go-getter” tough-guy tendencies. Unfortunately, his “go-getting” attitude on the Hibiya Line train to which he was assigned caused the most deaths and casualties of any of the five subway lines under siege. All three of the packets were punctured …

Yasuo Hayashi went to Ueno Station in a car driven by Shigeo Sugimoto. En route he wrapped his three packets securely in newspaper. He was scheduled to board the 7:43 A720S from Kita-senju. At Ueno, he boarded the third car, dropped his newspaper parcel onto the floor, and when the train reached Akihabara two stops later, he poked at it several times with the sharpened tip of his umbrella. He made the most number of holes of any of the five perpetrators. Alighting at Akihabara Station, he got into Sugimoto’s waiting car and returned to the Shibuya ajid by 8:30. He’d fulfilled his duties without a hitch, not even a moment’s hesitation.

The sarin began to leak out and smell shortly after the train left Akihabara. By the time it reached the next station, Kodemmacho, passengers traveling in the third car from the front began to feel physically ili. People spotted the newspaper parcel leaking liquid. There was already a puddle around it. Thinking it must be the problem, one passenger kicked the parcel out onto the Kodemmacho Station platform.

The ejected sarin quickly dispersed into the atmosphere of the tiny Kodemmacho platform area. Four people died here, including Japan Tobacco employee Eiji Wada.

Meanwhile, train A720S continued on its scheduled run with a puddle of sarin on the floor of the car, the number of casualties mounting with each subsequent stop—Ningyocho, Kayabacho, Hatchobori…—a real-life Hell Train.

At 8:10, soon after the train pulled out of Hatchobori Station, one passenger, unable to stand it anymore, pressed the emergency button in the third car. But according to regulations, a train cannot stop in the middle of a tunnel; so it proceeded to the next station, Tsukiji. When the doors opened, four or five passengers tumbled out and collapsed on the platform. A station attendant ran over. It took this long before any members of the Subway Authority realized something was wrong. The train was taken out of service immediately and medics called. The first communication to go out from Tsukiji Station to Subway Authority Central was the driver’s report: “Something seems to have exploded with white smoke in the train, many people injured.” As a result, for some time thereafter, the gas attack was known as the “explosion at Tsukiji Station,” word of which traveled quickly to all stations on all lines.

The station attendants at Tsukiji recognized soon enough that it was not explosives. “Poison gas!” they shouted, trying to clear the station of passengers as quickly as possible. Subway Authority Central was slow to catch on: it was more than twenty minutes later—8:35—before it decided to completely shut down the Hibiya Line. Then the word came: “Evacuate all commuters, then evacuate all subway personnel.”

At the five stations en route a total of 8 people died and 275 incurred serious injuries, a full-blown catastrophe.

Thereafter Yasuo Hayashi—the “Murder Machine”—went into hiding, living on the run until December 1996, nearly a year and nine months later. He was finally arrested on Ishigaki Island a thousand miles from Tokyo. Throughout his flight, he reputedly carried with him a small Buddhist altar to atone for the lives he’d taken.

What follows are comments from passengers who traveled on Hibiya Line train A720S, on which the sarin was planted.*

“I’d borrowed the down payment, and my wife was expecting—it looked pretty bad”
Noburu Terajima (35)

Mr. Terajima is a maintenance technician for a major photocopier manufacturer. He commutes from Soka on the Hibiya Line to Higashi-ginza. He conducts regular spot checks on his company’s machines and does repairs.

He lived alone in an apartment in Soka until he married six months before the gas attack. Then he obtained a loan and bought a new condominium in Soka. Not long after that his wife became pregnant. Just at the turning point between early adulthood and the responsibilities of middle age, he ran straight into the gas attack. The first things he thought of when he became ill from inhaling sarin at Kodemmacho Station were his unborn child and the huge loan he’d taken out to cover the down payment on his new condo.

We met upstairs at a coffee shop in Soka on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Outside the window, young couples and families with small children strolled down the avenue in front of Soka Station: a peaceful, suburban weekend scene.

Mr. Terajima answered questions slowly, with a great deal of thought, but was careful not to say too much.

I always wanted to be a painter, but when my father died just after I graduated from high school, we needed money. My elder brother was in college, so we had to at least see him through to a degree. I failed my college entrance exams, but paid my way through vocational school, which meant I had to find work quickly.

At first I sold property. Not bad work, but really demanding, so I changed jobs after a year and settled into my present company. Actually, I wanted to work in planning or advertising props, but I lacked experience or I didn’t have a driver’s license. One thing or another. But, well, I ended up in a company with a solid reputation. In other words, I went for stability.

I was married the September before the gas attack and bought a condominium in Soka. Signed the contract in September for a full handover in April. Until then we continued living in my rental apartment in Soka. So we were getting ready to move in just around March 20 when the attack took place. We’d scoured the local stores for boxes and were packing up everything.

No, I never pictured myself buying a condominium. I didn’t much care where I lived, but we went to a showroom and liked what we saw. When we discussed the interest, the broker convinced us, saying if we acted now it was 3.9 percent, but soon it was going up to 4.0. It was an impulse buy. A twenty-five-year loan. It’s no joke, buying a home.

We have a little girl, noisy as hell. Up until two years ago I was living happily on my own, but now I’m married, a father, a loan on my back, and completely broke, just like that. All my money’s gone (laughs).

If I wasn’t married by 35, I wasn’t going to get married at all. I decided it would be too much bother. But, well, I got married at 34. I met my wife windsurfing. I’ve been a keen windsurfer since I was 25. I can’t be bothered now, but I was young and would drive all the way to the beaches at Shonan or Zaimokuza. Once a week I’d get up at 5:00 in the morning and drive for three hours. I was full of energy then. This was before windsurfing became a popular sport. A friend and I bought a surfboard secondhand and kept it down by the beach—I wonder what’s become of it?

Nowadays, if I have a spare moment, pachinko’s about all I can manage (laughs).* Forget oil painting! I’m the sort of person, if you get me started on something, I get all wrapped up in it. I need lots of time.

March was pretty busy for me. My area of responsibility is Kasumigaseki, so there’s full-payment purchases of equipment to balance, office budgets, huge deliveries … They’ve got to use up their allotted funds before the end of the fiscal year, so it’s one of the busiest times in the whole year. The gas attack fell right between two public holidays, but I was in no position to take off a long weekend.

I rarely eat anything in the morning: coffee and a pastry and I’m out the door. I wait for a Hibiya Line train where I can usually get a seat and go in the first door of the third car. That day I must have caught the 7:53. As soon as I sit down, I’m generally out like a light. No newspaper reading for me. My eyes always pop open automatically just before Higashi-ginza, though I have overslept three times (laughs).

That day I woke up at Kodemmacho. An announcement came over the PA: “There’s been an explosion at Tsukiji. We will wait here temporarily.” So I just sat there and waited, until finally they said: “We do not foresee resuming service.” What choice did I have but to get off? That’s when I got a sharp smell of isopropyl alcohol. We use the stuff for wiping clean the glass in our copiers, so I know it very well. I always carry it on the job.

When I got off the train, there was a station column to my right, and next to it was something wrapped in newspaper, which seemed to be giving off the isopropyl alcohol smell—though I hardly noticed it at the time. I do remember looking down at the ground for the source of the smell. When I was sniffing I breathed deeply. Isopropyl alcohol isn’t a dangerous chemical, after all.

At Kodemmacho Station, I saw only one person who was in a bad way. A man. I noticed him as I passed through the ticket barrier: back propped up against a column, foaming at the mouth and vomiting, hands trembling. But he was the only one, so I thought he’d fallen ill or something.

Outside the station, I decided to walk to Nihombashi. But then I started to feel really bad: nauseous and dizzy. My eyesight got worse, or rather it made no difference with or without my glasses. I couldn’t focus. Everything was a blur. I had a headache, too. I lost my sense of direction, had no idea where I was going. I thought that walking in the same direction as everyone else would get me somewhere, so I just went along with the crowd.

I had to sit down and take a breather several times. I wanted to go home, but I knew the office was closer, so I decided to walk to work. But I lost track of where I was going and went back and forth the same way two or three times. Walking was so hard! I thought I was suffering from anemia. I thought about going into a convenience store and buying a map of Tokyo, but I was in no shape to read.

I suddenly panicked that maybe I’d burst a blood vessel. Recently it’s been on the rise among people in their thirties. That’s when I remembered I’d borrowed the down payment, and my wife was expecting—it looked pretty bad. What if I snuffed it there and then?

Walking blind, somehow or other I made it to Nihombashi Station. I caught the Ginza Line to Ginza, then walked to the office from there, though I don’t remember a thing about this part. No memory at all. I reached the office a little after 8:45. Morning ceremonies were under way. I changed into my work clothes and joined in, but I couldn’t even stand up. I’ll never know how I managed to change clothes, but it shows I have a strong work ethic (laughs). Force of habit. Otherwise I’d never have gone to work in such a state.

I couldn’t take it any longer so I went to Hibiya Hospital. I got there around 10:00. By then lots of people were already being treated. When I saw the TV news and heard them mention the frontmost door of the third car on the train stopped at Tsukiji, it all clicked: “Hey, there was that newspaper bundle when I got off at Kodemmacho.” I’d been looking down, sniffing, trying to work out where the stink was coming from, so I got it much worse than the others.

I was in the hospital for a night. The problems went away after I had an IV; my eyes gradually got better.

Now there’s nothing especially wrong with me. Well, maybe my memory is worse. Not things slipping my mind so much as total memory loss. It’s just gone completely. So whenever anyone tells me something I make a point of jotting it down. Otherwise I’ll forget.

I’ve used isopropyl alcohol for about ten years in my work and I’ll always recognize that smell (laughs). But you know, later, on the news, I found out that they actually do use isopropyl alcohol to make sarin. I just knew it.

“In a situation like that the emergency services aren’t much help at all”
Masanori Okuyama (42)

Mr. Okuyama struck me as a quiet soul. Admittedly this was a first meeting and we only talked for a couple of hours, so I really can’t say.

Born and raised in a small town in the northeast, he went to a local college. The eldest of three, he was, by his own admission, “a well-behaved child; always did what I was told.”

A very lenient father, he hardly ever scolds his two children. When I asked if he was worried about how they would fare in the world, he answered, “I’m not so concerned.”

He works for an interior-design-goods manufacturer, wholesaling to department stores and large supermarket chains. Unlike in most sales jobs, he doesn’t need to do much entertaining or give away free gifts. These days clients are strict about not accepting favors so as to avoid collusion with suppliers, “which makes it easier to separate work from my personal life.” He commutes to work via the Hibiya Line to Kayabacho.

On his days off, he watches TV or occasionally plays games on his PC. He doesn’t go out drinking with colleagues and drinks only one bottle of beer a day at most. He knows his limit.

On March 20 I wasn’t especially busy at work, but it being the end of the fiscal year there was plenty to do. The next day was a holiday, so I left the house an hour earlier than usual. I wanted to get there ahead of time to tidy my files, that sort of thing. I’m pretty sure I took the 7:50 train from Kita-senju. I usually take the second car from the front.

Once the train reached Kodemmacho, there was an announcement telling us to get off. There’d been an explosion in the train ahead, something like that. So everyone got out. I stood waiting on the platform, thinking that sooner or later either the train would start moving again or the next train would arrive. I was there maybe one or two minutes, when suddenly a man near me started screaming. He was about twenty meters away. A strange, unfathomable sort of cry. Soon he was led away somewhere.

About the same time I realized: “Hmm, something’s odd with my breathing.” Not a very profound thought, just sort of “What’s this now?” Then … that’s right, a woman crouched down nearby, but again I only thought she was sick or not feeling well. Soon after that, though, there was another announcement over the PA: “Everyone please evacuate the station.” They gave some reason, but I can’t remember what.

The exit at Kodemmacho Station is right in the center of the platform, so people at the front of the train had to walk back to leave. I’m not too sure of the timing here, but I got back on the train and passed down through the cars because the platform was so crowded. Halfway, however, I saw someone had collapsed. That I know for sure.

On the platform again I seem to vaguely remember a puddle of something behind a column. That and the smell—similar to the solvents they use at construction sites … it gave me a stuffy feeling. I’d always had asthma since I was small, so I thought maybe that had something to do with it. Anyway, none of the passengers seemed to be in any hurry; they just strolled toward the ticket barrier.

Once outside I looked around and saw someone lying down, foaming at the mouth, and another person trying to help. Lots of people were just sitting around, their noses running, eyes streaming. It was an extraordinary sight. I had no clue what was going on. All I felt was a sense of imminent danger. “There’s no way I’m going to make it to work,” I thought. “This is serious, so I’d better just sit still for a while.”

So I stayed there. Standing at first, then sitting down. All of a sudden my field of vision got smaller, darker. On top of which I became light-headed. The explosion and the person screaming and people falling down, none of it came together in my head. I had no inkling that these things had anythingto do with me. I just sat there looking at it all and thinking, “No, I’d better stay put.” Instinct.

Whereas most people, although they were in a bad way physically, still tried to get to work somehow, to go somewhere. That just seemed so strange to me. They could hardly walk—in fact, one guy near me was crawling!—it was so obvious they were in no condition to go to work. One woman was struggling to her feet and I told her, “If you’re feeling ill, you’d better just sit.”

Otherwise I didn’t talk to anyone. I don’t know what other people did, whether they talked among themselves … Of course, I wondered what was happening, but I didn’t ask anyone else about it. I wasn’t in any great pain or nauseated.

It took a long time for the ambulances to come. Finally one did—I only saw that one. So in the end, most people flagged down cabs and the drivers agreed to take them to the hospital. It was really obvious that in a situation like that the emergency services aren’t much help at all.

It was some time later that I took a taxi to the hospital. Four of us traveled in one cab. We weren’t too serious, so there was no great urgency. The others were salarymen. We must have talked in the taxi, but I can’t recall what about. I don’t know why I can’t remember.

We went to Mitsui Memorial Hospital in Akihabara. I have absolutely no recollection of how we ended up there. Maybe someone directed us. When I got to the hospital, I called the office and they already knew about the gas attack. Two others from work had also been injured. Not badly, about the same symptoms as me.

I stayed in the hospital two nights. They used a drug to dilate my pupils, so that they eventually got too wide and everything was too bright. My eyesight also got weaker as a side effect. That lasted about a week. Other than that, I didn’t experience much physical discomfort. Just my asthma acting up, which is torture, too, of course, but I’m used to it.

Whether my fatigue is due to the sarin or not, I can’t say. It’s a gray area. It could be just age … I’m terribly forgetful now. But again, who knows the cause? And back pains—I’d had them before—but recently they come on really strong, which is probably true of most middle-aged men.

What I find really scary, though, is the media. Especially television, it’s so limited as to what it shows. And when that gets out, it really makes people biased, and creates an illusion that the tiny detail they focus on is the whole picture. When I was out in front of Kodemmacho Station, certainly that one block was in an abnormal state, but all around us the world carried on the same as ever. Cars were going by. Thinking back over it now, it was eerie. The contrast was just so weird. But on television they only showed the abnormal part, quite different from the actual impression I had. It just made me realize all the more how frightening television is.

“Ride the trains every day and you know what’s regular air”
Michiaki Tamada (43)

Mr. Tamada works for the Subway Authority as a conductor. He joined in April 1972. The year of the gas attack was his twenty-third year of service. His official title is chief conductor—a real veteran. His incentive for seeking subway work was somewhat unusual: he wanted a job where he’d have his “own free time, not like a nine-to-five job.” A subway job offers whole days off with rotating shifts; the work schedule of subway employees couldn’t be more different from the daily grind of an office. An attractive proposition for some.

The more I talked to him, the more I got the impression that he put a high value on individuality. There’s no real hard evidence to pin that down, just something about his easygoing manner off the job.

He used to be a keen skier, but had a major injury six years ago and hasn’t skied since. “No other interests to speak of,” he says. He doesn’t do anything special on his days off; he just relaxes or goes for drives somewhere by himself. He doesn’t seem to mind living alone.

Never much of a drinker, since the gas attack he’s hardly touched a drop. He took seriously his doctor’s warning that sarin damages the liver.

He gladly responded to my request to interview him. He wants to do his bit, as he put it, to prevent the gas attack from fading in people’s minds.

I went to high school part-time, so I was 21 when I joined the subway. At first I just punched tickets, saw trains off from the platform—one year at Iidabashi Station, two years at Takebashi, I think? After that I transferred to Nakano area train duty on the Marunouchi Line.

You need to pass an exam to transfer from station duty to train duty. Then to become a driver you need to take another more difficult test and a proper written exam, a health check, an interview, this and that. In my day lots of guys took the test, so you really got the cream of the crop. I wanted to switch from station duty to train duty because of the shorter work hours. Nowadays it hardly makes a difference, but in my day that’s how it was.

I joined Nakano area train duty in 1975 and for the next four years I rode on the Marunouchi Line. Then I switched to Yoyogi area train duty on the Chiyoda Line, and the year before last I changed to the Hibiya Line. When you swap lines there’s lots of things you have to learn again from scratch. The specifics of each station, the layout, the structure, you have to drill those into your head, because otherwise you can never be sure what’s safe. And safety, above all, is what’s important. We always keep that in mind at work.

I’ve seen close calls any number of times. Nights when people have been drinking, some of them stray near the moving trains … and especially if they’ve been standing behind pillars, there’s no way to prevent it. Then there’s rush hour: everyone stands right on the very edge of the platform where the trains come in. That’s really dangerous.

On the Hibiya Line, Kita-senju’s especially tricky. There are just so many passengers, all of them lining up, but when it gets to the point where you can’t walk down the platform behind them then you have to squeeze between the people and the trains—and that’s pretty hairy.

The day of the gas attack, March 20, was supposed to be my day off, but they were short-staffed so they asked me, “Think you might work tomorrow?” Well, it’s all about give and take, so without thinking too much I accepted. The shift started at 6:45 a.m. I reported to Naka-meguro Station first thing and posted the 6:55 to Minami-senju. “Posting” is what we call catching another train to where we board our train of duty. From Minami-senju Station, I headed back in the opposite direction on my train. I don’t recall the exact departure time, around 7:55.

That day it was packed solid, same as ever. I didn’t notice anything especially different while we were en route until word came in from Central Command: “There’s been an explosion at Tsukiji Station. Please stop the train …”

I stopped at the next station, Kodemmacho, and read an announcement to the passengers: “We will be stopping briefly as there has been an explosion at Tsukiji Station. We will inform you of the cause of the accident as soon as we know more. Until then, we apologize for the delay.”

We kept the doors open at Kodemmacho. I left the cabin and stood on the platform, just to check that there were no irregularities.

Some of the passengers asked me questions: “How long will this take?” I didn’t have any detailed information, so I could only answer, “There was apparently an explosion, so it may take a while.”

I think we were there about twenty minutes. Meanwhile the train after my train had stopped between Akihabara and Kodemmacho and we were in the way.

Then a message came from Central that I was to get all the passengers off my train and proceed down the line. The train behind needed to reach our platform. So I made another announcement: “This train is going out of service. All passengers please get out and find alternative transportation where possible. We apologize for any inconvenience.” Then there was another message from Central saying: “This may take longer than we expected.”

No word came in at all as to what had happened at Tsukiji Station, though we picked up a few hints over the radio. It didn’t make much sense. Had there been an explosion? What was the extent of the damage? All we knew was the place was in complete confusion. “Quite a few people have collapsed.”

There’s really nothing that can explode on the subway, so I assumed a bomb had been planted. That is, terrorism. Serious stuff.

After I made my announcement and the passengers all got off, the station attendants checked inside the train. I looked in as far as I could see, then shut the doors and the train pulled out.

Lots of passengers complained: “You can’t just leave us here.” We explained that there was a train behind us that needed to let its passengers off at this station and apologized.

We stopped the train in a tunnel between Kodemmacho and Ningyocho Station, only the driver and me on board. After it stopped, I walked the entire length of the train and did one complete inspection. There was nothing out of the ordinary that I could see.

Only something felt wrong inside the train. After the second or third car I couldn’t help thinking, “Something’s different.” It wasn’t so much a smell; it was just a hunch: “Something’s weird here.” Everyone sweats, so the odor of their bodies, the smell of their clothes leave an indelible mark. Ride the trains every day and you know what’s regular air, and you pick up on anything that’s not quite the same. Call it instinct.

We waited there for about thirty minutes. I could hear the conversation going back and forth with Central all the time. It became apparent that it hadn’t been an explosion after all. The tone of the conversation slowly changed.

A new message came in: “Any crew members who feel sick or strange are to report to the office.” I didn’t feel ill.

By then Kodemmacho Station was in uproar, though I didn’t know it at the time. While we were in the station I hadn’t noticed anything unusual.

The conductor’s cabin is at the tail end of the train and the sarin injuries were toward the front. Quite a distance, maybe a hundred meters. I’d kept my eyes on the platform and if anyone had fallen I’d have seen them. I’d been on the lookout right up until we shut the doors and pulled out, and there was nothing out of the ordinary on the platform.

Not long after that I began to feel sick. Everything was looking dim, as if they’d turned out the lights. My nose began to run and my pulse sped up. “Strange,” I thought. I didn’t even have a cold. I contacted Central: “Something’s wrong with me, this is my condition.” “That’s serious,” they said, and we drove on to Ningyocho Station, where I got off while the train that had been at the station pulled out.

There was a doctor on duty at the station and I went to him and he said: “This is beyond me, go to St. Luke’s or somewhere.” So I rested in the Ningyocho Station office, waiting for the next change of staff. My train couldn’t move until they found a replacement for me.

As I waited, my condition remained more or less constant. My nose was running and everything kept getting darker. There was no dizziness or pain, though. It was around noon when my replacement finally came and they took me by ambulance to Tajima Hospital. But there were no beds there, so they sent me on to the Self-Defense Forces Central Hospital in Setagaya. Which was more convenient for me anyway, since I live in Machida.

I stayed in the hospital overnight. The next day my pupils were still contracted, but my nose had stopped running so it was all right for me to leave. I didn’t have any real aftereffects, except maybe I’m sleeping less. Used to be I could sleep seven hours at a stretch, but now I wake up after four or five hours. Not in the middle of a dream or anything: my eyes just open.

Am I scared? I’m a subway employee; if a subway employee was scared of the subway, he couldn’t work. I may feel kind of uneasy, but I try not to think about it. What’s happened has happened. I try to remember that the important thing is not to let something like that happen ever again. Likewise, I’m making an effort not to bear any personal grudge toward the criminals. Grudges don’t do anyone any good. I’m horrified that colleagues of mine died. We’re all like one big family here, but then what can we do to help their families? Nothing. We just can’t let it happen again. That’s the main thing. All the more reason why we can’t forget this incident. I just hope that what I’m saying, when it gets into print, will help everyone remember. That’s all.

* At the time of going to press Yasuo Hayashi was sentenced to death and is appealing the sentence. Shigeo Sugimoto was sentenced to life imprisonment. [Tr.]

* Pachinko is a Japanese variant of pinball. [Tr.]