Shoko Asahara

founder of the Japanese new religious group Aum Shinrikyo

Shoko Asahara (麻原 彰晃, Asahara Shōkō, March 2, 1955 ー July 6, 2018), born Chizuo Matsumoto (松本 智津夫, Matsumoto Chizuo), was a Japanese terrorist. He was the founder of the Japanese doomsday cult group Aum Shinrikyo. Asahara was convicted for being the mastermind behind the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack and several other crimes, for which he was sentenced to death in 2004.

Shoko Asahara
Chizuo Matsumoto

(1955-03-02)March 2, 1955
DiedJuly 6, 2018(2018-07-06) (aged 63)
OccupationReligious leader, founder of Aum Shinrikyo
Criminal charge(s)Murder, terrorism
Criminal penaltyDeath by hanging
Criminal statusExecuted
Spouse(s)Tomoko Matsumoto (renamed “Akari Matsumoto” after her release from prison)

In June 2012, his execution was postponed due to further arrests of Aum Shinrikyo members.[1] He was executed by hanging on July 6, 2018.[2][3]


  1. "Execution of Aum founder likely postponed". asiaone News. The Yomiuri Shimbun/Asia News Network. June 5, 2012. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014.
  2. "Aum Shinrikyo: Japan executes cult leader Shoko Asahara". BBC News. July 6, 2018.
  3. "Aum Shinrikyo guru Shoko Asahara hanged for mass murder: reports". The Japan Times. July 6, 2018.

Other websitesEdit

  • Aleph: the organization's official website, with an English section
  • A Japan Times article about two documentary films on Aleph.
  • [1] BBC link & photos
  • IMDB: Documentary films A (1998) and A2 (2001) by Tatsuya Mori