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THE DARK SIDE: Infamous Japanese Crimes and Criminals, by Mark Schreiber. Kodansha International, 2001, 251 pp., 2,700 yen (cloth)

Japan has its own rogue’s gallery, one that has inspired many plays, books and films, but is little known abroad, save perhaps for its newer additions. The Aum Shinrikyo sect is back in the news again, with foreign commentators drawing the inevitable parallels between its 1995 poison-gas attacks on the Tokyo subway system and the recent terrorist assaults, though Aum’s evil genius, Shoko Asahara, remains a shadowy figure abroad.

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