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I don’t want my father’s ashes to be used politically, nor religiously. As his daughter, I just want to grieve silently and console his spirit.

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The second daughter of Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult leader Chizuo Matsumoto, who was executed in 2018 for masterminding the deadly sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway system in 1995. She is demanding the state turn over his remains and hair to her.

© Asahi Shimbun

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She is demanding the state turn over his remains and hair to her.

Genuine question: why the heck are the authorities keeping ashes and hair of an executed criminal? Have they given any rationale for that or is this a standard thing in cases of executions?

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Genuine question: why the heck are the authorities keeping ashes and hair of an executed criminal? Have they given any rationale for that or is this a standard thing in cases of executions?

It’s certainly not standard procedure, but I’m assuming they’re keeping it for the same reason Osama Bin Laden’s body was dumped in the sea. To prevent it becoming an object of worship.

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Bit strange because I thought the repose of souls was important in Japanese culture, regardless of good or bad deeds.

This can be witnessed by the souls of the A-class war criminals responsible for the deaths of millions being enshrined at Yasukuni.

This act was justified stating that even evil-doers have a right to peace in death.

So why the difference in attitude from authorities re Matsumoto?

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"This can be witnessed by the souls of the A-class war criminals..."

You know that "enshrining souls" is a bit different from enshrining ACTUAL REMAINS or ashes of bodies, right? I sure hope so...this lady isn't asking for her father's "soul" but rather his "mortal remains".

Anyway, those "souls" were enshrined in Yasukuni in 1978, some 30 years after the worst were hanged in punishment. So even when sticking to your analogy, I'd say that this woman can indeed expect to wait quite a great deal longer...

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@HitoBito

Thanks for your reply.

I guess I was more hinting at the govt seemingly being worried that Matsumoto's "resting" place may become a shrine of devotion by worshippers. So refusing to hand back the ashes.

Yasukuni has become a shrine of devotion to the A-class war criminals for some of the millions of worshippers who visit there.

But a place of worship doesn't need ashes or souls et al, just intent.

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