A Man Hung Upside Down

Randy Taguchi’s Sakasa ni tsurusareta otoko (A Man Hung Upside Down) details the century’s most shocking events based on real experiences.
AuthorRandy Taguchi
ISBN978 - 4309024820
PublicationNovember, 2017
Estimated length288P
Randy Taguchi’s, A Man Hung Upside Down, (Kawade Shobo Shinsha) released on November 10th, 2017.

On March 3, 1995, an act of domestic terrorism occurred in Tokyo in which sarin gas was released into the subway system, killing 13 and injuring more than 6000 others. It later came to light that this attack was perpetrated by Aum Shinrikyo, a religious cult founded by Shoko Asahara, shocking the world. For close to 15 years, Mrs. Taguchi engaged in oral and written correspondence with one of the perpetrators of the sarin gas attack, Yasuo Hayashi, dubbed “Killing Machine” by the mass media, with permission from the detention center he was held in. As the number of people allowed to hold correspondence with death row inmates is extremely limited, this is a novel that could only have been written by an author that got to experience this rare opportunity.

With her debut novel, Outlet, Mrs. Taguchi caused a social phenomenon in Japan; however, A Man Hung Upside Down could be said to be her best piece yet. The main character is Yoko Hatori, a writer. Battling with her own internal emotions about Aum and the attack, she faces death row inmate Y, person to person, in a sincere attempt to understand them in this highly acclaimed novel.

About the book

What was Aum Shinrikyo? I should be able to find out the truth. At the request of death row inmate Y, a perpetrator of the Tokyo subway sarin gas attack, writer Yoko Hatori became an outside correspondent. Through in-person correspondence and letters with Y as he spent his days in atonement, Yoko began to wonder, “Why did this gentle looking person commit a crime that earned him the nickname of 'Killing Machine?'” “The police, the mass media, and even the public have put the Aum Shinrikyo incident behind them with the wrong interpretation. My encounter with Y was fate. Only I can find the truth behind the incident.”

After meeting a person involved and learning about the cult’s doctrine, Yoko put her own interpretation of the incident into the novel entitled, A Man Hung Upside Down.

About the Author

Randy Taguchi first began writing online in 1996 and soon attracted a large following in Japan, where she is sometimes referred to as the "Queen of the Internet." She is a popular and prolific author, whose works include a busy blog, many short stories and essays, and fifteen novels, three of which, Outlet, Fujisan and Riku, and the Kingdom of White, have been translated into English, receiving high praise abroad. With her novel, Dekireba mukatsukazuni ikitai (If Possible, I’d Like to Live Without Getting Angry), she received Fujinkoron Literary Prize in 2001.