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The Replication and Excess of Disciplinary Power in Sekigun and Aum Shinrikyo - A Foucaultian Approach

Author(s): Philip N Eate

Journal: New Voices : A Journal for Emerging Scholars of Japanese Studies in Australia and New Zealand
ISSN 1833-5233

Volume: 2;
Start page: 153;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Sekigun | Aum Shinrikyo | Foucault | Discipline | Surveillance

This article aims to explain why both the left wing extremist group Sekigun (Red Army) and the new religious sect Aum Shinrikyo (The Supreme Truth of Aum) adopted violent and deadly forms of disciplinary power in their pursuit of an idealistic society.The approach in this article differs from the existing literature in that it is mainly concerned with why both groups failed to provide a more preferable alternative to the existing state structure and finally internalised their violence, torturing their own members.Foucaultian theory will be utilised in order to analyse the role that hierarchy and hierarchical surveillance played in re-enforcing the harsh discipline and training methods used by both groups. In this approach this article will show that despite the efforts of both Sekigun and Aum Shinrikyo to create the antithesis to everything they rejected within Japanese society they each paradoxically reproduced and magnified within their own social organisations the least desirable societal traits of elitism, exclusivity and conformity using the most extreme disciplinary measures to do so.

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