The specter of terrorism assumed even more chilling proportions with last week's nerve-gas attack on the Tokyo subway system. Ten people were killed and more than 5,000 injured as deadly sarin gas seeped from packages set on subway cars during the morning rush hour.
Political cartoonists in Japan and elsewhere limned the face of death over a nation that has generally escaped the political terrorism of recent decades. This was not an event that called for a light touch, and few tried it.
As the investigation focused on a secretive religious sect, Aum Supreme Truth, the cartoonists turned their pens on its leader, Shoko Asahara, personifying the tragedy, though Asahara denied that he or the sect was involved.