Akutagawa

"Rashomon" and "In a Bamboo Grove" 
from Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Illustrator), Haruki Murakami (Introduction), Jay Rubin (Translator)                                             
ISBN-13: 978-0143039849, 978-0143039846, or 978-0140449709
Pages 3-9, 10-19

Friday, October 6, 2017, Time: 1:00 - 3:00
Location: Northbrook Public Library, Civic Room

Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (1892 – 1927) was a Japanese writer active in the Taishō period in Japan. He is regarded as the "Father of the Japanese short story" and Japan's premier literary award, the Akutagawa Prize, is named after him.

These two stories, “Rashomon” and “In a Bamboo Grove” served as the basis for Akira Kurosawa’s acclaimed film Rashmon. In “Rashmon,” Rynosuke Akutagawa depicts the plight of an out-of-work servant who ponders his fate at Rashmon, the gate of a dilapidated building in twelfth century Kyoto. The servant knows, or believes, that in order to survive he must resort to theft, but he is at first reluctant to steal. In the course of the story, however, his encounter with an old woman, herself a thief, causes him to change his mind, or it enables him to rationalize resorting to theft as a way of life. As he struggles to find his moral center, his decision to steal is undoubtedly influenced not only by the unsettled times, but also by the deathly atmosphere of Rashmon.

In “In a Bamboo Grove” seven characters speak to a magistrate about their knowledge of a man found stabbed in the chest in the woods near Kyoto after a woodcutter discovers a dead samurai soldier in a secluded grove. Each character, including the spirit of the victim report their version of the scene and what happened.  Is the question “Who committed the crime?” really what this wonderful, complex story is about?

RSVP to philip.zawa@gmail.com / 312.404.3593 by September 29, 2017

Comments