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Rashomon

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Studied English literature at Tokyo Imperial University. ... work: Ran based on King Lear, and Throne of Blood, based on Macbeth. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Rashomon


1
Rashomon/???
  • -Do you still believe in yourself?

2
Who is Akutagawa?
  • ?? ???
  • Born in March 1 1892 and died in July 24, 1927.
  • Studied English literature at Tokyo Imperial
    University.
  • Wrote over 150 short stories, including The
    Nose, The Spiders Thread, The hell Screen, In a
    Grove, Kappa. He did not write a full length
    novel. He ended his life by suicide with the word
    ????????? (dim uneasiness)

3
The West and The East
  • Akutagawa was often inspired by India and Chinese
    fairy tale.
  • What does Akutagawas cultural inspiration from
    India and China tell us?
  • Before the end of Russo-Japanese War, Japan had
    been influenced both culturally and mentally by
    India and China. India and China had been Japans
    West for long time.
  • It tells us that the West is absolutely
    changeable according to several social factors.
    It is not a pure concept at all. We must be aware
    of this when we study a culture.

4
?? ?(Akira Kurosawa)
  • -Born in March 23, 1910 and died in
  • September 6, 1998.
  • -A witness of Japans national
    changing
  • from the military dominant
    imperial country
  • to the economic giant.
  • -Kurosawas best-known films are
    set in
  • Japans feudal period (13th-17th
    century)
  • Some of his plots are
    adaptations of William Shakespeares work Ran
    based on King Lear, and Throne of Blood, based on
    Macbeth. Also, he worked on film adaptation of
    The Idiot by Dostoevsky. Later in his life he
    worked on Hollywood project Tora! Tora! Tora!

5
Filmography of Akira Kurosawa
  • Sanshiro Sugata (1943)
  • The One Most Beautiful (1944)
  • Sanshiro Sugata Part II (1945)
  • They Who Step on the Tiger's Tail (1945)
  • No Regrets for Our Youth (1946)
  • One Wonderful Sunday (1946)
  • Drunken Angel (1948)
  • The Quiet Duel (1949)
  • Stray Dog (1949)
  • Scandal (1950)
  • Rashomon (1950)
  • The Idiot (1951)
  • Ikiru aka To Live (1952)
  • The Seven Samurai (1954) Record of a Living Being
    (1955)
  • The Throne of Blood aka Spider Web Castle (1957)
  • The Lower Depths (1957)
  • The Hidden Fortress (1958)
  • The Bad Sleep Well (1960)
  • Yojimbo aka The Bodyguard (1961)
  • Sanjuro (1962)
  • High and Low aka Heaven and Hell (1963)
  • Red Beard (1965)
  • Dodesukaden (1970)
  • Dersu Uzala (1975)
  • Kagemusha aka Shadow Warrior (1980)
  • Ran (1985)
  • Dreams aka Akira Kurosawa's Dreams (1990)
  • Rhapsody in August (1991)
  • Madadayo aka Not Yet (1993)

6
Allegory VS Akutagawa and Kurosawa
  • Both of the authors prefer to talk about their
    stories as allegory.
  • Why? What is the power of allegory?
  • Allegory can be more than real, because it leaves
    us room to think and imagine what is happening in
    the actuality. A directly spoken story sometimes
    has an already determined interpretation. We,
    readers, occasionally have more difficulty to
    participate in the story. Taking advantage of the
    power of our imagination allows us to think about
    the story deeply and gain our own truth from
    there.

7
So, what is the truth?
  • It was certainly me, Tajoumaru, who killed that
    man?Tajoumaru?
  • In Rashomon everybody makes something up, and
    certainly tells a lie not only for the audience
    but also for themselves.
  • However, their way of speech tells us that each
    of them is with certain degree of reality on
    their stories. They convey their story very
    realistically.
  • What is the truth in this story?

8
What do you see in this picture?
  • For you, is this a picture of a
  • looking back young woman, or
  • the side face of an old woman?

9
Fact/Reality/TruthTruth is in a grove
  • Fact is the most objective thing. Fact is
    something as it is. However, we always fail to
    tell a fact accurately because of the limitation
    of language an limitation of perception.
    Incidentally, this is one of main themes embodied
    in Rashomon and In a Grove.
  • Reality is a matter of feeling. As long as we
    feel something is real after the serious
    exploration of the matter, even though it is
    different from the fact, we are able to say it is
    real.
  • Truth is the most subjective one. It is a choice
    of reality. We collect several pieces of object
    to get the entire image of the object. Truth
    depends on which piece we employ.

10
The background of Rashomon
  • Why did Kurosawa need to talk about fact,
    reality, and truth? What makes him speak about
    the dilemma of humans memory, and unreliability
    of human?

11
Society at that time (1950)
  • ???????????????
  • So, what? Only one Why up on top of this gate.
    Theres
  • always 5 or 6bodies, no one worries about them.
  • Youre right. Yes, each year is full of
    disaster I, for one, have seen hundreds of
    people killed like tiny insects
  • 1937-1945 Second Shino-Japanese War.
  • 1941-1945 World War ?/ Asian Pacific War
  • 1945 8 15, Japan surrendered to the United
    States, England, Soviet Union, and China, which
    is the end of its imperialism.
  • Death was everywhere at that time, because of the
    war.
  • However

12
The Tokyo War Crimes Trials
  • ????????????????
  • Well, men are only menThats why they lie. They
    cant tell the truth even to themselves.
  • May 3, 1946 to Novenber 12, 1948 The Tokyo War
    Crimes Trials. ?People started to know what the
    Japanese imperialism and their military have
    done, in addition to their own tragedies. In this
    trial, some of the suspects did not convey the
    truth
  • After all, what is to be trusted nowadays? Look,
    we all want to forget something undesirable to
    see. So we construct stories to replace.
  • Its easier that way
  • Easier that way?

13
Eyes speak more than words?
  • Even nowI remember his eyes. it was a cold
    hatred of me. ?Masago (the woman)?
  • Characters often emphasized that his/her eyes
    tell something. Eyes has an impact but leads to
    misunderstanding.
  • There is a cultural cliché in Japanese context
    the people do not look at eyes.
  • What Kurosawas usage of eyes in the movie
    reflect on?

14
Invisible authority
  • Yes, indeed. Excuse me?
  • ?the man who captured Tajoumaru?
  • The characters speak/repeat the questions by
    themselves. We cannot hear the authority
    speaking.
  • What is the significance of this new style of
    monologue?
  • Where is the police?

15
Authority is nowhere but in our imagination.
  • 1945-1952 GHQ occupation.
  • The invisible authority might be behind us.
    Authority is always invisible. Authority is an
    imaginary creation. There is no authority in the
    world. Every authority can be disillusioned. We
    might need authority occasionally, but we should
    be aware that it is based upon our imagination.

16
The baby in the last scene
  • Does the baby really act as an implication of a
    hope?
  • It depends on the version of story you have
    gained from this story.
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