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Rashomon and Other Stories

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  1,650 ratings  ·  150 reviews
Writing at the beginning of the twentieth century, Ryunosuke Akutagawa created disturbing stories out of Japan's cultural upheaval. Whether his fictions are set centuries past or close to the present, Akutagawa was a modernist, writing in polished, superbly nuanced prose subtly exposing human needs and flaws. "In a Grove," which was the basis for Kurosawa's classic film Ra ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published December 17th 1999 by Liveright (first published 1922)
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Dan Schwent
In a Grove: A man is found stabbed to death in a grove. Some people of interest and the key players give their accounts.

Yeah, I'm a fan of this. Lots of narrators with varying degrees of reliability. If the other stories are this good, this collection is going to be stellar.

Rashomon: A samurai's servant sits under the Rashomon during a rain storm, pondering whether he should become a thief or starve to death.

I didn't like this story as much as the first but it was still interesting. I never thou
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Here is the answer to the obvious question, which I call obvious because of the fact that I thought it, s. commented below asking about it, and my guess is that more will come. So, let me clarify...umm, sort of.

It's a little confusing, actually. The Akutagawa story In a Grove, which is in this particular Akutagawa collection, was the basis for the Kurosawa film Rashōmon. The Akutagawa story Rashōmon--which is also in this collection and by the same author, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa--shares no similari
I think I somehow missed the point of the Yam gruel story. I found the Rashomon story rather cruel and unsympathetic. I think I'll reserve judgment until after we've discussed these in our Brain Pain group.

Something that I definitely did notice, is that quite a bit of the original seems to be lost in translation, which might be partly the fault of the translator, but almost definitely also due to the fact that English and Japanese are two languages that seem to be difficult to translate mutually
If you're a fan of Japanese cinema, you will recognize one of Kurosawa's movies from the title. However, the movie is a pastiche of two short stories - the eponymous Rashomon set at the gate in Kyoto, and "In A Grove", a murder mystery from multiple perspectives.

This collection of six Akutagawa stories is deeply observant and some wry observation about human nature, or some criticism of an institution. "Kesa and Morito" is like "The Gift of the Magi", except with murder. These works are deeply
Niran Pravithana
ในบรรดานักเขียนญีปุนทุกคนทีผมเคยอาน ผมนับวาริวโนสุเกะ อาคุตะกะวะเปนอัจฉริยะในหมูอัจฉริยะ
แตไมใชวาคนทุกคนจะชอบสไตลงานเขียนของอาคุตะกาวา เพราะสไตลเรืองสันของเขาหลายครังเปนงานเขียนทีดึงเอาดานมืดของจิตใจมนุษยมาโยนใสหนาคนอานแบบไมมีการประณีประนอม สราง ethical paradox พรอมเปิดชองใหผูอานตีความบทประพันธเอาเอง ซึงจะพบไดในเรืองสันหลายเรืองของหนังสือเลมนี (ในปาละเมาะ, ฉากนรก)
(ผมคิดเอาเองวาแนวการเขียนรูปแบบนีเปนเหมือนรากของงานเขียนในยุคหลังๆ จำพวก postmodernism ทีผูอานเปนผูกำหนดความหมายของวรรณกรรม เชนในผลงานห
قصص كُتبت بإبداع, زادت من إعجابي بالأدب الياباني
قصص في عالم وثقافة مختلفة, فيها خيال وغرابة وتشويق
الشخصيات نرى في كل منها جانب من الانسان بكل ما في نفسه من خير أو شر
تميز في أفكار القصص وأسلوب السرد, والترجمة جميلة للأستاذ كامل يوسف حسين

كتب المترجم مقدمة عن حياة ومراحل إبداع الكاتب الياباني رايونوسوكي أكوتاجاوا الذي كتب أكثر من مائة قصة لم يُترجم منها للعربية إلا القليل
وفي آخر حياته ازداد قلقه وخوفه من المرض العقلي وأنهى حياته بالانتحار عام 1927 وهو في سن الخامسة والثلاثين
وتم تأسيس جائزة أدبية

Consider the first story. A Police Commissioner interviews seven individuals regarding an alleged crime of murder:

- The first witness is a woodcutter who discovered the body of the dead man;

- the second witness is a travelling Buddhist priest who met the man and his wife prior to the incident;

- the third witness is a policeman who arrested the only suspect to the alleged crime;

- the fourth, an old woman, the dead man’s mother-in-law;

- the fifth is the bandit who confessed to the crime;

- the sixt
First, I am a big fan of Ryunosuke Akutagawa.

Second, Akutagawa himself has been acknowledged as one of the greatest Japanese writers.

Third, the story "Rashomon" has been admitted as the best story Akutagawa ever wrote. That's why Akira Kurosawa transfered the story into reel.

So, none other reason needed to make you read this one.
They say Akutagawa is a master of modern Japanese literature despite writing just after the turn of the 20th century, he even has major literary awards named after him in Japan but I can't help but feel that 100 year old stories are not that modern. That being said his stories are largely enjoyable and very well written.

The effect of the unique storytelling point of view of In A Grove is really quite remarkable and the rest of the stories collected here all manage to conjure up a firm and believ
Akemi G
This author is a master of short stories. Actually, too much of a master -- his craft is so refined and calculated. (When a story is told by an unreliable character, that is also well-calculated.) I admire his work, and at the same time, I see why he didn't get to write full-length novels ... and why he committed suicide.

(I read this in Japanese. I hope the translation holds its original beauty.)
Geistergeschichten ohne Geister
In jeder Rezension hier und sonstwo, im Klappentext, im Nachwort, überall: Der Hinweis auf den Film. Und gleich darauf die Anmerkung, dass die hier abgedruckte Geschichte und der Film völlig verschieden sind. Letztlich ist das wieder die Tragik des Erfolgs - viele Schriftsteller würden sich wohl die Finger lecken nach der Chance, eine Story von einem so großen Meister verfilmt zu sehen. Doch irgendwann kommt dann die Zeit, wie hier, in der man sich nur noch an den
Mohammed Alamin
من مقدمة الكتاب ومن معرفتي بأن الكاتب قد وضع حداً لحياته بالانتحار؛ تيقنتُ أني مقبل على كاتب من نفس طراز الكُتّاب الروس، كاتب بنفس الأسلوب الجنائزي؛ أسلوب أرباب الحزن، المحطمين، الكاتبين عن المُهمّشيِن وعن انكسارهم البشري، الواصفين أبعدَ نقطةٍ من مراتب الانحطاط، وهذا ما بدا يتضح من خلال النصوص، وهي جميلةُ، إلى أن وصلت لـ(عصيدة إليام)، لقد نسخ الرجل أكثر من ثلاثة أرباع قصة (المعطف) للروسي نيقولاي غوغول، تبديل بسيط في أسماء الشخصيات والعصر، حتى الفقرة الشهيرة لـ(أكاكي أكافيتش) بطل المعطف: "دعوني ف ...more
I read two from a collection of Akutagawa's short stories: "Rashomon" and "In A Bamboo Grove". My first reaction was: he's so modern! The 2 stories are like thrillers, suspenseful, with unexpected twists. "In A Bamboo Grove" is a sophisticated story of an event seen from different perspectives. The reader is forced to think what the most plausible narrative is as the truth is left hanging ----there is nothing cut-and dried here.

The author's story is almost as fascinating as his 2 short stories,
Das "Rashomon" ist ein Tor der Stadtbefestigung Kyotos des 9./10. Jahrhunderts, von dem heutzutage kein Stein mehr erhalten geblieben ist. In der Literatur spielt es allerdings immer noch eine große Rolle und versinnbildlicht einen unheimlich Ort. Genau wegen dieses vielversprechenden Titels habe ich zu dem Band gegriffen und wurde nicht enttäuscht.
Akutagawa liebt es, in die Abgründe der menschlichen Seele zu blicken und selbst auf den ersten Blick widersinniges menschliches Verhalten nachvollz
Justin Isis tells me the translation is so-so but I still thought the stories were entertaining. Really quite memorable: The Lover who is no longer in love but acts like an automaton of solipsistic passion; the dragon in the lake as a metaphor for what writers can do with their handy work, that is "write what happens"; an encounter with the scalp-scavenging crone in halls of a darkened tower in the rainy season; multiple povs of multiple unreliable witnesses---this little collection is really qu ...more
Vynikající! Věděla jsem, že v rozbitém Akutagawovi musí být nekonečno nádherností. Obraz pekla - nikdy jsem se nesetkala s podobně zvrhlým druhem krásy. Tak silné a živé. Roje duchů lišek. Mrazivosti a děsivosti. Války s vydrami. Taky občas pláču celým svým tělem, ale bez slz. 'Kdybychom se měli řídit jen rozumem, museli bychom přirozeně popřít svou vlastní existenci.'
Pierre Fortier
Je découvre Akutagawa, émérite conteur du début du xxème siècle japonais torturé par la culture ancestrale de son pays et l'appel du modernisme occidental de l'époque. Vascillant entre les deux, l'auteur, débordant d'imagination, nous livre une factte de sa culture avec originalité et intérêt.
Nikola Korbuc
Quite an interesting tale, I must say. It portrays a man who has a choice between life and death. Death is linked with honor and pride, while choosing to live means resorting to thievery and deeds deemed dishonorable. At first, the man is torn between these two choices. After meeting the old woman tearing hair from corpses, he feels disdain and hatred. However, after hearing her tale, his view suddenly changes, causing in him that which I would call the "Lucifer Effect". He understands his predi ...more
The first two stories, "In a Grove" and "Rashomon" I really liked, though "Rashomon" was a little too open-ended for my taste, as was most of the rest of the book. I've read one other Akutagawa book, and kind of felt the same about it, he's very strange. Not like surrealist strange, but "I can't figure out why he would write about this, or stop writing about this at this particular point" strange. The last story, "The Dragon," was excellent. Now that I know where a Japanese library is and I can ...more
An OK little collection. The Japanese seem absolutely obsessed with the theme of shame.
ปกติแลวเปนคนไมคอยอานเรืองสันเทาไหร แตมีเลมนีทีรูสึกวาเปนเรืองสันทีมีพลังดึงดูดเราได
ประเดนในเรืองบางทีกสมจริงมากจนนากลัว จนตองลองไปศึกษาประวัติสวนตัวของอาคุตะกาวะเพิมเติมและไดพบวา นักเขีนคนนีมีชีวิตเพือผลงานโดนแทจริง เรียกไดวาเขียนออกมาดวยการเฉือนเนือหนัง ดึงพลังชีวิตมาใชเปนเชือเพลิงผลิตผลงาน จุดจบของเขาอาจไมโสภาสักเทาไหรแตมันชางเหมือนกาทำHarakiriทีสมศักดิศริ และการอุทิศตนเหลานีกคุมคากับการฝากเรืองสันเหลานีไวในวงการวรรณกรรมโลก

Samuel Muggington
I just finished a book of short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa. This Japanese author committed suicide in 1927 after writing hundreds of poems and stories. Some of his stories are so haunting that the images will be seared into your brain forever. Rashomon is one of these. It is almost as if the author is an omnipotent being hovering over the scenes providing a running commentary on medieval Japanese life. After reading this slim volume, I do have one imperative. I must try some yam gruel.
Ladrones de cuerpos en un templo abandonado lleno de cadáveres, un hombre que debe contemplar torturas reales para pintar el infierno, un hombre sabio con una gran nariz, una muerte en que tres personas distintas se inculpan a sí mismas… Estos son algunas de las situaciones que trabaja Ryunosuke Akutagawa en esta breve colección de cuentos ambientados todos en el Japón feudal. La mitología y leyendas japonesas se entremezclan con una visión neorrealista del mundo: el convencimiento de que la ver ...more
Carlos Piélago Rojo

Desde el primer momento que abres este libro te das cuenta del cariño que han puesto con la edición desde Quaterni. La presentación, la cronología de la vida de Akutagawa, las anotaciones de los traductores, todo te ayuda a sumergirte más en la obra del autor japonés, y eso se agradece.

Dividiría en dos grandes bloques la temática del libro: el histórico y el autobiográfico.

Personalmente prefiero al Akutagawa histórico. Ya había leído antes de comprar el libro los dos relatos más célebres: "
Rashomon and Other Stories is a smattering of short stories that vary in tone and strength.

The collection starts of relatively strong with In The Grove and Rashomon, the two stories that inspired Kurosawa's masterpiece Rashomon. In The Grove plays with the perspective and Rashomon grapples, whoever briefly, with the nature of morality and it's crumbling in the face of suffering.

From there...things pretty much go to hell. Yam Gruel is a effectively a story chastising humanity for daring to look
This book is amazing the stories are fun. I got the more from the library with 7 stories so I am currently waiting for the one with 17 then I will have a more firm opinion.

Weirdly Akutagawa wiki site doesn't say he committed suicide.
أحمد عبادة
كنت اعتقد في البداية انها رواية طويلة و لكني تفاجأت بكونها قصة قصيرة ضمن مجموعة اخرى من القصص القصيرة
بشكل مجمل تعتبر متوسطة المستوى <بالنسبة لي طبعا> القصة ااشهر و التي تم تحويلها الى فيلم سينمائي هي الافضل فعلا .
I picked this book up at a second hand bookstore, having seen the film 'Rashomon', which is based of two of the stories in this books. I was pleasantly surprised by it, and enjoyed it immensely. The book contains six stories, which I will go through individually.

In A Grove - this is definitely the best story in the collection, and perhaps the best short story I have ever read. It tells the tale of a rape and a murder in the form of a series of monologues. There are four testimonies of witnesses
Alshaatha Sultan
قصص بديعة حقاً. أسقطت نجمة لأنني طامعة بالمزيد، هل هناك كتاب مترجم آخر لقصص أكوتوجاوا؟ فهذا احتوى على قصص فقط. ...more
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Akutagawa Ryūnosuke or Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (芥川龍之介) was one of the first prewar Japanese writers to achieve a wide foreign readership, partly because of his technical virtuosity, partly because his work seemed to represent imaginative fiction as opposed to the mundane accounts of the I-novelists of the time, partly because of his brilliant joining of traditional material to a modern sensibility, an ...more
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“A man sometimes devotes his life to a desire which he is not sure will ever be fulfilled. Those who laugh at this folly are, after all, no more than mere spectators of life.” 994 likes
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