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Rashōmon (1950) is a Japanese motion picture directed by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshiro Mifune. It is considered one of Kurosawa's masterpieces. Rashōmon was one of three films on which Kurosawa collaborated with the highly acclaimed cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa. more...

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Based on two stories by Akutagawa Ryūnosuke (Rashōmon and In a Grove), it describes a rape and murder through the widely differing accounts of four witnesses, including the perpetrator and, through a medium, the murder victim. The story unfolds in flashback as the four characters—the bandit Tajomaru (Mifune), the murdered samurai Takehiro (Mayasuki Mori), his wife Masako (Machiko Kyō), and the nameless woodcutter (Takashi Shimura)—recount the events of one afternoon in a grove. Each story is self-serving, and all are mutually contradictory, leaving the viewer unable to determine the truth of the events.

Views of the witnesses

The Wood-cutter

Claims he found the body of the victim (Takehiro) while looking for wood in the forest.


Claims that he saw the the victim (Takehiro) and the woman (Masako) three days before the murder happened (since this has no differing event that affects the murder event it is probable that this did indeed happen and he is telling the truth).


Claims that he captured Takehiro and exhuasted and raped the woman (Masako). The Masako then begged him to either kill himself or Takehiro to save her from the despair of knowing two men. He honorably set the man free so they could duel. Tojomaru was the victor and the woman ran away.


Claims that after she was raped by Tojomaru and he left her to weep, Masako then begged Takehiro to forgive him, but he simply looked at her coldly. She then freed Takehiro and begged him to kill her so that she would be at peace. He continued to stare at her coldly and fainted. After she fainted she recalls awakening by a nearby lake and attempting to drown herself.


Through a medium (a person who can have a ghost speak through his/her mouth) he claims that after he was captured by Tojomaru and after Tomojaru raped Masako, Tomojaru asked Masako to travel woth him. She accepted and asked Tojomaru to kill Takehiro so that she wouldnt feel the despair of knowing two men. Tojomaru shocked by this request, subdued Masako and gave Takehiro a choice of letting Masako go or killing her (as he did not find this honorable). Masako fled and after attempting to recapture her, Tojomaru then set Takehiro free (as he did not care about him or Masako). Takehiro then says that he killed himself by a dagger to the heart.

The Wood-cutter (again)

Confesses that his earlier view was a lie and says that he saw that Tojomaru begged Masako (after he raped her) to marry him as she wept. She freed Takehiro and said that she asked them to duel and that she would go with the victor. Takehiro said that she was weak, she simply responded that Takehiro and Tojomaru were weak for not fighting. The two men dueled and fight showed how pathetic at fighting they were. Nonetheless Tojomaru won the duel and Masako fled as Tojomar chased her.


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