Rashomon & Seventeen Other Stories
Author: Akutagawa Ryunosuke
Ryunosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927) is one of Japan's foremost stylists – a modernist master whose short stories are marked by highly original imagery, cynicism, beauty, and wild humour. 'Rashomon' and 'In a Bamboo Grove' inspired Kurosawa's magnificent film and depict a past in which morality is turned upside down, while tales such as 'The Nose', 'O-Gin', and 'Loyalty' paint a rich and imaginative picture of a medieval Japan peopled by Shoguns and priests, vagrants, and peasants. And in later works such as 'Death Register', 'The Life of a Stupid Man', and 'Spinning Gears', Akutagawa drew from his own life to devastating effect, revealing his intense melancholy and terror of madness in exquisitely moving impressionistic stories.