Revisit Rashōmon

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Who can you trust? That's the question posed in Rashōmon. In today's programme Rana Mitter's guests David Peace, Natasha Pulley, Yuna Tasaka and Jasper Sharp look at both the book and the film. Ryūnosuke Akutagawa's short story 'In a Grove', published in 1922, became the basis for the 1950 film from Akira Kurosawa 'Rashōmon', one of the first Japanese films to gain worldwide critical acclaim. 'The Rashōmon Effect' has become a byword for the literary technique where the same event is presented via the different and incompatible testimonies from the characters involved. David Peace's book 'Patient X' is a novelised response to Ryūnosuke Akutagawa's last years and his death by suicide at the age of 35. Natasha Pulley is a novelist and Japanophile with a particular interest in Japanese literature of the 1920s, and in the unreliable narrator implied by use of the Rashōmon Effect. Jasper Sharp is a writer and curator, author of the Historical Dictionary of Japanese Cinema. Yuna Tasaka is one of the contributors to The Japanese Cinema Book published by Bloomsbury. David Peace's third novel in his Tokyo trilogy Tokyo Redux is out this summer. Natasha Pulley's most recent novel is a time travel story set in Napoleonic times - The Kingdoms. Her book The Watchmaker of Filigree Street became an international best seller. Producer: Luke Mulhall. You can find a playlist of Radio 3 programmes exploring Japanese Culture on the Free Thinking programme website from the Tale of Genji to Godzilla, jazz to the sound of rain, Rashomon to Rampo https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0657spq

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