Essay On Rashomon

662 Words3 Pages
The study of history is unique in that one must trust the accounts of others to fill in what they do not know, a theme which is exemplified, almost exaggerated, in the Japanese film Rashomon. The film demonstrates some of the most important concepts in historiography that when applied can lead to a much more accurate and rich understanding of history, such as bias, multicultural perspective, and credibility. Each character in the film has the opportunity to retell the events in the woods on the day of the man’s murder in a way that shines a positive light on them. For instance, the woodcutter first removes himself from the scene of the crime at all as to not implicate himself in the murder. The bandit Tajomaru expounds on his own greatness and boosts his own feared reputation by telling of an epic battle where the two swordsmen fight bravely until he, the great Tajomaru, emerges victorious. In contrast, Masako relies on her femininity to garner sympathy for her story; she tells of the way that she was violated and then was so traumatized by her husband’s hatred for her that she fainted and then awoke distraught to find him mysteriously dead with her dagger in his heart. The murdered man…show more content…
Rashomon is set in medieval Japan, where honor was of the utmost importance, and living without honor was considered a fate worse than death. For the bandit, honor manifests itself in the form of a glorious fight, for the murdered man, he absolves himself of the shame of losing a battle and being betrayed by his wife by committing suicide. In Masako’s case, she too tries to regain her honor by attempting to kill herself rather than live with the shame of being with two men, but she also relies on the misogynistic viewpoints of the time period and uses her gender to play up her weakness and docility to clear herself of any guilt in the case of her husband’s
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