Rashomon (1950) - Plot Summary Poster


Plot Summary

  • A priest, a woodcutter and another man are taking refuge from a rainstorm in the shell of a former gatehouse called Rashômon. The priest and the woodcutter are recounting the story of a murdered samurai whose body the woodcutter discovered three days earlier in a forest grove. Both were summoned to testify at the murder trial, the priest who ran into the samurai and his wife traveling through the forest just before the murder occurred. Three other people who testified at the trial are supposedly the only direct witnesses: a notorious bandit named Tajômaru, who allegedly murdered the samurai and raped his wife; the white veil cloaked wife of the samurai; and the samurai himself who testifies through the use of a medium. The three tell a similarly structured story - that Tajômaru kidnapped and bound the samurai so that he could rape the wife - but which ultimately contradict each other, the motivations and the actual killing being what differ. The woodcutter reveals at Rashômon that he knows more than he let on at the trial, thus bringing into question his own actions. But another discovery at Rashômon and the resulting actions from the discovery bring back into focus the woodcutter's own humanity or lack thereof.

    - Written by Huggo
  • Sheltering from a rainstorm in the derelict Rashomon gatehouse, a commoner wants to hear the strange story that has horrified a priest and confounded a woodcutter. They tell him about a murder inquiry they have just come from. While it was certain that Tajomaru (a bandit with a reputation for murder and lust) had managed to tie up a samurai and rape his wife, how the samurai was killed was unclear. The testimonies of the three direct participants were mutually contradictory. More than one person (even the dead man, speaking through a medium) was lying, and claiming responsibility for the death. Each had a reason they were willing to be thought a killer if it meant they could maintain the image they desired.

    - Written by billheron53
  • In 12th century Japan, a samurai and his wife are attacked by the notorious bandit Tajomaru, and the samurai ends up dead. Tajomaru is captured shortly afterward and is put on trial, but his story and the wife's are so completely different that a psychic is brought in to allow the murdered man to give his own testimony. He tells yet another completely different story. Finally, a woodcutter who found the body reveals that he saw the whole thing, and his version is again completely different from the others.

    - Written by rmlohner
  • Rashomon (1950) is a Japanese crime drama, that is produced with both philosophical and psychological overtones. An episode (rape and murder) in a forest is reported by four witnesses, each from their own point of view. - Who is telling the truth? What is truth?

    - Written by Frode S. Stringer <fstringe@direct.ca>
  • A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view.

    - Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>


Sheltering from a rainstorm in the ruins of the Rashomon gatehouse, a woodcutter (Takashi Shimura) and a priest (Minoru Chiaki) sit dejected...

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