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In a Grove

From Academic Kids

"In a Grove" (藪の中 Yabu no Naka) is a 1922 short tale by Akutagawa Ryunosuke that, along with the short story Rashomon, provided the plot for Akira Kurosawa's movie Rashomon.

The tale, inspired on an episode of the Konjaku Monogatarishu, gives three witness accounts of the death of a nobleman, slain in the woods along the road from Sekiyama to Yamashina. The defiant bandit, the nobleman's wife, and the victim himself — speaking through a medium — offer very convincing but incompatible reports — each claiming to have done it themselves.

The reader is left wondering whether the truth about a past event can ever be ascertained from witness reports, and even whether truth is a meaningful concept after all.

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