Rashomon & Other Stories


Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (1 March 1892 – 24 July 1927) is regarded as the "Father of the Japanese short story".Famous Japanese film director Kurosawa's classic 1950 film Rashomon retells his "In a Grove." The title and the frame scene set are both taken from the work "Rashomon".  Because of the popularity of the film and animation in our generation, it has become Akutagawa's iconic piece to western viewers. However, many of the entertainment products misrepresent the younger generation's view on Akutagawa's masterpieces.


Redesign the book cover and illustrations to inspire a passion for literature and symbolism.


To emphasize the dramatic moment in his work, I chose to visualize the story in a symbolic way. The Shiba dog represents the  woodcutter in the story who actually witnessed the rape and murder, and stole the dragger which was the murder tool. The Mantis with kimono represents the Samurai's wife who spurred her husband to fight the bandit that caused his death. She lied to the judge, saying that she fainted with dagger in her hand and attempted to kill herself, but failed in all her efforts. The pool of blood, samurai sword and rope represent the Samurai who was actually killed by the bandit, but claimed he killed himself ( through a meduim).

© Siyue Tan 

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