Rashomon – The Travesty of Justice?

And here again “Rashomon” ... He! He! He! (Actually, of course, the “it”, but in Russian language the sound “on” means “he”. So it is the kind of play, juggling with the onomatopoeia of substantive’s endings). Akira Kurosawa’s film, which probably began the ascent of Japanese cinema into world cinema after World War II – World War II – Pacific War (太平洋 戦 争 – Taiheiyou sensou). First of all and foremost generally accepted and used name, term for... this is the name of the wartime of the Great Patriotic War – the Second World War in Japan.

“Rashomon” – the movie, which was released in 1950. It was a very nice late November evening. The Cinema Club at the Tula’s Regional Library was, yet again, making a very good choice for the movie demonstration – screening.

...And in the discussion, which ensued later on the word “parody” was mentioned by the moderator. Although, in a very different context, set of narrative circumstances, as being purported by my ponderings. But, yes, the “parody” is a very pertinent noun for analysing the plot and subject line development of the “Rashomon”. And to be more price the parody, the striking satire on the judicial system of Japan of the times of yore. ...Did / has it changed for the better nowadays?.. Did it?..

The travesty of Justice is as old, as the history of Humankind. Actually, our procreation and the population growth commenced from the wrong fruitarian Vegan decision, which was, in effect – “black on white” stated transgression, infringement of the law. But The Law itself was intact and Just at this very sensitive situation, in which our Mother Progenitor and Father Progenitor, Hava and Adam did appear.

The legal, law enforcement situation of the “Rashomon” story is diametrically juxtaposing. The written and film narration by Akutagawa Ryunosuke and Akira Kurosawa, respectively (though, I must be admitting, that I have not read “Rashomon” in Japanese language, not yet) does so clearly expose to the spectators this wicked “parody” of Justice, the travesty of Justice and evidential confessions snubbing by this court of law in Japan. No matter what would be pronounced by the witnesses, bogged down into this legal whirlpool, into this morass of procedural exercises, it seems, that this court does have already its story and version of what did happen and would be sticking to it. The Japanese court, the mafia, which does control it, had already decided, who would be the victim – plaintiff – accused – sentenced – guilty – not guilty and so on and so forth ad infinitum. But “the show must go on” and we see that staging performance and sense its rippling, indeed, “Rashomon” effects afterwards.

Is it really true and the case, that in modern times Japan all the judiciary is being controlled and ruled by the one, certain Yakuza clan – gumi?.. And all the roles, thus, are pre-set in the travesty and parody of the judicial performance, in the stagings of the legal dramas?..

“Hunger, pest, famine, plague, diseases, taxation extortion racketeering...” These are the parolees so sadly frighteningly loud spoken by Kikori and his interlocutors... This time I watched Rashomon in Russian language, but I do trust the translators.

And I also think, that by no means the Tajomaru character, performed by Toshiro Mifune, should be identified as the bandit and criminal. As we see, the discussions, deliberations of the people of the lay, unpretentious origin and birth towards what miserably perfidious “status quo” the Japanese society was pushed into. The overwhelming majority of the population were dying like flies. Meanwhile we very evidently see at the silver screen, dressed in luscious silks riding gorgeous horses individuals... And in the millimetres vicinity from them are these notorious, dreadful words “hunger, pest, famine, plague, diseases, taxation extortion racketeering...”, which keep on resonating throughout the spectators audience’s audio visual brain receptors, being voiced out by the not dressed in the silks public, hiding themselves under the dilapidated and almost completely defunct “Rashomon”, “The gates of RA being born”...

羅生門– Rashomon. In itself this name is very interesting. Especially the first hieroglyph. 羅生門– the gate of birth of RA. The first hieroglyph 羅– RA. It can mean the name of Rahula, the son of Siddhatha Gautama, of Buddha and of the princess Yasodhara. So, thus, meaning the New Beginning... But the “ra” of mitsraim, who was worshipped and idolized at the ancient times over the territory of the modern times Egypt. Has it any meaning relationship with the name Rahula, or is simply the homonym?.. 羅– ra – this character also does mean the city of Rome.

And, probably, the little baby, screaming loudly and cheerfully amidst the showering, almost thunderous rain is the symbol and the hope of the New Beginning. As well as hailing and howling waters of the heavenly firmament... As we know after the thunder and storm the spell of serenity does come. The possibility of ascending to the new heights of peace and tranquillity. Of better, more humane society... The rain in the climaxing denouement of “Rashomon”. There might be the new beginning and hope for the characters of the film... And for the Japanese cinema as part of the World Cinematography. ...

With the smiling rainbow of the Pacific, not the Pacific war...

Peter Friesen

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