This collection features a brilliant new translation of the Japanese master's stories with an introduction by Haruki Murakami. Akutagawa’s disturbing tales of human passion capture the cultural upheaval of early twentieth century Japan, ranging from ?In the Grove,” the basis of Kurosawa’s famous film Rashomon, to Akutagawa’s later, more autobiographical writings.
Random House, Inc. Ryünosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927) is one of Japan’s foremost stylists - a modernist master whose short stories are marked by highly original imagery, cynicism, beauty and wild humour. ‘Rashömon’ and ‘In a Bamboo Grove’ inspired Kurosawa’s magnificent film and depict a past in which morality is turned upside down, while tales such as ‘The Nose’, ‘O-Gin’ and ‘Loyalty’ paint a rich and imaginative picture of a medieval Japan peopled by Shoguns and priests, vagrants and peasants. And in later works such as ‘Death Register’, ‘The Life of a Stupid Man’ and ‘Spinning Gears’, Akutagawa drew from his own life to devastating effect, revealing his intense melancholy and terror of madness in exquisitely moving impressionistic stories.