Definition of Rashomon in US English:


(also Rashoman)


  • Attributive Designating something resembling or suggestive of the film Rashomon, especially in being characterized by multiple conflicting or differing versions, perspectives, or interpretations.


1960s; earliest use found in American Journal of Sociology. From Rashomon (Japanese Rashōmon), the title of a 1950 film directed by Akira Kurosawa, in which several contradictory accounts are presented of the events surrounding a death from Rashōmon (from Rajōmon, lit. ‘castle wall gate’, with substitution of a character; both from elements of Middle Chinese origin), the name of a historical gate (now destroyed) in Kyoto, Japan, under the ruins of which the film is set; the film was based on two short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa.