Around 30 pages
I read this story because I really like Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon. Turns out, this really has nothing to do with that film. Apparently, that movie is actually based off of another one of Akutagawa's stories, "In A Grove." Ugh, so many good books to read, so little time.
A recently fired servant and an old woman meet at the dilapidated Rashomon (which was the southern gate of Kyoto and a place where unclaimed corpses were dumped). They have a discussion on the ethics of the woman's behavior, as she is busy stealing the hair from corpses to make wigs.
I like the inclusion of short stories on the List. And I always find works like Rameau's Nephew intriguing, where you simply read a philosophical conversation between two characters. I am sure there have been many college essays that dissect the morality of this story.
I can't wait to read more Japanese literature on the List, which, knowing the Listmakers, probably won't be for awhile.
Ryūnosuke Akutagawa died by suicide at the age of 35.
He wrote over 150 short stories.
UP NEXT: Under Fire by Henri Barbusse. I'm not opposed to reading another Barbusse, The Inferno was really good.