Rashomon (1950) Script


Based on ""In a Grove"" by Ryunosuke Akutagawa Screenplay byAkira Kurosawa and Shinobu Hashimoto Cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa

Starring Toshiro Mifune Machiko Kyo Takashi Shimura Masayuki Mori Minoru Chiaki

Directed byAkira Kurosawa

I don"t understand... I just don"t understand.


I just don"t understand.

What"s wrong?

What don"tyou understand?

I"ve never heard such a strange story.

Why don"tyou tell me about it?

We happen to have a wise priest in our midst.

No, not even the renowned, wise priest from Kiyomizu Temple has heard a story as strange as this.

Soyou know something about this strange story?

This man and I havejust seen it and heard it ourselves.

Where? In the courthouse garden.

The courthouse?

A man was murdered.

Just one? So what?

On top ofthis gate, you"ll fi nd at least five or six unclaimed bodies.

You"re right.

War, earthquake, winds, fi re, famine, the plague...

Year afteryear, it"s been nothing but disasters.

And bandits descend upon us every night.

I"ve seen so many men getting killed like insects, but even I have never heard a story as horrible as this.

Yes. So horrible.

This time, I may fi nally lose my faith in the human soul.

It"s worse than bandits, the plague, famine, fi re, orwar.

Look here, priest.

Enough with the sermon.

It sounded interesting, at least while I kept out ofthe rain.

But ifit"s a sermon, I"d sooner listen to the rain.

Hear me out. Maybeyou can tell me what it means.

I don"t understand any ofthose three.

Which three? Well...

I"ll tell you about them.

Calm down and tell me slowly.

The rain"s not going to stop any time soon.


It was three days ago.

I went into the mountains to get wood.

Iranas fastas Icould to tell thepolice.

Then, three days later-- today-- I was calledto testify.

Yes. That"s right.

I was the one who fi rst found the body.

What? Did I see a sword or something?

No, nothing at all.

Just a woman"s hat caught on a branch, and the cap ofa samurai that had been trampled on.

There was a cut-up piece ofrope near the body, and further along in the leaves, a shiny amulet case with red lining.


That was all I found, yes.


I met the murdered man before his death.

It was three days ago, in the afternoon.

On the road from Sekiyama to Yamashina.

The womanhada veil, so Icouldn'tseeherface.

Theman was armedwith asword, as wellas abowandarrows.

Little did I expect that he would meet such a fate.

A human life is truly as frail and feeting as the morning dew.

What a shame that his should end this way.

I"m sorry.

This man I caught is Tajomaru.

Yes, the notorious bandit everyone speaks of.

The last time I almost caught him, he looked the same and he carried that same sword.

It was two days ago at dusk, by the banks ofthe Katsura...

What"s wrong?

There were 17arrows with eagle feathers, aleatherbow, andahorse.

All these belonged to the dead man, yes.

The irony ofTajomaru being thrown off his stolen horse, this had to be fateful retribution.

I fell off the horse? You fool!

On that day...

I was riding that horse and I was suddenlyvery thirsty.

So around Osaka, I drank from a spring.

There must have been a dead poisonous snake upstream.

After a while, I got an incredible stomachache.

By the time I came to the river, I couldn"t hold it any longer.

So I got off the horse and crouched in the field.

I fell off?

Obviously, a fool can think only foolish thoughts.

I know sooner or later you"ll have my neck, so I"m not going to hide anything.

It was this Tajomaru who killed that man.

I saw that couple three days ago. It was a hot afternoon.

Suddenly a cool breeze rustled the leaves.

Ifit hadn"t been for that wind, I wouldn"t have killed him.

I caught a glimpse and then she was gone.

Maybe that"s why.

I thought I saw a goddess.

At that moment I decided to capture her, even ifI had to kill her man.

But ifI could have her without killing, all the better.

My intention then was to take her without killing the man.

But I couldn"t do it on that road to Yamashina.

What doyou want?

What doyou want?

What is it?

Don"t be suspicious.

See? Isn"t this nice?

Take a good look at it.

There are some ruins over there.

When I dug up the mound, I found a heap ofswords and mirrors.

I buried them in a grove behind the mountain so no one else would fi nd them.

Ifyou"re interested, I"ll sell them toyou cheap.

It"s over there.

Walk ahead ofme.

It"s here. Beyond those pines.

Your husband has taken sick.

Her face turned pale. She stared at me with frozen eyes, her expression intense like a child"s.

When I saw that, I envied the man and I suddenly hated him.

I wanted to show her how pathetic he looked tied to that pine tree.

These thoughts that weren"t there before fi lled my head.

Ihadneverseen such fierceness in a woman.

And so I had succeeded in having her without killing her husband.

I still had no intention ofkilling him.

But then...



Eitheryou die or my husband dies.

One ofyou must die.

To have my shame known to two men is worse than dying.

I will go with the survivor.

So I had to kill him, but I wanted to do it honorably.

He fought verywell. We crossed swords 23 times.

I remember this because I"m still impressed.

No one had ever crossed swords with me more than 20 times.

What? The woman?

I don"t know.

When the man died, I turned to her. She was gone.

The fighting must have scared her and she ran away.

I ran out to the mountain road.

All I found was her horse grazing calmly.

I was attracted to her fierce spirit, but, after all, she wasjust like otherwomen.

I didn"t even look for her.

What? His sword?

I exchanged it in town for liquor.

What? Her dagger?

It had pearl inlay. Looked veryvaluable.

I totally forgot about it. That was foolish.

The biggest mistake I ever made!

Even amongst the bandits, Tajomaru is famous for being a womanizer.

Why, last fall, a young wife went to the temple and she and her maid were found dead in the mountains. That must have been him too.

Who knows what really happened to that woman who left her horse?

Well, that woman showed up at the courthouse.

She was hiding in the temple when the police found her.

It"s a lie.

It"s all a lie. Tajomaru"s story and the woman"s.

It"s human to lie.

Most ofthe time we can"t even be honest with ourselves.

That may be.

But it"s because men are weak that they lie, even to themselves.

Not another sermon.

I don"t care ifit"s a lie, as long as it"s entertaining.

What story did the woman come up with?

Well, it"s completely different from Tajomaru"s story.

So different that her face didn"t even show the fierceness he spoke of.

She was so docile, she was almost pitiful.

That man in the blue kimono,

after forcing me toyield to him, proudly announced that he was the infamous Tajomaru,

and laughed mockingly at my husband who was tied up.

How horrified my husband must have been.

The more he struggled,

the tighter the ropes dug in.

I ran to his side. Or rather, I tried to.

Even now, when I think ofhis eyes, my blood turns cold in myveins.

What I saw in them was neither anger, nor sorrow, but a cold light, a look ofloathing.


Don"t look at me like that.

It"s too cruel.

Beat me, kill me, but don"t look at me like that. Please, stop.

Now kill me.

Kill me at once.



Please don"t.

I must have fainted after that.

When I came to and looked around...

Imagine my shock.

I saw my dagger in my dead husband"s chest.

I was in shock

and I don"t remember how I left the woods.

But when I came to,

I was standing by the pond, at the foot ofthe hill.

I threw myselfinto the pond.

I tried many different things.

But I failed to kill myself.

What should a poor, helpless woman like me do?

I see. The more I hear, the more confused I get.

But women use their tears to fool everyone.

They even fool themselves.

Soyou have to beware ofthe woman"s story.

When you hear the dead man"s story--

He"s dead. How can he tell his story?

He spoke through a medium.

Lies. His storywas also lies.

But dead men don"t lie.

Why is that?

I refuse to believe that man would be so sinful.


But is there anyone who"s really good?

Maybe goodness isjust make-believe.

What a frightening--

Manjust wants to forget the bad stuff and believe in the made-up good stuff.

It"s easier that way. Ridiculous.


Let"s hear the dead man"s story.

I am in darkness now.

I am suffering in the dark.

Cursed be those who cast me into this dark hell.

After the bandit attacked mywife, he tried to console her.

Shesaton theleaves, staring down atherknees.

Thebandit was cunning.

Nowthather virtue was stained, she couldnolongerbe with herhusband.

Leave thehusband andwhynotmarryhim instead?

He saidhe onlyattackedher outofhis love forher.

Whensheheard that, my wife raisedherfaceas ifin a trance.

She had never looked so beautiful.

Andwhat was mybeautiful wife's response to thebandit in frontofherhelpless husband?


Take me whereveryou want.

That"s what she said.

But that wasn"t her only sin or I wouldn"t be suffering in the dark like this.

Please kill him.

While he"s alive, I cannot go with you.

Kill him!

Those words were like a wind that threatened to blow me into the depths ofdarkness.

Has such a hateful thing ever been uttered by a human before?

Even the bandit turned pale at those words.

Please kill him.

What doyou want me to do with her?

Kill her or save her? You only have to nod.

Forthese words alone, I was ready topardonhis crime.

Kill her or let her go?

Idon'tknow howmanyhourspassed.

She got away. Now I"ll have to worry about my own fate.

Everything was silent.

Iheardsomeone crying.

Someoneis crying.

Whois that?

Everything was silent.

How quiet it was.

Suddenly the sun went away.

I was enveloped in deep silence.

I lay there in the stillness.

Then someone quietly approached me.

That someone gentlywithdrew the dagger from my heart.

It"s not true!

There was no dagger. He was killed by a sword.

Now it"s getting interesting.

It seems you saw the whole thing.

So why didn"tyou tell the court?

I didn"t want to get involved.

You can talk about it here, right?

Tell me, then.

Your story seems to be the most interesting.

I don"t want to hear it. No more horror stories.

They are common stories these days.

I even heard that the demon living here in Rashomon fed in fear ofthe ferocity ofman.

Come on. How much doyou know?

I found the woman"s hat in the mountains.

You already said that.

About 20 yards further, I heard a woman crying.

From behind a bush, I saw a man tied up, a woman crying and Tajomaru.

Soyou lied when you said you found the body.

I didn"t want to get involved.

All right, then.

Go on. What was Tajomaru doing?

He was down on his knees, begging the woman for forgiveness.

until now, whenever I wanted to do something bad, I did it.

That way I suffered less.

But today, it"s different.

I already had you, but I only wantyou more. It"s very hard.

I beg you to be mywife.

The notorious bandit Tajomaru is begging you on his hands and knees.

Ifyou wish, I"ll even stop being a bandit.

I have enough stashed away to giveyou a lavish life.

And ifyou don"t want my dirty money, I"ll even work.

I"ll stoop to selling odds and ends on the street to supportyou.

I"ll do anything ifyou come with me.

Marry me, please.

Ifyou say no, I have no choice but to kill you.

Please, sayyes.

Stop crying and answer me.

Tell meyou"ll be mywife!

Say it!

It"s impossible.

How could I, a woman, say anything?

I get it. You mean it"s up to us men to decide.

Hold it!

I refuse to risk my life for such a woman.

You"ve been with two men. Why don"tyou kill yourself?


I don"t want this shameless whore. You can have her.

At this stage, I"d rather lose her instead ofthe horse.

Wait! Don"t follow me!

Stop crying. It"s not going to work anymore.

Stop it. Don"t bully her.

Women are weak by nature.

It"s you who are weak.

Ifyou are my husband, why don"tyou kill this man?

Then you can tell me to kill myself. That"s a real man.

You"re not a real man either.

When I heard you were Tajomaru, I stopped crying.

I was sick ofthis tiresome daily farce.

I thought, ""Tajomaru might get me out ofthis.""

""Ifhe"d only save me, I"d do anything for him.""

I thought to myself.

Butyou werejust as petty as my husband.

Just remember: A woman loves a man who loves passionately.

A man has to make a woman his by his sword.

I don"t want to die!

So that"s the real story.

I don"t tell lies. I saw it with my own eyes.

I doubt it.

It"s true. I don"t lie.

No one lies after he says he"s going to do so.

It"s horrifying.

Ifmen don"t trust each other, this earth might as well be hell.

That"s right. This world is hell.

No, I believe in men.

I don"t want this place to be hell.

Shouting doesn"t help.

Think about it. Out ofthese three, whose story is believable?

No idea.

In the end, you cannot understand the things men do.

What areyou doing?

What"s it toyou?

That"s terrible! Terrible?

Someone else would have taken the kimono. Why shouldn"t I?

It"s evil. Evil?

What about this kid"s parents?

They had their fun and then they throw out the kid? They"re evil.

No, you"re wrong.

Look at the amulet on the kimono. It was left to protect the baby.

Think about what theywent through to abandon this baby.

I don"t have time to mind everyone"s feelings.

You selfish... What"s wrong with that?

Dogs are better off in this world.

Ifyou"re not selfish, you can"t survive.

Damn it.

Everyone is selfish and dishonest.

Making excuses.

The bandit, the woman, the man and you!

And you aren"t? That"s funny.

You may have fooled the court, but not me.

So what did you do with the dagger?

The valuable one with the pearl inlay that Tajomaru was talking about?

What happened to it? Did it disappear in the grass?

Ifyou didn"t, who stole it?

It seems I"m right.

A bandit calling another a bandit. Now that"s selfish.

Doyou have anything else to say?

Ifnot, I"ll be going.

What areyou doing? Taking what little it has left?

I have six kids ofmy own.

Another one wouldn"t make a difference.

I am ashamed ofwhat I said.

It"s inevitable to be suspicious ofothers on a day like this.

I"m the one who should be ashamed.

I don"t understand my own soul.

No, I"m grateful toyou.

Thanks toyou, I think I can keep my faith in man.

Don"t mention it.