This is an original dramatic adaptation of several of
Ryunosuke Akutagawa's short stories, made famous by Akira Kurosawa's award winning film Rashomon in 1950. The play is an existential murder mystery set on the outskirts of Kyoto during the twelfth century when earthquakes, fires and famine sent the capital into an extraordinary decline. Rashomon, formally a majestic gate to the city, has fallen into ruins and become shelter to the down trodden. One evening, a colorful band of unsavory characters has gathered beneath the gate to wait out a rainstorm and begin talking about an unusual criminal trial. A bandit was accused of having murdered a samurai who was passing through a bamboo grove with his wife. Testimony was heard from the bandit, the samurai's wife and, through a medium, the samurai himself. Each story is so detailed and credible, that it is impossible to tell which one is true. The very nature of truth and reality is questioned.