Davis Edits Book Offering Various takes on Kurosawa Classic Rashomon

Routledge recently published the anthology Rashomon Effects: Kurosawa, Rashomon and Their Legacies, co-edited by Blair Davis. The book examines the cultural and aesthetic impacts of Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film Rashomon, as well as the director’s larger legacies to cinema, its global audiences and beyond. It demonstrates that these legacies are not only cinematic and artistic, but also cultural and cognitive. The book moves from an examination of one filmmaker and his immediate social context in Japan, and goes on to explore how an artist’s ideas might transcend their cultural origins to ultimately provide global influences.

Chapters include new work by Stephen Prince, Andrew Horvat, Janice Matsumura, Robert Anderson, Jan Walls, Jef Burnham and Nur Yalman. It also contains some of the last published work from the late Donald Richie, one of the foremost experts on Japanese cinema.

Davis and his co-editors, Robert Anderson and Jan Walls, describe how "the essays in this volume address issues beyond the realm of Rashomon within film studies, and center around the Rashomon effect which itself has become a widely recognized English term referring to significantly different perspectives and interpretations of different eyewitnesses to the same dramatic event. The dual figures of ripples and circles comprise the organizing image and principle of this book. The ripples represent the creative energy caused by each new iteration of the Rashomon principle, namely that any event or process usually involves more than one take, and indeed at times multiple, inconsistent, and even conflicting takes. In this book, we describe the continuing and spreading results of an event or action as ripples. Like the ever-expanding ripples moving across water when an object is dropped into it, a ripple effect occurs when there is incremental movement outwards from an initial state. This image has also been applied in financial markets to describe the impact of an event and how it circulates through the players in the industry and its effect on stock price and stock coverage. While the movement of the ripples represents the continuing and vibrant influence of Rashomon effects into the twenty-first century, the circles represent specific events, such as the publication of a new script, a particular production, or a remake."