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Tajomaru

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Tajomaru

Tajomaru, as portrayed by Toshiro Mifune.

Tajomaru is the villain in Ryunosuke Akutagawa's short novel Yabu no Naka (In a Grove) and Akira Kurosawa's film adaptation from 1950, Rashomon (which actually uses Akutagawa's homonymous tale for the setting). The character was played by Toshiro Mifune.

He is a noted young bandit who is known, among other things, for being a womanizer. In the story, he is captured after unknowingly drinking infected water from a spring and judged for the murder of a samurai and the raping of his wife. Though these charges can not be confirmed, Tajomaru is wanted for other crimes as well, so he proudly claims having had sex with the woman (not neccesarily rape) after subduing her and immobilising her husband, whom he later killed in an intense swordfight. This is, however, inconsistent with the versions of the woman, the samurai (who speaks through a medium) and a witness lumberer, which contradict each other too, and in the end it is not clear whether the man commited suicide, died fighting Tajomaru, or was killed by his wife out of anguish, which goes to show people often stick to the truth that better suits them and thus we have to be very careful when trying to make facts out of words.

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