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Woodcutter- The woodcutter was the first person to find the murdered man's body. He found him 150
meters off the Yamashina stage road when he was off to do his daily routines. He claimed that the body was
lying flat on its back, wearing a bluish silk kimono. The woodcutter claimed that he had not found any
sword - the suspected murder weapon of the crime scene. Although, he had found a rope and a comb.

High Police Commissioner- He was in charge to investigate the murder and pinpoint the real criminal
through interviewing witnesses and suspects.

Buddhist Priest- The second man to be interviewed the High Police Commissioner. He claimed to have
spotted the murdered man still alive on a road from Sekiyama to Yamashina. The Priest added that the man
wasn't alone - there was a woman, that appeared to be the man's husband, accompanying him on horseback.
From his estimations, the woman was said to be around four feet, five inches. He also said that the man was
armed. A single sword, a bow, and a quiver holding twenty odd arrows.

Policeman- He brought forth Tajomaru, a man he arrested. The Policeman arrested Tajomaru for he claims
that this man was the criminal in the investigation. He claimed that the suspect was holding a bow and a
quiver of odd arrows when he was found. The Policeman also added that he spotted a horse grazing by the
roadside. In addition, he didn't fail to mention Tajomaru's passed crimes.

Old Woman- She is the mother of Takehiko's wife. She claimed that her son-in-law was a samurai in the
town of Kukufu in the province of Wasaka and he was of twenty-six years of age. Her daughter Masago, a
girl with a small, oval, dark-complected face with a mole at the corner of her left eye, was nineteen years

Tajomaru- The main suspect of the murder. He supposedly 'admitted' that he killed Takehiko in order to
keep his wife for himself. Although, Tajomaru hadn't really planned on killing Takehiko, until Masago had
asked for atleast one of the men to die. He claimed that they dueled to-the-death, but when he had emerged
victorious, Masago was nowhere to be found. He suspected that she ran away while the two men were busy
fighting for their lives.

Masago- The wife of Takehiko. She claimed that Tajomaru had been long gone when she supposedly picked
herself up and stabbed her husband with her own sword. She was supposed to follow him afterward, but
claimed that she must have fainted after the event had taken place.

Kanazawa no Takehiko- The man who was murdered- whose real killer was yet to be discovered. His side of
the story was told through a medium. After he watched his wife get violated by a robber, he was speechless.
He couldn't help but feel jealousy course through him and watch as the robber convince his wife to leave
him. He then watched helplessly as his wife begged for his life to be taken in order to marry the robber.
Unable to keep her tears to herself, Masago shrieked and dodged the robber's grasp as she ran away. The
robber then cut the bonds of Takehiko and ran away with his weapons. Lying where he was, Takehiko found
his wife's sword, reached for it, and stabbed himself. He didn't feel any pain, but was conscious enough to
register someone drawing out the sword from his chest.

B. Setting
The story was set in Tokyo, 150 meters off the Yamashina stage. It was about noon.

C. Point-of-View
The story was told through various first-person point-of-views.

D. Plot
A man in Tokyo was murdered; witnesses and suspects were interviewed in order to find the real criminal.
Two of whom admitted they killed the man, but none of which where truthful. In the end, the man's life was
really taken by his own hand.

In a Grove, a classic short story written by Japanese writer, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, tells the tale of a
murdered young samurai, from the perspectives of 7 different characters in the story.
The story of a young couple on a journey met by tragedy along the way is pieced together from the accounts
of 7 different people, questioned by the High Police Commission regarding the murder a woodcutter, a
policeman, a thief, a monk, the young samurais wife, the samurais wifes mother, and the murdered
samurais spirit, through a medium.
The story, as told by the 7 individuals, is simply about a young couple on a journey who had the bad luck of
meeting a thief along the way. The thief, who was not only interested in acquiring their possessions, also
coveted the young samurais wife. Posing as a travelling companion, the thief managed to get the couple to
a secluded grove in the forest, where the young samurai ends up being bound, and his wife ends up being
raped by the thief. In the end, the thief manages to leave the grove, the samurais wife somehow escapes,
and the samurai ends up dead.\
Each of the 7 individuals have their own version of who the young couple was, and what really happened in
the grove. A cross-reference of the 7 individuals stories show that each of them is lying about something,
but what and why? As each of them give their account of the tragic event, their sense of morality is
reflected in their version of the story, as well as their need for self justification.
In the course of reading the story and trying to solve the mystery, the readers sense of justice and morality
will also be put to the test as he/she chooses whose version he/she will believe, and why. And like the
characters in the book, the reader will probably find himself/herself trying to justify his/her chosen version
of what really happed on that fateful day, in the grove.


One morning, a woodcutter found a body in a grove in the mountain. The exact location was about
150 meters of the stage road, out-of-way grove of bamboo and cedar. The body war lying flat dressed in
Kimono with a single sword-stroke had pierced his breast. The woodcutter found only a rope and comb at
and a comb at a root of a cedar nearby. He added there must have been a battle as the grass and bamboo-
blades trampled all around.
When a Buddhist priest questioned by a commissioner, he said that the man, whose found in the
grove, was walking toward Sekiyama with a woman accompanying on horse back, and no other was his
wife. The Buddhist priest described everything he knew about her. Furthermore, he remembered the
unfortunate man armed with sword, bow, and about twenty arrows in his quiver.
One day the officer arrested a notorious brigand called Tajomaru whom also suspected for all clothes
and arms belonged to the man taken by Tajomaru. An old woman in Wakasa confessed the corpse was son-
in-law, and definitely the woman was her daughter. The man was a gentle disposition Samurai named
Takehiko and the woman was Masago.
Tajomarus Confession
Tajomaru confessed he murdered the man, but he denied killing the woman. He explained the
woman impressed him and burnt his desire. He made up his mind to capture the woman and began creating
this horrible plan. Firstly, he managed to impress the couple into the mountains. He simply told them he had
an old mound containing mirrors and swords then intended to sell them at a low price. Hearing this, the man
was caught by greed so he followed till they reached the face of the grove. Tajomaru asked them to come
into the grove which was bamboo only, but the woman decided to wait for them on the horseback. When
they arrived among the cedars, Tajomaru seized him from behind. Takehiko was quite strong, but there was
no help for him as being taken by surprise. Tajomaru tied him up to a root of cedars and gagged his mouth
with fallen bamboo leaves preventing him to call out.
Tajomaru went back to his wife and lay his husband suddenly taken sick. In the depth of the grove
she instantly caught a sight of her husband and drew a small sword. She slashed Tajomaru with her swords
many times, however, it was no use. At last he raped her without taking her husbands life.
In his confession, Tajomaru had no motivation to kill the man before the woman said that she would
marry the man whoever survived. Then, he decided to leave this place without killing the man. However, he
refused killing the man through unfair manner. Tajomaru untied him and told him to cross sword with, but
Takehiko launched a quick attack without speaking a word. The fight turned out with Tajomaru standing
still in the end. He turned toward her when he had beaten Takehiko. However, there was no sign of her. So,
he robbed sword, bow, arrows, and ran out to the mountain road.
The womans Confession
When Tajomaru picked her up to see her husband, she followed him. Reaching the place he laughed
mockingly at her bound husband. She ran towards his husband but she was knocked down. Then all she saw
was only eyes of cold and loathing from his husband. More struck by the look in his eyes than by the blow
of the thief, she called out despite herself and fell unconscious. After a while, all the things she found was
herself and her husband. He watched her cold contempt and hatred within.
She told him she couldnt be with him anymore, but she wouldnt let his husband lived as he had
seen her shame. She saw no weapons there to kill him because the sword, bow and arrows must have been
taken by the robber. Nevertheless, her small sword was lying at her feet. Neither conscious nor unconscious,
she stabbed it through his husbands kimono into his breast. She was trying to suicide but failure was only
she got. She couldnt end her life, on the other hand, she couldnt live as well with dishonor, killing her
husband and violated by the robber.
The Murdered Man Story
After seeing the robber raped his wife, Takehiko noticed him comforting her. He couldnt speak at
all whatever efforts he did. He saw his wife was just listening to the robber. He was lost in space but he
never thought of her answer without burning him with anger and jealousy. He watched his wife ran into the
depth of the grove while the robber failed to catch her. He took his sword, bow, and arrows then he cut one
of Takehikos bound with a single stroke. He just listened to his own crying. He took a small sword, which
his wife had dropped, and stabbed it into his own breast. He, however, didnt feel any pain, but darkness of

According to the theory, an investigation has an important role in searching for clues, facts, or
truth from criminal acts. In a Grove, the short story written by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, proves the theory
of investigation relates to the crime. These are the elaboration of the proof of the investigation procedures
through a short story titled In a Grove by Ryunosuke Akutagawa:
1. Complaint from the victim or witness
The story didnt tell there was a complaint from the victim, but it was stated implicitly that a witness report
what he found to the officers.
it was I who found the body in a grove in a hollow in the mountain
There was no statement showing that he made such complaint, however, without these statement, the
murder would never have been discovered. It means that the officers must have received a complaint or
report because there was no other witness besides the woodcutter who found the body.
2. The officer reports the higher commissioner about the crime
An officer must deliver crime report to the higher commissioner.
the time? It was the early hours of last night. You say that this bow and these arrows look
like the ones owned by the dead man?.........
Those were asked to an officer, so it has proved that a higher commissioner received a report from. The
officer reported whatever he knew and had done to this crime complaint.
3. The interview of the witness(s)
Different statements or point of view possibly occurs here as they have some reasons to ensure that what
they were telling is true.
the body was lying flat on its back dressed in a blue silk kimono and wrinkled head-dress
of the Kyoto stylea scarf hanging from her head hid her face from view the man was armed
with a sword as well as a bow and arrows
According to the theory a witness doesnt have any interest to create a lie in order to deceive or
exaggerate the fact; it would be discovered easily for being compared to the evidence.
4. The interrogation of the suspect(s)
.........I killed him, but not her......no torture can make me confess what I dont know......I wont keep
anything from you.........
From this statement, the suspect stated he told the truth. Truth isnt gained for his confidence but it depends
on the existing evidence.
5. The officer arrests any suspect(s)
...when I arrested him, he had fallen off his horse
This proved that the officer found suspicious person so he arrested him.


From the explanation on the previous chapter, evidence collection and preservation can help in
identifying potential suspect(s).During investigation, investigators may lie, mislead, and psychologically
pressure a suspect into an ad
mission or confession as long as they do this within procedural boundaries and without the threats of
violence or promises outside their control. The existing of physical evidence in investigation provides leads
to closing a case.
In conclusion, investigation, including evidence obtained, interviews, and interrogation, will prove
that everyone both suspect(s) and witness(s) tell the truth, and who is guilty. This analysis also proves that
Japanese Investigation procedures at the period of the story and International Investigation ones at present
are the same.

Read more: http://viknovi.blogspot.com/2012/08/analysis-hin-grove-short-story-by.html#ixzz384L1wPmO

Akutagawa's "In a Grove"

Narrative Point of View
The form of the story is seven dramatic monologues. A dramatic monologue is a
form of one-sided dialogue in which a speaker interacts with someone else who is
also speaking, but his words are never directly given. In the first dramatic dialogue,
the Woodcutter addresses a Commissioner who asks him questions, which we only
know indirectly by means of the Woodcutter's responses: "Yes, Sir. .....You ask me
if I saw a sword or any such thing?" Each of the dramatic monologues has a
highlighted title--for example, THE TESTIMONY OF A WOODCUTTER
Third-Person narration. But the content of the seven testimonies is First-Person
narration. Each of the seven is a personal testimony, which is, by definition, first-
The plot is simply the juxtaposition of contradictory accounts of the events in the
grove. It is not a detective or mystery plot. Not about who done it or about the truth
of what happened. Simply a presentation of the differing accounts of the same
event by the Woodcutter, the Bandit, the Wife and the Husband. There is no
The primary setting is the court of the Police Commissioner. The place and time
aren't defined. The setting of the rape? and death is a rather non-specific grove.
There is no main character. Each of the characters tells a story that about what
happened in the grove. However, the story is not about the characters--who's lying,
who's truthful.
There are no major symbols in the story.
The story has no clear theme. It simply presents four stories that contradict each
other. What are we to make of it? There is not enough evidence in the story to
suggest a simple meaning such as "there is no truth about what happened." Any
detective could solve the mystery rather easily by examining the wound and cross-
examining the witnesses. Is the story about the unreliablility of eye-witnesses? We
can say that each of the speakers presents himself/herself in a favorable light. Is the
story an ironic commentary on the self-interested narture of story-telling? The
story leaves us pondering its meaning.