I just finished a book of short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa. This Japanese author committed suicide in 1927 after writing hundreds of poems and stories. Some of his stories are so haunting that the images will be seared into your brain forever. Rashomon is one of these. It is almost as if the author is an omnipotent being hovering over the scenes providing a running commentary on medieval Japanese life. After reading this slim volume, I do have one imperative. I must try some yam gruel.