On December 11th, 2008 the Oxford English Dictionary went through its latest update, this one concentrating on the words within the range from ran to reamy. Among the new entries are ‘Rashomon’ (n.), ‘Rashomon-like’ (adj.) and ‘Rashomon-style’ (adj. and adv.), all taking their original reference from the Akira Kurosawa movie.
The dictionary’s Principal Editor, Graeme Diamond wrote the following about the noun in his notes:
An indication of the wealth and variety of influences which are at work on the English language, as Japanese cinema gives us this word, which alludes to the method of storytelling used in Akira Kurosawa’s 1951 film of this name, and is used attributively to denote things involving multiple conflicting or differing perspectives. The underlying simile is first invoked in English in the adjective Rashomon-like, which dates back to 1962, and is also included in this release of new and revised OED text.
The Oxford English Dictionary is often considered to be the most authoritative dictionary of the English language. The inclusion of ‘Rashomon’, while in no way making it more of a word than before, is nevertheless a nice measure of the influence that Kurosawa’s art has had and continues to have on the world.
Thanks to David Brake’s blog for the heads-up.
30 January 2009