Anderer on Kurosawa's Rashomon



Kurosawa, Rashomon, Paul Anderer, Columbia University, Donald Keene Center, Japan, NYC

Anderer on Kurosawa’s Rashomon

Friday, December 2 at 6:00 p.m.

Columbia University – Kent Hall, Room 300, C.V. Starr East Asian Library (1140 Amsterdam Avenue at W. 116th Street)

Admission: Free

Columbia University is celebrating the publication of Professor Paul Anderer’s recent book, Kurosawa’s Rashomon: A Vanished City, A Lost Brother, and the Voice Inside His Iconic Films. Anderer is Mack Professor of Humanities, Professor of Japanese Literature, Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University.

A filmmaker of international renown, Akira Kurosawa and the story of his formative years remain as enigmatic as his own most famous film. Anderer investigates the driving forces that shaped and forged Kurosawa’s artistic vision: the Great Earthquake of 1923 and the dynamic energy that surged through Tokyo in its wake; the destruction of the city again in the fire-bombings of 1945; and finally, the specter and the voice of a gifted and troubled older brother—himself a star in the silent film industry—who took Kurosawa to see his first films, and who led a rebellious life until his desperate end. Anderer’s book, like this talk, addresses how a film like Rashomon came to be, and why it endures to illuminate the shadows and the challenges of our present.


  • Haruo Shirane, Shincho Professor of Japanese Literature and Culture and Chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • David Lurie, Associate Professor of Japanese History and Literature and Director of the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture
  • Geoffrey O’Brien, Editor in Chief of the Library of America and author of The Phantom Empire
  • Paul Anderer, Mack Professor of Humanities and Professor of Japanese Literature

Co-sponsored by the Orient Finance Co. Endowment for the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture, the University Seminar on Japanese Culture, the Heyman Center for the Humanities, the Society of Fellows in the Humanities, and the Deans of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Followed by a reception.

Please RSVP by sending an email to

For more information, please visit the Donald Keene Center’s website.