Apr 21, 2011

The Rashomon Effect


Happy News!! I have moved to www.vanitymoments.com

If you are not knowledgeable in world classic films of the yesteryears, there is little possibility for you to understand about Rashomon Effect. It is the effect of the subjectivity of perception on recollection, by which observers of an event are able to produce substantially different but equally plausible accounts of it, so defines Wikipedia. In simple terms, it is the state in which two or more people, who have gone through the same situation, giving different and sometimes contradictory accounts of the individual experience. The term is coined after the Japanese classic movie ‘Rashomon’ (1950), directed by the ace film maker Akira Kurosawa.

Machiko Kyō in RashomonNow let me invite you to my own day-to-day affairs to see how the Rashomon Effect marked a record in my life. Before proceeding, I strongly advise you to just scan the story of a natural food corner which I found in my new city. In that article, I had described, how tastily was I felt the variety of vegetarian food provided by the friendly supplier there. 

I received a lot of enquiries regarding the location of the food corner from my net buddies as well as from the office mates. One evening, while I was sitting in the food corner with my mate X-EN-Tric, I got a call from the Creative Guy, my colleague whom you have met in the posts tagged under the label Workplace Affairs. He wanted to come to the food corner with his dear wife, as they were en route to home after the routine city jaunt. 

“Is this a comfortable place for women?,” he inquired and I replied in the affirmative.
Toshirō Mifune and Machiko Kyō in Rashomon

Within the lapse of a few seconds, the Creative Guy appeared at the entrance of the eatery accompanied by his wife (now what’s her name? Ok! The Creative Girl!). I saw sparkle in their eyes; both of them are with much hopes and dreams about the wonderful dinner they are going to have, I thought.

The Creative Guy and the Girl chose a table at the corner, which they found as comfortable, and with smiles on faces, they ordered something that they felt appealing. Sitting at our table, we watched them, and especially I was anxious to know the result of the food which I recommended. 

I watched the changing expression of the Creative Guy with each bite. He was struggling really hard to swallow the food. Creative Girl also did not find the food satisfactory, which I could read from the way she tried to eat the Chapati with several gulps of water. 

With a pathetic expression, the Creative Guy looked at me and said shaking his head,

Akira Kurosawa at work“Nice food, really tasty!”. 

Let’s examine why this difference in experience happened. In the first phase, a person that is myself, who daily eats from the hotels, which supplies junk foods, goes to a new place in the city that provides natural food and finds the food there very tasty. Whereas in the second phase, a person, the Creative Guy, who daily eats the home-made food, goes to the same place, recommended by a person like me, who felt this place entertaining, and finds the food does not offer that much variety.

What happened was the difference in perception. And thus, the Rashomon Effect is proved correct.

In pictures: Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon (1950).
In last picture: Director Akira Kurosawa at work.

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