by Ryunosuke Akutagawa (2006). Eighteen short stories of this existentialist Japanese writer, born of a schizophrenic mother, who lived in the first third of the 20. century. Intense, gripping, nightmarish – I read them when jet-lagged, returning from Narita – psychological, they don’t leave you with much, except the wind and loneliness. He did killed himself at age 35; it clearly prefigures here (“It is unfortunate for the gods that, unlike us, they cannot commit suicide.”) Kurosawa’s epnymous movie is taken from Akutagawa’s story In a bamboo grove.