Everything you need to understand or teach Rashōmon (short story) by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa.
Shinsuke is widely acknowledged as a thinly-veiled persona for author Akutagawa himself. Shinsuke grew up in Honjo, a poor and run-down district in Tokyo, and the boy comes to like the area more than richer areas. A formative event for Shinsuke occurs when he and his father go to a much-frequented bank on a river, and they discover a dead body floating in the water. This upbringing and event can perhaps explain Akutagawa's interest in the macabre, as with the dead bodies in "Rashomon."
Shinsuke was raised on cow's milk rather than his mother's milk, and he carries this fact like a secret shame throughout much of his early childhood. This fact also perpetuates an unbridled, unreasonable hate—towards his parents, towards himself—that Shinsuke acknowledges he bears into his adulthood. Afterwards, Shinsuke learns that Romulus the founder...
Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories Lesson Plans contain 101 pages of teaching material, including: