Japanese writer Ryunoske Akutagawa makes it difficult to distinguish the differences between illusion and reality. “It suited his ironic taste to play the illusionist who leaves his audience staring blankly into a mirror”. We see this in Akutagawa story “In a Grove” because each of three main characters gives conflicting confession, and each have a motivation to possibly lie.
Tajomaru was the first of the three main characters to confess, and throughout his confession he is motivated to establish a greater reputation for himself knowing he has nothing to lose. Tajomaru willingly confesses to the police commissioner that he was the one who murdered Takehiko. He later elevates himself to the same level as the police commissioner. “Am I the only one who kills people? You, you don't use your swords. You kill people with your power, with your money. Sometimes you kill them on the pretext of working for their good. It's true they don't bleed. They are in the best of health, but all the same you've killed them. It's hard to say who is a greater sinner, you or me”. By elevating himself to the same status as the commissioner he is making himself an equal to justify that both of them are murderers and that they are the same. Tajomaru also told the police commissioner that he untied Takehiko before there battle. “I untied him and told him to cross sword”. In this quote Tajomaru wants to be view as a fair and honorable person. He further establishes his reputation when he described the battle he had with Takehiko. “It took the husband “the twenty-third strokes... please remember this. I'm impressed with this fact still. Nobody under the sun has ever clashed swords with me twenty strokes.” This description can be exaggerated by Tajomaru because he also wants to be remembered as a great swordsman. Base on
Tajomaru’s confession his motivation to lie is to create a greater legacy for himself, and to be remembered as a great warrior.
After arriving at the temple Masago confesses to a Buddhist priest, and her confession can also be a lie. In her confession Masago see herself as a victim of both men because they both damaged her emotionally. Masago confesses that Tajomaru violated her. “After forcing me to yield to him, laughed mockingly as he looked at my bound husband”. This quote shows that...