How do the testimonies of different witnesses match up?

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The short story "In a Grove" by the Japanese writer Ryunosuke Akutagawa, also known as Ryunosuke Nihara, is written in an unusual style. It consists of the testimonies of seven witnesses to a police commissioner during a murder investigation, each of whom tells their own version of what they saw. The last witness is the ghost of the murdered man, as expressed through a medium. The most efficient way to answer this question is to read the story carefully, analyze what information each witness gives, and then compare the different accounts.

The first testimony is by the woodcutter who finds the body. He reports discovering it in a grove of cedars and bamboos about 150 yards from the road. According to the woodcutter, "a single sword-stroke had pierced the breast." The blood had already dried, so it had not happened recently. Nearby he found a comb and a rope.

The second testimony is by a traveling Buddhist priest. He reports seeing the murdered man before he was killed walking along the...

(The entire section contains 569 words.)

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