The Kappa is a creature from Japanese folklore described as a scaly, child-sized being with a face like a tiger and a sharp, pointed beak.
In the hands of Ryunosuke Akutagawa, one man's journey to 'Kappaland' becomes the vehicle for a critique of Japanese life and customs in the tradition of Swift and Kafka.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 144 pages
- Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers
- Publication Date: 01/09/2009
- Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780720613377
Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.
Review by Michael.Rimmer
I enjoyed Kappa, although I'm not sure that I entirely "got it". Maybe I don't know enough about Japanese society in the 1920s to recognise the social mores Akutagawa is satirising. That said, there was enough universally relevant stuff to keep me interested: swipes at capitalism and greed; artistic pretension, et al.<br/><br/>There is an obvious poignancy about the suicide scene and the knowledge that Akutagawa took his own life a few months after writing this book.<br/><br/>As has been said by another reviewer, I found the introduction and its brief biography to be more interesting than the work it prefaced.<br/><br/>Kappa has left me wanting to delve deeper into Akutagawa's work. I'll have to read some more of his stuff and then come back to this again, I think.