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Kappa

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  2,333 ratings  ·  201 reviews
Kappa menggambarkan karikatur kehidupan masyarakat modern Jepang yang maju setelah mengalami zaman teknologi modern, tetapi mengalami kemerosotan derajat rohani. Makhluk kappa dan masyarakatnya merupakan buah imajinasi Ryunosuke Akutagawa.

Akutagawa dipandang sebagai salah satu sastrawan terkemuka Jepang. Banyak yang menganggapnya setara dengan Gustave Flaubert. Selain Kapp
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Paperback, 83 pages
Published June 20th 2016 by Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia (first published 1927)
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,333 ratings  ·  201 reviews


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Jim Fonseca
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A patient in a mental hospital tells anyone who will listen his story of chasing a Kappa in the woods, when he fell down a hole and landed in Kappaland, a parallel world to the one above. And, by the way, friends he made in Kappaland come back to visit him nightly.

What’s a Kappa? It’s a scaly, amphibious human-like mythical creature in Japanese culture. Kappas are small, so the furniture and houses the man visits makes him feels like he is in a nursery. Things that we take seriously, like death,
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Horace Derwent
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the book cover is so funny, kappas love cukes, they're crazed for cukes

whenever you see a kappa or kappas, throw a cuke to it/them if you don't wanna be caught and eaten by it/them. you should know kappas love to eat human anus in particular and some kappas have the penchant for copulating with young human female virgins by force and eating them at last

well, if y'dun hava cuke, fart to it/em. yes, to break wind, cuz human fart can very resultfully expel a kappa or kappas

the story is so full of r
...more
Rowena
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rowena by: Takahiro
Shelves: japanese-lit
This was a fascinating Japanese novella about a man who finds himself in the land of the mythical Kappa.He lives there quite peacefully with the Kappa, and begins to analyze his own society based on what he sees in the Kappaland. I found it quite fascinating, and it reminded me a bit of Gulliver's Travels. Of course, perhaps I would have appreciated the satirical elements better had I known more about Japan's society at the time.
Cody
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japanese-lit
Yes, it is a farcical satire; I get that. No, it didn't do much for me. Cut from the same lacking cloth as Animal Farm, this is too cute by half but not fuckable enough by 1/10th. Its allegory is heavy-handed and threadbare: y'mean, the kappa might actually be a commentary on...(gulp) us and our human peculiarities? Bah-bah-boring from Akutagawa, a master who did better elsewhere with pretty much everything he wrote before fulfilling the 20thC. Japanese author categorical imperative of killing h ...more
Ivana Books Are Magic
After not reading anything in what feels like forever (due to health problems), I put this book in my bag when I left home on Saturday. The plan was to try to read it during the day and I managed to see it through. Kappa was surprisingly easy to read, even in my 'sickly' state of being. I had no problems following the narrative. In fact, the writing style of this short novel is fairy simple. Nor does it takes a great effort to understand what it is about. The human satire, directed to Japanese s ...more
David
Oct 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: big-red-circle
"'Kappa' was born out of my disgust with many things, especially with myself."

A madman falls into Kappaland and recounts his adventures there. Akutagawa wrote it a year before his suicide and it's fairly clear he wasn't very happy.

"As I watched, the he-Kappa got her in his arms and bore her to the ground, their bodies locked in a tight embrace. They lay there together for a while. But when at last he stood up, there was a wretched look on his face that I can't quite put into words: it might hav
...more
Ryan O'grady
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this Ryunosuke Akutagawa novel presented a challenge. Not only did my lack of familiarity with this period of Japanese history leave me without some necessary cultural context, I was also keenly aware of the hand of the translator. Translating the nuances of the Japanese language is tricky, particularly in a literary work. I often found myself wondering whether an especially difficult section read more fluidly in the original text. Fortunately, Akutagawa’s masterful storytelling transcen ...more
W.B.
Aug 22, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I'm reading this in a book whose design is supernally beautiful. The artwork is inspired and memorable. It's the 1949 edition from Hokuseido Press. This was published in occupied Japan. Hokuseido released a number of Akutagawa titles and they are all keepers; Hell Screen, for example, includes two full-color gatefold illustrations on delicate paper. These books can be had for less expense than the cheap paperback current edition being advertised here...and you will have a collectible that will o ...more
Nate D
Despite the intriguing context (composed in self-disgust and fear of madness at the end of the life of one of Japan's pioneering modernists), subject (a kind of ethnography of the fanciful water spirits of the title) and presentation (the tale of a madman), this gets caught up in satire at the expense of any real narrative intrigue. An interesting note in the progression of the fantastic-surreal-subjective in world lit, but not really, to me, enjoyable on its own merits.
Sally ☾
I am going to be 100% completely honest and say that I have no clue what the hell I just read.
Ana
I didn't particularly enjoy this book because obviously the author borrowed many ideas from Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels". While the book contained few elements of novelty, I generally felt like I was reading the Japanese version of the previously mentioned book where the Lilliputians were replaced with Kappas. The present book however, although was also meant to be satirical, chose to talk about matters that in no way deserve to be mocked or ridiculed - that is, there is nothing wrong w ...more
Gabi Dincă
Kappa was written by Akutagawa in 1927, the same year he committed suicide. He was just 35 years old.
It tells the adventures of a mental patient in Kappaland, an alternate world where Kappas, water demons found in Japanese folklore, rule the show. He witnesses a lot of strange things in this universe where babies have a say before they are born, unemployed kappas are eaten by other kappas and female kappas hunt down male kappas to make them theirs.
It's a strange little book, but if you take the
...more
Mona
Oct 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Mona by: no one
MY MOST FAVORITE BOOK ALL THE TIME. This book was the reason why I fall in love in Ryunosuke Akutagawa and other Japanese novels.

Even if you do not have a thing about fiction novel, I am sure you are not gonna regret reading this one.

The first copy I had was damaged by a friend of mine, so I bought myself the second one. Few years later came the new version (the publisher combined Kappa with other Akutagawa's stories) and I bought it too.
Miriam Cihodariu
Dec 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan
This read was very touching, and a great deal more modern in both form and content than anything else I have read from Japanese authors, including contemporary ones. The style is one of funny witticisms, so what made it touching is the introduction I read before, detailing the author's life and some of the themes which obsessed him. Some of them are: the possibility of bad heredity, going mad, and the superiority of spirit displayed by great men of letters and intelligence who commit suicide, be ...more
Lisa M.
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I love Goodreads! I added this to my "to read" list after one of my friends on the website added it (that friend's profile is now defunct.) I doubt I would have ever heard of this Japanese book from 1927, let alone read it.

I was grateful for the edition my library had. It included a biography of the author, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, which was half the length of the brief novella. Unlike some readers, I always enjoy learning about the author's life. Artistic work should be able to stand alone without
...more
Michelle Yoon
Dec 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kappa is a very amusing book. Right at the beginning, we are introduced to the book by way of an ‘author’s preface’, where the ‘author’ tells us that he is merely writing down the story as narrated by a certain Patient No. 23 in a mental asylum. Patient No. 23 will tell his story, it is said, to anyone who is willing to listen.

His story is about this one time when he was out by himself on a summer’s day. There he had a surprise encounter with an odd creature that had a tiger’s face and a sharp b
...more
Tanja
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came across this book in a (really small) Japanese section of the library. I had never heard of it before, but I was in the mood for some short stories. I’m so, so happy I read it.

Kappa is the first and the longest story (50 pages). It’s told in first person by a patient in a mental hospital. He describes how he once decided to climb a mountain and on his way, he saw a creature called kappa. After falling and losing consciousness, he wakes up in a place where kappas live (kappa-town?). He stay
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Brandon Alan
Part critique of Japanese society in the 1920s, part exploration of Akutagawa's thoughts on death, religion and civilization at large. I can't help but imagine the Kappa as a cross between Gremlins and The Ferengi from Star Trek - they are definitely creatures of capitalism.

The Kappa ask their offspring, before leaving the womb, if they would like to be born and enter into the world. When this happens in the novel, the unborn child yells back that he would not like to be born and that the respo
...more
Spiros
Oct 17, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who take a morbid interest in morbid authors
Shelves: bins
In my edition, the introduction, in tight, closely spaced type, is half as long as the text, which is in larger, wider spaced type. This, in the words of Lucille Bluth ("Arrested Development"), does not bode well. And so it chanced. As satire, I found it to be heavy handed; as a look into the psyche of Akutagawa Ryunosuke in the brief time before he killed himself, I found it to be poignant, but I have never found suicide notes to be all that edifying. In fact, I found that the introduction, by ...more
Jodie
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of Kappa is clever, in depth and an interesting look into Japanese life - through Kappa. What's just as interesting is the translator's short biorgraphy of Ryunosuke Akutagawa's life. Without reading this, the story of Kappa might seem like a strange fairytale, but with this information we're offered a deeper analysis.
Toby
My entire experience of Akutagawa to date is the Kurosawa movie of Roshomon so I wasn't exactly prepared for the fable of Kappa.

In a story that could easily be inserted in to Gulliver's Travels we are transported by our narrator in to the fantastic world of the Japanese mythical creature that serves to satirise Japanese culture of the period.

With no Japanese history knowledge I cannot say whether it has aged well or whether it was a successful satire but it even so the style which it was written
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Lee
Oct 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, dreamday
note: somehow, I always feel that I already write a review for this book, yet I never find it..
weird.


Really, I can't remember why I gave this book 3 stars.
is it because the cover?
oh, my poor memory..
= \

I read this book almost 7 years ago (dang, time does fly...)
one thing I really remember is that this book made my brother freaked out.

It's a strange story.
Not whimsically strange, nightmarish strange.
The story made me laugh out loud, yet it is not a comfortable reading.

I know I can write a better
...more
Michael
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.

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.

As has been said by another reviewer, I
...more
Radrey
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was easy to read.

Although I was kinda expecting a throughline or some kind of character development with the main character of the book, I was handed Akutagawa's vision more like a ghost watching over this world of what makes the Kappa people Kappa.

I enjoyed it for the most part. The middle of it drags and goes more into the philosophy of what makes a Kappa. The entire book itself more or less feels like an excuse of a vehicle for the author to write his opinions about the outside wo
...more
Vincent Flock
Jan 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of Akutagawa's stories/novella's, Rashomon might be his most recognized title. This is ironic since the famous film of that title by Akira Kurosawa was in fact based on a different Akutagawa story entirely: Yabu no Naka. So Rashomon may have the unwarranted honour of being the most well-recognized, but Kappa may well be Akutagawa's most enjoyable. In it, one finds mordant satire, characters that are at once vile and endearing, and the dark comedy for which Akutagawa was known. Akutagawa (and the ...more
Kathryn
I found it entertaining. It was easy to follow for the most part, but I did feel like some of the deeper meanings went over my head. So I found myself rereading a paragraph over again to make sure I understood what the author was trying to say.

But yeah, I liked reading it. Pretty much read it all in one sitting. I loved all the Kappas and now I sorta want to visit Kappaland. It was neat that their beliefs and culture were opposite of ours in some aspects. Like the whole giving birth thing, and t
...more
Livy
The book was very good, and I deeply enjoyed it after reading it a second time. I didn't understand it at first because I skipped over the Author's preface assuming it a part of the 45 odd pages long introductory, which made the book very confusing. So don't skip the Author's Preface!
Some parts of the story seemed rather random too, and I had a hard time making sense of some of the parts of the Kappa culture like the poster with the 'evil heredity' and the political things that went on. I'm not
...more
Kaffa
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Kappa certainly was an enjoyable read. It was short and to the point. Most of it's lessons and morals are up to interpretation though. The beginning of the book tells us of the life of the author.
This shows how his life is much like the life of our narrator. I won't go into details on the specifics. I'm sure anyone who reads this will find a bit they like.
The only minor problem is the localization. This is somewhat understandable in the manner as it is translated in. But a Japanese novel should
...more
Andres Eguiguren
I wanted to like this strange satire from the author of Rashomon, but I am afraid I don't know enough about Japan in the 1920s to understand all the references being made in this tale told by the narrator, Patient No. 23 in an insane asylum, who falls into Kappaland and describes the habits and customs of these strange creatures. I did not read all of the introduction, but enough to find out that Akutagawa suffered from several symptoms of schizophrenia in the last year of his life, and he wrote ...more
Dylan Grant
The book starts off strong. A mentally ill man, obviously a caricature of the author, stumbles into a magical underground world inhabited by the japanese folkloric being known as the Kappa. Kappaland is a satire of Japanese society and while it works nicely at first, the book suffers from a severe lack of imagination. Kappaland resembles the Japanese society of Akutagawa's day far too much. What makes this frustrating is that whenever Akutagawa DOES decide to make it just a tad different, in ord ...more
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Akutagawa Ryūnosuke (芥川 龍之介) was one of the first prewar Japanese writers to achieve a wide foreign readership, partly because of his technical virtuosity, partly because his work seemed to represent imaginative fiction as opposed to the mundane accounts of the I-novelists of the time, partly because of his brilliant joining of traditional material to a modern sensibility, and partly because of fi ...more
“El idiota cree que todos son idiotas menos él.” 9 likes
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