Author: Ryunosuke Akutagawa
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 stays there (because in the world of kappas, humans don’t have to work, so they like it there).
I absolutely loved this story. It’s written as a satire of Japanese society. The descriptions of the kappa civilization are amazing and amusing:
– kappa fetuses get to chose if they want to be born
– when a kappa girl likes a kappa guy, she literally chases him until she catches him
Other short stories in this collection are:
– Tobacco and the Devil
– The Nose
– The Handkerchief
– Teacher Mori
– A Ball
Also, in the library card for this book, it says it’s been there since 1960s and I’m only the fifth person to check it out of the library. What? People, this book is amazing. Seriously, read it.