Cedar Park, Texas - Today we take a look at a bizarre Yokai (Japanese ghost) called Kappa. These strange beings have been featured in anime, movies, and manga alike--and although it's typically a negative thing to come into contact with one of these; you can't help but gaze at their unique appearance. Before we explore the different versions of the Kappa, here's a definition:
Kappa - A kappa (河童, river child), also known as kawatarō (川太郎), komahiki (駒引, horse puller), or kawatora (川虎, river tiger) is an amphibious yōkai demon or imp found in traditional Japanese folklore. They are typically depicted as green, human-like beings with webbed hands and feet, with a turtle shell like carapace on its back. A depression on its head called its "dish" (sara) retains water, and if this is damaged or its liquid is spilled the kappa is severely weakened. The kappa are known to favor cucumbers and love to engage in sumo wrestling. They are often accused of assaulting humans in water and removing a mythical organ called the shirikodama from their victim's anus. There are more than eighty other names associated with the kappa in different regions, including kawappa, gawappa, kawako, gatarō, mizuchi.
Such a strange and distinct legend had to have sprang up from somewhere right? The Kappa, however, is more accurately described as the Kawa no Kami 川の神 (River Deity), a term mentioned in the Nihon Shoki 日本書紀 (Chronicles of Japan), one of Japan's earliest official records, compiled around 720 AD. Some believe the Kappa, who didn’t appear as a popular icon until much later in the Edo Period (1615-1868), is none other than the river deity Kawa no Kami.
The defining characteristic of the Kappa is the hollow cavity atop its head. This saucer-like depression holds a strength-giving fluid. Should you chance upon the quarrelsome Kappa, please remember to bow deeply. If the courteous Kappa bows in return, it will spill its strength-giving water, making it feeble, and forcing it to return to its water kingdom.
These mystical creatures are said to be responsible for a lot of the drownings in rivers where they supposedly live, especially when it comes to small children. They would sneak up on unsuspecting victims from under the water and drag them under the water to drown them.
Where have you seen this strange, mythological creature? Anime, manga, or maybe in a video game, somewhere? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org