[Today’s Japanese word “kappa” ]

"kappa" (river child or water demon)

Today’s Japanese word “kappa” (river child or water demon).

“Kappa” is one of the most famous “Youkai”(ghost or apparition) in Japan.
There is “the kappa legend” in the various parts of Japan.

“Kappa” is
– physique is like a child, the whole body is green or red
– a head has a plate, and plates always get wet with water.
– When the head plate is cracked or dry, “Kappa” lose force or die.
– Mouth is short beak.
– A back has the shell like a turtle.
– Hands and feet have a webbed.
– Lives in rivers and swamps.
– favorite food is cucumber
It is told with such a “Youkai”.

Japanese know many type “Kappa legend”.
For example, “Hero kappa” , “Bad kappa”, and so on.

In the legend of Taito-ku, Tokyo, “Sumida River kappa” has helped the construction of the bridge.
In addition, it is said to do business prosperity when watch the “Sumida River kappa”.
So, in Taito-ku, there is a temple “Sogenji” worshiping the “Kappa”.

But, some bad kappa pulls a child or animal to a river and the swamps.
The famous location is “Kappa-buchi” (Kapaabuchi Pool) of Tono City in Iwate Prefecture.
But, this bad kappa legend, has been often used to teach the danger of water to the children.

In your country, is there such a “Youkai”?

Statue of "Kappa Kawataro"  Stone statue of "Kappa"  "Kappa-buchi" (Kapaabuchi Pool) of Tono City in Iwate Prefecture.