Documentation of a Kappa, supposedly found during the 1800s in Japan.
Aliases: Kawataro (river boy), Kawako (river-child), Hyosube (variation of kappa, covered in hair)
The kappa, from Japanese lore, is named after the famous river god, Kappa. The Japanese consider the Kappa one of many water gods, or suijin. The name Kappa itself means “river-child.” The Kappa is described a monkey figure who is about two to three feet tall, covered with green, yellow, or blue scales from head to toe, and equipped with a tortoise shell on his back. He has webbed feet and hands, a nose that resembles a beak, and sometimes he is depicted with pointed ears.
He has indentation on top of his skull-like head that looks like a bowl. It is filled with a weird clear jelly which is believed to be his source of power. He has short black hair that circles around the jelly-like indentation. They are expert swimmers and smell like fish. A variation of the Kappa is covered in hair and is called a Hyosube.
The Kappa is often found living in swampy areas or other bodies of water, such as ponds, lakes, and rivers. It is very vicious and enjoys taunting the living into deep water where they drown. Once the victim is trapped in the water and drowns, the Kappa will enter the human’s body through the anus where he drinks the blood and sucks on the entrails. It isn’t unusual if parts of the flesh are eaten as well. The Kappa also finds the liver irresistible. There is a known phenomena that when I a person dies a drowning death, their anus will often swell. The Japanese explained this as being caused the kappa.
The Kappa also loves pranks and is very mischievous. He will look up women’s kimonos, steal crops, steal children, and often passes gas quite loudly. Children are one of the kappa’s favorite meals, even though he will eat adults as well.
Scaring Away the Kappa
The Kappa can be scared away or confronted. The Kappa is afraid of fire and some villages will have a festival each year filled with fireworks to scare the spirits away. It can also be confronted by being polite. If someone comes face to face with the Kappa, one can bow and the Kappa will want to be polite back and bow in return. This will cause the Kappa to spill the jelly-like substance that is in his head. When the substance leaves his bowl, he cannot move and will stay in the bowed position until water from the river fills his head again. However, if a human refills the bowl, the Kappa will serve the human for the rest of its life.
The Kappa’s Missing Arm
In different folk tales about the kappa, it oftens tells the tale of a Kappa that loses an arm while attacking something. It then goes on a hunt for an arm and promises people different favors in exchange for an arm. It may promise not to attack local people anymore or teach people how to heal a sickness. They can also perform duties for humans such as farming, medicine, and bone setting, which is an ancient practice similar to chiropractic care or physical therapy.
The Kappa loves Cucumbers!
It is believed that the Kappa is interested with human civilization and can both speak and understand Japanese. They sometimes befriend humans and will exchange gifts such as cucumbers. They would rather eat cucumber than children. Many times if a family wanted to bathe in the waters which belonged to Kappas, they would write their names on cucumbers and throw them in the water to allow the family to bathe. There is even sushi filled with cucumber named Kappamaki, after the famous kappa.
Uses in Japanese Culture
There is an expression that the Japanese use today, they say “kappa no kawa nagare” which means “a kappa drowning in a river,” which refers to the idea that even a clever person can make a mistake.
Kappa, the Extraterrestrial
Kappa encounters have been recorded in South America along with UFO sightings. They are believed to be extraterrestrials. Eyewitnesses claim that they don’t take blood directly from humans, but can take energy, similar to the chupa-chupa attacks. People feel weak, anemic, and sometimes faint after the Kappa steals the energy from them.