Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 30th, 2007
And you thought those Mutant Ninja Turtles came out of the blue? Or only some fictional sewers?
* Favorite things to eat — cucumber, fish
* Least favorite things — ironware, deer antlers, saliva
Key to the above drawing:
2) Webbed hands and feet
3) Elastic arms
4) Plate (When there is water in this plate, the Kappa has amazing strength.)
5) A tapering mouth
Kappas have been reported in Japan for centuries, being an important part of the folklore and, apparently, the real world, for the locals who see them in and near the water. The traditional kappas–the so-called “reedbed men”–are described as amphibious with a monkey’s head, three-toed webbed feet, three fingers, triangular eyes, long pointed ears, and a “shell” on its back–definitely resembling a bipedal, humanlike primate, in other words. Stories of the Japanese hairy merman, the mu jima, appear to be linked to traditions of the kappa.
Some parts of Japan promote the notion that the kappa are still very much around. In the tourist literature for the highland town of Tono, in the Iwate Prefecture in northern Japan, guests are told they might just see some kappa, described as “meddlesome water imps given to seducing maidens and eating horse livers.” — from The Field Guide of Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates, page 138