Kappa is one of Japan's best known an amphibious supernatural imaginary creature.
It lives in or near the water of the river or pond or broad or sea throughout the Japanese archipelago except Hokkaido.
It is thought to be a transformation of a water deity formerly worshipped extensively.
The description and name of the kappa vary from region to region.

Generally it is beliebed to be about a 12 to 13- year-old children with a very short bob hair.
A saucer-like depression brimming with water on the top of the head.
When the supply of water diminishes or the saucer is broken, the kappa's supernatural power is impaired and if it's dry, it will die.
It has a pointed muzzle, webbed hands and feet, a shell on its back, a slimy slippery body covered with blue-green
scales, and emits a fishy odor.

name of the kappa
Gappa, Garappa, Kawataro, Gataro, Gawantaro. Kawarakozo, Kawarabozu, Kawaso, Kawanotono,
Kawanton, Kawanonushi, Honko, Yunkosan, Engozaru, Medochi, Game, Hyosumbo, Komahiki, etc


The kappa is quite mischievous and causes troubles. But it's also a charmer that you can't really hate.
It pulles passer-by or horses at the waterside into the water and sometimes grabs the victim and tears out
organs like a liver through the anus.
It also ruins fields, but on the other hand, it helps with rice planting and irrigation.
It loves cucumbers and to play sumo wrestling. so much.

The kappa likes cucumbers. Do you know sushi which called "kappa-maki (kappa roll)"? This is the reason. The Kappa loves to play sumo.

relaxation The kappa is very good at swimming..

pictures courtesy of Ogawa Wsen Museum


Here is an interesting poem "Kappa" by Tanikawa Shuntaro.
This is a kind of word play. Enjoy the rythm.


Kappa Kapparatta
Kappa Rappa Kapparatta

Kappa Nappa Katta
Kappa Nappa Ippa Katta
Katte Kitte Kutta

Kappa snached.
Kappa snached a bugle

Kappa bought grees.
Kappa bought grees a lot.
Bought, cut and ate


old sayings or expression

1 Kappa no kawanagare
(lit.: A kappa is washed down stream)
The best swimmer sometimes gets drownes.
Even the experts make mistakes
Even Homer sometimes nods.
2 Kappa ni suiren
(lit.: lecturing to the kappa how to swim)
Teaching something to someone who knows more than you Teaching your grandmother to suck eggs
3 Oka ni agatta Kappa
(lit.: A kappa on dry land)
Changed surroundings prevent the exercise of someone's abilities -
4 He no Kappa
(lit.: wind of the kappa)
"He no Kappa" is reversal of "Kappa no he"(̛͓j
There are several stories. One is .....
"Kappa no he" maybe came from "Koppa no hi"(؂[̉) which means "fire of wood shavings".
The fire of wood shavings doesn't last long time.
Then it has a meaning of "trivial matter".
However the real origin is unknown..
A cinch /No sweat !/
A piece of cake !