Happy Halloween to everyone who celebrate it 🙂
Indonesian do not celebrate Halloween and that includes us, Indonesian Turtles…however,in the spirit of Halloween, we decided to introduce you to our one and only supernatural relative (at least he is the only one we know), Kappa ( 河童 )
Kappa is not one of Indonesian ghost like the one mommy shared in her tribute to Halloween. Kappa belongs to Japanese folklore. He is a water-like Goblin. In Japanese, he is considered as 妖怪 (Youkai – demon, spirit or monster)
Kappa has turtle-like shell, bird-like beak and webbed fingers and toes. But the most interesting part about Kappa physical is his ‘dish‘ on his head which surrounded by hair. The dish is filled with water. He must never spills the water because it will make him weak.
Based on Japanese Handbook of Mythology, Kappa is described as mischievous troublemakers. Their pranks range from the relatively innocent, such as loudly passing gas or looking up women’s kimonos, to the malevolent, such as drowning people and animals, kidnapping children, and raping women. But the one I often heard is about him eating the children. He also likes cucumber.
Although Kappa sometimes depicted as cruel creature but in some stories, he can be cute too…like the Kappa in Shinchan’s animation. See the green creature sitting on the right!
Kappa has an interesting weakness, Kappa is very polite. If someone bows to Kappa, he will immediately return the bow and in doing that, he will spill the water on his ‘dish’. That will make him weak. If that person fill the water to give his strength back, Kappa will feel indebted to that person and will serve that person all eternity.
As I said before, Kappa also likes cucumber. In a place where people believe it is invested with Kappa, parents will write their names and their children’s on cucumbers and toss it into the water so that they can bathe without any Kappa disturbing them.
There is a place called Kappabashi-dori (Kappa bridge) which believed to be inhabited by many Kappa,the people built Sougenji Kappa-Dera Temple to calm them down.
So…what do you think of our monster relative?
Here’s another cute Kappa for you 🙂