Kappa (JP: 河童)
• About this Yokai:
kappa are strange little water imps from that go by many names and appearances across Japanese folklore - Along side other greats such as the Tengu, Kitsune, Tanuki & Oni, Kappa are among the best known & widely spread Yokai, its said that there is a unique variation of kappa for every prefecture across Japan! - Their names, Lore and appearances vary depending the region: They live close to lakes & rivers & will pray on children that get too close: as such these days they're popularly used on "DANGER: don't swim here signs" & drowning victims are often said to be (metaphorically) victims of kappa attacks.
A Kappas favourite snack is cucumbers (That's the reason why cucumber rolls: kappa maki, are named as they are.) – its a common luck charm to carve your family name onto a cucumber and throw it into the water before swimming, just to be safe.
Kappa are very adept At sumo wrestling (but their arms apparently come off very easily!!!) if you bow to a kappa, they will be compelled to bow back! (its only polite) but If a kappas head dish becomes dry, they won't be able to move.
Shirikodama: (JP: 尻子玉) - Kappa are known to be fixated on a mysterious spirit orb called a "shirikodama" (Literally "butt ball") which is apparently located near inside the human anus behind the liver. – what they do with the orb changes frequently, its often said to be their favourite snack, a way to gain power, or as an offering to ryujin (the god of the sea.) - ironically, kappa actually cannot stand the smell of human flatulence, so if one ever gets too close to you Fart. Fart like crazy and they'll leave you alone. - It's also said that some Kappa have 3 anuses and are better at expelling gas than any human. – [see last couple pics] – The expression/figure of speech "Heno Kappa" (JP: へのカッパ) is used somewhat like "Easy Breezy" or "Piece of Cake."
its often said that kappa migrate to the mountains when the seasons change, there are several different yokai that are thought to be migratory versions of kappa. - See my kappa variants for some of these and more!