Citing the definition of an online encyclopedia:
Kappas are about the size of a human child (kappa means "river child"; it's alternate names are kawataro "river boy" and kawako "river child"). Their bodies are described as monkey- or frog-like, with a turtle's carapace. Their faces have been described as apelike, but often have a turtle's beak or duck's bill. They have scaly skin, webbed hands and feet, and are green or [grey]blue in color. What they all have is that fringe of hair, and in the middle of that fringe a depression filled with water.The kappa has been described as a sprite or water imp; in the Shinto religion it is considered one of the suijin, or water gods, not unlike the nymphs of Greco-Roman mythology. In Japanese popular use they are Nursery Bogies, like the English Jenny Greenteeth or Peg Powler, warning children away from bodies of water in which they would be in danger of drowning. Kappas are said to be fond of eating little children, but also occasionally adults; the way to placate them is to throw cucumbers with the names of family members etched into them into the water. Cucumbers are the only things kappas like eating more than humans
Thursday, March 17, 2011
As Shirozaki approached the children, he was struck by how bizarre they appeared in the moonlight. He could make out swarthy faces, unusually spindly arms and legs, and glistening skin. Suspicious, Shirozaki called out to them as he neared, but they seemed startled and quickly disappeared into the water.
The next morning when he returned to the same spot, Shirozaki discovered a set of moist, teardrop-shaped footprints on the nearby pavement. The prints, which appeared to consist of a slimy substance that had begun to coagulate under the hot morning sun, stretched for about 20 meters. Each footprint measured 22 centimeters (about 10 in) long and 12 centimeters (5 in) wide, and they were spaced about 50 to 60 centimeters (about 2 ft) apart.
Shirozaki and a few curious onlookers immediately suspected the footprints belonged to a kappa. People began to gather around as the news spread quickly through town, and all agreed the prints belonged to a kappa. In the minds of many residents, the footprints confirmed the existence of the river imps they knew through local legends.
When police forensic investigators arrived on the scene, they determined that the slimy footprints consisted of an unknown secretion. They took a sample to the lab for analysis, but the results unfortunately turned out to be inconclusive because the sample was too small. The police eventually dropped their investigation, and the mystery of the slimy footprints was never solved.
THE UNCLEAN GUEST
Another recent kappa encounter occurred on June 30, 1991 in the town of Saito in Miyazaki prefecture, when an office worker named Mitsugu Matsumoto and his wife Junko returned home for the evening. Upon opening the front door, the Matsumotos were confronted with a strange smell inside their home. Inside, they found dozens of small, wet footprints around the front door and in the hallway, bathroom, and two tatami rooms. At first they suspected a burglar, but they soon realized nothing had been stolen.
The police briefly surveyed the house, but found nothing except a floor soiled by 30 footprints, each measuring about 7 centimeters long and 6 centimeters wide, and having 4 or 5 toes. To Matsumoto, the footprints did not look human, nor did they appear to belong to any animal he could imagine.
Later that night, as Mrs. Matsumoto was putting laundry away, she discovered an unusual orange stain on some clothing. The next morning, as Matsumoto inspected the house more closely, he discovered a deposit of orange liquid on the portable stereo in the tatami room. He took a sample to the local public health center for analysis, and the results indicated the liquid had an extremely high iron content and a chemical composition resembling spring water.
Troubled by the incident, Matsumoto decided to visit a shaman. After listening to Matsumoto's story, the shaman encouraged him not to worry, explaining that the kappa indigenous to the nearby swamp enjoyed playing the occasional prank on local residents. The kappa were harmless, the shaman told him.
Harmless, perhaps, but Matsumoto found the kappa difficult to clean up after. He tried using detergent, paint thinner and gasoline to remove the footprints and orange stains, but nothing seemed to work.
Sources: Shin-ichiro Namiki, "Nippon No Kaiki Hyaku", 2007
TSUCHINOKO - THE CRYPTID SERPENT
In 2000, Yoshii, Okayama, Japan was in the news, as people were flocking to the region to hunt for the tsuchinoko, a chirping reptile-like cryptid bearing at least some resemblance to a snake or a long, thick lizard. A 20 million yen reward from the Yoshii Municipal Government was the source of all the excitement.
Tsuchinoko fever hit Yoshii on May 21 after a farmer cutting grass swore he saw a snake-like creature with a face resembling the cartoon cat Doraemon slither across his field. The farmer slashed the creature with his weed whipper, but it fled into a nearby stream and escaped. Four days later, 72-year-old Hideko Takashima was talking with a couple of friends in Yoshii when she found what she thought was one of the creatures lying dead next to the stream a tsuchinoko reportedly had dived into to escape from the farmer. She picked it up and buried it.
Yoshii Municipal Government officials heard the rumors of a tsuchinoko and headed out to look over the local woman’s find. They exhumed the body and forwarded it to Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare to be examined. Kuniyasu Sato, the professor who analyzed the reptile, said that the animal may indeed have been the tsuchinoko, but “scientifically speaking, it was a kind of snake.”
Meanwhile, Mitsuko Arima, an 82-year-old from Yoshii, says she saw a Tsuchinoko swimming along a river on the morning of June 15.
“I was surprised. I just pointed at it and asked ‘Who are you? Who are you?’ It didn’t answer me, but just stared. It had a round face and didn’t take its eyes off me. I can still see the eyes now. They were big and round and it looked like they were floating on the water,” Arima says. “I’ve lived over 80 years, but I’d never seen anything like that in my life.” - The Top Cryptozoology Stories of 2000
A much smaller mummy — said to be that of a baby demon — was once in the possession of Rakanji Temple at Yabakei (Oita prefecture).
Unfortunately, the treasured mummy was destroyed in a fire in 1943.
----- Kappa Mummies
Like the mermaid mummies, many kappa (river imp) mummies are thought to have been crafted by Edo-period artists using parts of animals ranging from monkeys and owls to stingrays. [In other words, these mummies and the popular Mermaid mummies are mostly what were called Jenny Hanivers in Europe-DD]
This mummified kappa, which now resides in a Dutch museum, appears to consist of various animal parts put together in a seamless whole. It is believed to have been created for the purpose of carnival entertainment in the Edo period.
Another mummified kappa can be found at Zuiryūji temple in Osaka.
The 70-centimeter long humanoid purportedly dates back to 1682.
[70 cm is 2 feet 4 inches and this one is presumably made mostly out of the body of a shaved monkey]
Another notable kappa mummy can be seen in a seemingly unlikely place — at a sake brewery in the town of Imari (Saga prefecture).
According to a company brochure, the mummified kappa was discovered inside a wooden box that carpenters found hidden in the ceiling when replacing the roof over 50 years ago.
Reckoning the creature was an old curiosity their ancestors had passed down for generations, the company owners built a small altar and enshrined the kappa mummy as a river god.
Kangaroo Sightings Persist In Japan's Mayama Mountains
It may seem odd, but the locals swear it is true. People in a Japanese mountain region have reported a number of kangaroo sightings, and journalists are now trying to stalk the marsupials.
The descriptions given by the apparent eyewitnesses seem close enough. For years they have spoken of a beige animal with large ears, one to 1.5 metres tall, that stands by the roadside and then hops away.
The sightings were all reported in the Mayama mountain district of Osaki city in Miyagi prefecture, a community of 441 households, located about 350 kilometres north of Tokyo.
The city has received about 30 reports of "kangaroo-like animals", including three cases since December, when the mountain area was often covered in snow, said local official Tetsuya Sasaki.
"People aged in their 40s to their 60s have said they have spotted what looked like kangaroos while travelling to and from work in the early mornings and evenings," said Mr Sasaki.
Rumours about kangaroo sightings started about seven years ago, and television crews and newspapers have set up hidden cameras in the district, but have so far failed to capture an image of a kangaroo.
As a joke, "some people have put up 'kangaroo crossing' signs on their roadside properties," Mr Sasaki said.
Kangaroos are on show at many Japanese zoos and can be imported by individuals.
I would suspect the mummy at Rakanji Temple was possibly legitimate and it is a shame the original was destroyed in a fire. Most of the others are admittedly manufactured items.
Best Wishes, Dale D.