The Kappa is a Japanese mythological creature that has evolved from a frightening water spirit to a cute mascot for water safety. It’s basically a duck and turtle hybrid with a hollow bowl on top of its head. This bowl contains the creature’s life source and if knocked over, the creature dies. Growing up in Japan, I used to see all sorts of signs and cartoons with this cute creature, but I didn’t know about it’s dark past until I came into my teenaged years.
According to legend, the Kappa is hung out in bodies of water, waiting to scoop up an unsuspecting traveler. Once caught, the traveler would experience excruciating pain from drowning and by having their body parts torn from their bodies. The Only item the Kappa ate were human livers. There were two ways to defeat this monster. You either had to bow since it has the urge to reciprocate politeness, or challenge it to a wrestling match, as it can’t resist a challenge. Throughout the centuries the Kappa has evolved into a cute creature who now spends it’s time eating cucumbers while relaxing by a lake. Every year there is a festival held for this creature by lakes in Japan in order to appease its spirit and to thank the creature for looking after the children.