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Kappa Quest 2000
Profile - Why the name "Oniko"? - Comics Books and Manga - Mysterious Occurences - Myths and Legends

Each year in August, I visit Japan for the O-bon festivals. This year, I will also be searching for Kappa.

For those of you who don't know what kappa are, let me explain... in Japan, kappa are very famous monsters. In ancient times, they were believed to be living in rivers and streams. Stories about kappa say they are half-human and half-turtle... sometimes half-human and half-frog. In all cases, the kappa is about the size of a child and has a bowl-like cavity on the top of its head. This bowl must always be kept filled with water, or the kappa's supernatural strength will vanish. (This is why politeness is important... when you meet a kappa, bow real low; the kappa will likely do the same, to your benefit!)

Kappa appear often in both ancient legends and modern comics. The kappa stories often have actual places and objects associated with them. Rivers, shrines, statues, etc. ... and maybe even some actual evidence that kappa may have really existed. (For more general info on kappa that I'm still translating and sorting out, Click Here.)

Most of the stories about kappa that I know of are from Kyushu and the southern most tip of Honshu... so this is where I will be for August.

Here are the places I plan to visit:


Honshu (Southern)

Honshu (Northern)

  • Iwate Prefecture
    Jokenji Temple

And maybe I'll have time for:
Honshu (Central)

  • Gifu Prefecture
  • Nagano Prefecture
    Kappa Bridge
  • Niigata Prefecture
  • Shizuoka Prefecture

And here's one tale that happened at an unknown location (so I won't be looking for it anytime soon):
The Straw Kappa

Do you live near a kappa related site? Please let me know! During the trip, this page will be updated to show my present location in Japan. I will also be recieving my e-mail, so please send me a note. Maybe we'll meet!


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