Kappa (folklore)

Japanese mythical creature

The Kappa (also called Kawatarou, Kawako, Kawaranbe, Gatarō) is a character in Japanese folklore. It is water spirit (yōkai) that is responsible for mischief. The Kappa is said to be the size of a 6 to 10-year-old boy. It has the body of a tortoise and an ape-like head. The most notable thing about its body is a hole in its head that holds the kappa's strength giving water. They are said to live off of blood and to drain the life out of people. They are known for innocent pranks such as theft, but it is also said that they will rape women and eat children. The only things kappas enjoy more than children are cucumbers. To write a name on a cucumber and to throw it into a river is said to save that person from being eaten by the kappa.

Bowser (known as "Kuppa" in Japan), the main antagonist of the popular Nintendo's Mario videogame series, was based on the creature.