Japanese Nature: Bugs (虫)

Mushi! Bugs! They’re all over the place! And the Japanese variety are just as abundant and cool. I’ve always been a fan of bugs, but sometimes people in Japan have a different kind of fandom going on…

(First things first! This is an entry for the August Japan Blog Matsuri, specifically Through Eyes From Afar’s Nature and Japan entry! Thanks, Lands From Afar Embassy! You should see what other J-bloggers also have to say about nature!)

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Yokai: the Kappa!

The Study of Kappa

Although I didn’t like it very much at first, the kappa has quickly become one of my favorite mythical creatures. What is it that I like about them? Is it the fact that there are many different interpretations of them historically, or that they can be downright adorable in modern depictions? Or maybe it’s just that little bowl of water on their heads. Let’s talk about it some more!

But first, note that this is an entry for this month’s Japan Blog Matsuri. Mazikeen is hosting it this time! Awesome! Thanks, Mazikeen! Take a look at the other yokai-related entries, too.

Raising kappa: is it easy?

Anyway, kappa. At first I thought they looked terrible. Duck-things with reptilian bodies! It didn’t help that I don’t really like ducks or turtles. (Except sea turtles. They’re adorable. Kappa sea turtles would be adorable, too, I guess.) And if I were to see one in reality, they would frighten me. I mean, that’s just too creepy to see walk up to you, realistically.

But the cuter they look, the more acceptable they become… (Which I believe is a general rule. Do you think anybody would have cared about Pandora if all the Na’vi resembled Gremlins? Exactly.) Kappa are known as troublemakers, and also consumers of children. Of course, they don’t really seem to have any ill will towards humanity. Why else would we love them?

Continue reading Yokai: the Kappa!