The kappa is a Japanese demon or Yōkai living in the waters in traditional Japanese folklore. The name Kappa (河童) literally translates to "river-child".
It is also known as Kawatarō (川太郎) meaning "river-boy", Komahiki (駒引) meaning "horse-puller", Kawatora (川虎) meaning "river-tiger" and Suiko (水虎) meaning "water-tiger".  They also have multiple more regional names such as "Kawappa", "Kawako", "Gawappa", "Kōgo", "Mizushi", "Mizuchi", and "Suitengu" among others.
The kappa is usually depicted as green humanoids with webbed hands and feet. They often carry a turtle shell on their backs. It has a bowl-like depression on the top of the head called a "sara" or dish. This holds a water which if lost from any means the kappa is either severely weakened or killed.
The kappas traditionally love to eat cucumbers and engage in sumo wrestling.
The kappas behavior
The kappa is generally the size of a human child but is usually stronger than adult males. They live in rivers and ponds and like the warmer months of the year. Usually they live either alone or in families. The skin of the kappa is usually either described as scaly, slimy or leathery. 
In culture they are seen as mischievous trouble makers and tricksters. They are described doing a large variety of misdeeds minor ones being looking up women's kimonos. Although this is not very harmful they are also described as malevolent and doing things like drowning people and animals, kidnapping children, raping women and sometimes eating human flesh. 
Another activity they are described as doing is pulling out a mythical organ called the shirikodama from the victims anus.
Sometimes they befriend humans and other Yōkai. Sometimes they even perform good deeds for friendly humans such as irrigating their land. And as they are highly knowledgeable about medicine they may save humans. According to legend they taught humans the art of bone setting.
Offerings are frequently made to the kappa at festivals. These offerings often consist of cucumbers as they are the kappas favorite meal but they may also eat Japanese eggplants, soba noodles, nattō  and Japanese pumpkin.
Sometimes the kappa may bring fish to humans which is considered to be a good omen.
The kappa is very obsessed with politeness which is one of the main ways to defeat them. If you make a deep bow the kappa is obliged to return the bow spilling the water in its head.

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