A kappa is an imaginary tortoise-like creature with a brimming dish of water on top of its head, a pointed muzzle, and webbed hands and feet. Kappa often appear in old stories and pictures. They are revered at water-god festivals in hope that they will offer protection against water mishaps. Kappa are said to be fond of cucumbers, so rolled cucumber sushi is called, “kappa maki.” Kappa are believed to be good swimmers, so if you say, “Jiro wa kappa desu,” which means Jiro swims like a fish. Also there is a famous saying, “Kappa no kawa nagare” meaning a kappa drowning in a river. “Even Homer sometimes nods” is a similar English saying.



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