Dear newsletter readers, Konnichiwa! this is Ayumi writing this week. How is your weekend? I hope you have a wonderful time:)
January is almost gone. I put my decorations of the New Year celebration away at last. They will be burned in 'Tondo'(fire festival) at shrine. And then, all of my Oshougatsu events are over!
Anyway, have you ever heard about 'Kappa'? It is an imaginary monster that lives on either land or in water. Surprisingly, I found The motif of Obi at Ichiroya!
I used to study anthropology at University, especially about 'Youkai'(Japanese ancient imaginary monsters). Some of you might know about them from Japanese Manga, Animation etc... I think Kappa is the most common 'Yokai' in Japan.
Recently, Kappa has identically designed. They have green body which like children and whose head has placed on it a dish of water. However, the designs are well-known after Edo period (1603-1868). Before that, they have some different shapes and character each region. Example, they have fuzzy children shape like monkey and lived on the trees at My home town Hiroshima. On the other hand, they have big turtle shape in North, or straw figure shape(some time transform children) in South. They are totally difference but called 'Kappa'.
There are some of the reason why the unique Kappas are fading from everyone's mind. The biggest one is the naturalists works actively in the middle of Edo period. They did grouping many vague and unclear things and named them based on Chinese researches. Additionally, the naturalists published picture book of 'Yokai'. and it was spread out all over Japan because of development of printing technique at Edo period.
At the least, Kappa's image has been unified.
It is interesting, isn't it?
Please check Ichiroya's cute and Unique Kappa items out!