The Discovery Of Mummies In Japan Is Kappa

In Japanese folklore, Kappa is a water demon that inhabits rivers and lakes. They are believed to eat naughty children. While there is a group of people who think that the legend stems from the appearance of a giant salamander, a species of animal living today, but there are others who believe that the myth really exists.

The so-called Kappa meaning "river child" is usually described as a turtle body, has a beak, a frog body cavity and has a curvature on the top of its water-filled head. Although they are generally aquatic creatures, the shallow Kappa is said to be walking on land. According to legend, the body cavity must remain wet or damp when ventures out of water or later, Kappa will lose power and energy.

Nowadays, people have the opportunity to see the bodies of mummies believed to belong to Kappa and decide for themselves whether the mythical creature really exists. The mummified body of the hands and feet of the strange creature is said to have been given to the Miyakonojo Shimazu family after a Kappa was shot in the river in 1818. The mummy body is now on display at the Miyakonojo Shimazu residence located in Miyazaki, Kyusu Island, Japan.

These mummified bodies are not the first kappa mummies to be found. There are a number of mummies alleged to have been found in the past. However, some of them are known to have been produced by artists in the Edo period (1603-1867) using bodies of various animals such as monkeys, owls and stingrays.

The Edo period saw some serious scientific literature devoted to the study of the Kappas. Suikokouryaku (1820), for example, is a compendium of kappa-related information gathered from a variety of sources from Japan and China. The book, which is housed in the Iwase Bunko Library, includes numerous kappa sketches.

For centuries the story and research of this legend have been living in the Japanese community. However, scientists still have not been able to give a definitive conclusion on the existence of this mysterious creature, although a number of bones have been claimed to have been discovered.

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