Kappa (河童, kapa lit. River Child) are a type of water sprite that live in rivers. In oversimplified term, they are aquatic goblins. Often portrayed as having a turtle shell and beak, they're known for having a curiosity about humans, sometimes challenging humans to tests of skill, eating children, and having a love of cucumbers. They have an unique body structure called "dish" on top of their

A Kappa according to Japanese Folklore

head, and it must be filled with water for the creatures to function properly on the land. Kappa are known to pull out shirikodama (尻子玉, anal ball) out from human and killing them in process. Shirikodama is an imaginary gland that is said to exist somewhere near anus or around stomach, although where exactly is open to debate. This story seems to originate from the tendency that drowned corpses often having their anus wide open like something were pulled out from there. Kappa is sometimes depicted as creature with strength, as in case of stories where human not being able to withstand against match of sumou wrestling when it is done fair and square. Kappa in Gensokyo seem to think they're on good terms with humans but some of the folklore humans handed down over the generations suggest that

A group of Kappa in Wild and Horned Hermit

humans think otherwise. Around the time the Hakurei Border was formed, the kappa constructed the dragon statue in the Human Village that people there worship every day. The kappa even installed a weather prediction device into it.

Gensokyo's kappa live mostly around the base of Youkai Mountain.

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