My project focuses on the narrative of the Kappa featured in the novel by Ryunosuke Akutagawa. The Kappa is a mythical beast with the mouth of a bird, a monkey’s body and a tortoise shell. The narrative promotes values of co-existence and tolerance in society. Though some people still believe Kappa exists it is seldom seen.
The Kappa has a playful nature and likes to play pranks on humans. Some ancient documents depict the Kappa as a water elf, worshiped as a sacred river beast. As the belief in Kappa folklore diminished depictions of the Kappa evolved to those of a monster. My project explores the Kappa as a metaphor for ‘otherness’ representing those on the peripheries of society.