the online database of Japanese folkore

Hane no haeta kappa


Translation: kappa with wings
Habitat: wetlands
Diet: omnivorous; as a kappa

Appearance: Kappa are usually described as reptilian or amphibious creatures with features resembling turtles, frogs, or monkeys. Hane no haeta kappa, however, are a breed of kappa which bear a closer resemblance to chickens or pheasants. Their hind legs are clawed and bird-like, and instead of arms they have wings. Their bodies are covered in long, hair-like feathers, and they have long necks which can stretch.

Behavior: Hane no haeta kappa live in wetlands such as ponds, marshes, and swamps. Despite their unusual appearance, they are very much like regular kappa.

Interactions: Just as ordinary kappa are sometimes aggressive and dangerous towards humans, hane no haeta kappa are not without their dangers. These yōkai occasionally attack people—children in particular—who stray too close to their territory.

Legends: A hane no haeta kappa was reported in the village of Yanagisawa (present-day Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture) in the summer of 1840. The creature lived in a nearby pond and had attacked two children from the village. On June 26, the villagers drained the pond and captured the kappa. A report of the incident described the kappa as feathered and having the ability to stretch its neck. The report was accompanied by an illustration of the monster.

Alphabetical list of yōkai