• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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Tokyo Kappa Shrine Explored

Boing Boing has some fascinating footage of a shrine in Tokyo dedicated to the kappa, a race of dangerous supernatural beings said to live in rivers. The shrine claims to have a mummified hand of one.

I snapped this picture of a kappa statue when I was in Tokyo; it was at the Kanamara Shrine, a fertility temple in the district of Kawasaki:

The most famous kappa is doubtless “Sandy”, the English name for the Japanese interpretation of “Sha Wujing”, who appears in the Chinese novel Journey to the West. He was memorably depicted as a kappa in the 1970s Japanese TV series Monkey.

More kappa pics at this website on Japanese Buddhism.