“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Übermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarī, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Kappa (河童, "river-child")

Kappa (河童?, "river-child"), alternately called Kawatarō (川太郎?, "river-boy") or Kawako (川子?, "river-child"), are legendary creatures; a type of water sprite found in Japanese folklore. However they are also considered to be a part of cryptozoology, due to claims of sightings. In Shintō they are considered to be one of many suijin. A hair-covered variation of a Kappa is called a Hyōsube (ひょうすべ?).

Most depictions show kappa as child-sized humanoids, though their bodies are often more like those of monkeys or frogs than human beings. Some descriptions say their faces are apelike, while others show them with beaked visages more like those of tortoises or with duck beaks. Pictures usually show kappa with thick shells and scaly skin that ranges in color from green to yellow or blue.
Kappa supposedly inhabit the ponds and rivers of Japan and have various features to aid them in this environment, such as webbed hands and feet. They are sometimes even said to smell like fish, and they can certainly swim like them. The expression kappa-no-kawa-nagare ("a kappa drowning in a river") conveys the idea that even experts make mistakes.
The most notable feature of the kappa, however, is the water-filled depressions atop their heads. These cavities are surrounded by scraggly hair, and this type of bobbed hair style is named okappa-atama for the creatures. The kappa derive their incredible strength from these liquid-filled holes, and anyone confronted with one may exploit this weakness by simply getting the kappa to spill the water from its head. The kappa possesses a deep sense of etiquette, so one trusted method is to appeal to this, for a kappa cannot help but return a deep bow, even if it means losing its head-water in the process. Once depleted, the kappa is seriously weakened and may even die. Other tales say that this water allows kappa to move about on land, and once emptied, the creatures are immobilized. Stubborn children are encouraged to follow the custom of bowing on the grounds that it is a defense against kappa. In addition, folklore suggests that kappa are masters of Koppo, a bone-breaking technique which they invented.

Kappa are usually seen as mischievous troublemakers. Their pranks range from the relatively innocent, such as loudly passing gas or looking up women's kimonos, to the more troublesome, such as stealing crops or kidnapping children. In fact, small children are one of the gluttonous kappa's favorite meals, though they will eat adults as well. Even today, signs warning about kappa appear by bodies of water in some Japanese towns and villages. Kappa are also said to be afraid of fire, and some villages hold fireworks festivals each year to scare the spirits away.
Kappa are not entirely antagonistic to mankind, however. They are curious of human civilization, and they can understand and speak Japanese. They thus sometimes challenge those they encounter to various tests of skill, such as shogi or sumo wrestling. They may even befriend human beings in exchange for gifts and offerings, especially cucumbers, the only food kappa are known to enjoy more than human children. Japanese parents sometimes write the names of their children (or themselves) on cucumbers and toss them into kappa-infested waters in order to mollify the creatures and allow the family to bathe.[citation needed] There is even a kind of cucumber-filled sushi roll named for the kappa, the kappamaki.
Once befriended, kappa have been known to perform any number of tasks for human beings, such as helping farmers irrigate their land. They are also highly knowledgeable of medicine, and legend states that they taught the art of bone setting to mankind. Due to these benevolent aspects, some shrines are dedicated to the worship of particularly helpful kappa.[citation needed] Kappa may also be tricked into helping people. Their deep sense of decorum will not allow them to break an oath, for example, so if a human being can dupe a kappa into promising to help him, the kappa has no choice but to follow through.

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kappa_(folklore)

From http://www.pinktentacle.com/ one of my favorite blogs: Edo-period kappa sketches

Kappa --- Kappa, arguably Japan’s most well-known creature of legend, are mischievous river imps notorious for luring people — particularly children — into the water to drown and eat them. They smell like fish, enjoy cucumbers and sumo, and are said to be very courteous despite their malicious tendencies.

Although kappa are typically about the size of a child and greenish in color, they can vary widely in appearance. They frequently have a turtle-like shell and scaly skin, but sometimes their skin is moist and slick, or coated in fur. Most walk upright on their hind legs, but they are occasionally seen on all fours. Regardless of body type, the top of the kappa’s head usually features a bowl-shaped depression containing water. The water inside this bowl is the source of the kappa’s power.

The Edo period (1603 to 1867) saw some serious scientific literature devoted to the study of these creatures. 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 kappa sketches by artist Kurimoto Tanshu. Here are a few.

Kappa ---

The kappa on the left, sketched by Ito Chobei, was captured during the Meiwa period (1764 to 1772) in Edo, somewhere in present-day Tokyo’s Edogawa ward. When the creature was shown to Ota Chogen, a noted herbalist of the time, he identified it as a kappa — he happened to have a kappa sketch with him that showed a creature with strikingly similar features. According to the text in the book, this kappa measured 60 cm (2 ft) tall and had slippery skin like that of a catfish.

The middle picture above shows a type of kappa with no shell, and the picture on the right shows a kappa that was caught in a net in Mito, Japan in 1801. This kappa had a prominent chest, a crooked back and three anuses.

Kappa ---

Later in the Edo period, an illustrated guide to 12 types of kappa (Suiko juni-hin no zu) was produced based on information taken from Suikokouryaku. A portion of this document is shown above. Check out the complete, high-resolution version here.

Kappa --- Kappa --- Kappa ---

Ito Keisuke, a well-known man of medicine and prolific natural history artist in the Edo period, sometimes included depictions of mysterious creatures with his animal drawings — like the kappa on the left above, for example. The middle picture shows a kappa that was observed in one of the moats around Edo castle in the late 18th century. The picture on the right shows a kappa observed in the early 17th century in what is now the city of Hita in Oita prefecture (Kyushu). This kappa looked sort of like a turtle standing on its hind legs, and it had a depression on its head, webbed fingers, and splotches on its chest and abdomen.

Kappa --- Kappa ---

The neneko (or neko) kappa, shown on the left above, was sketched by Akamatsu Sotan in his 1855 work entitled Tonegawa zushi (”Illustrated History of the Tone River”). This kappa was known to move to a new location along the river each year, causing trouble wherever it went.

The image on the right shows a kappa scroll and kappa hand belonging to Sougenji (a.k.a. Kappa-dera, or “kappa temple”) located in the Ueno-Asakusa area of Tokyo. The temple is one of countless places in Japan that has stories and legends of kappa associated with it. According to this temple’s legend, the surrounding area was once a basin with poor drainage, making it prone to flooding. A local raincoat maker (the Japanese word for “raincoat” is “kappa”) took it upon himself to construct a series of drainage ditches, which he was able to complete with the help of a kappa living in the Sumida River. It is said that people fortunate enough to lay eyes on this kappa were blessed with success in business.

For lots more background information and kappa links, check here.

1 comment:

Onkel Urian said...

A picture of the german god "Krodo" taken from a wall painting in Goslar:

This is the only picture I know who shows him as a frog like creature. All other pictures show him as a old man. Sadly there is not much known about this god.