In Japanese folklore, Kappa are river imps typically depicted as scaly green frog-like creatures sporting a duck bill and tortoise shell, with a bald head ringed with spiky hair. Although there are many theories concerning their origins, some say it was the arrival of Portuguese monks in the 16th century, who had shaven heads and wore cloaks with hoods that hung low on their backs (like a turtle shell). The monk’s habit are called “Capa” in Portuguese, which is likely where the name originates.
Like mermaids in Western mythology, they can be benevolent or dangerous, dragging children to a watery grave. Although they are said to do some pretty awful things, their humorous appearance has made them a mainstay in comics, cartoons, and video games.
Naturally, it was only a matter of time before hobbyists decided to pay homage to the water sprite by building Kappa robots. Check out the following videos!
Video credits: (see YouTube pages) | Image credit: 462 Photo Blog (JP/EN)