Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Onmyōza Hyakumonogatari Story XXIII "Kappa Dance"

(Kappa Odori begins at 08:50)

In a river located deep in the mountains there lived two kappa brothers who were very close.

"Listen Kawakichi, you turn eight this year. You are old enough for a kappa to start scaring the humans and you're also old enough to be able to pull out a shirikodama[1] or two. When I was your age, I played sumo with the children of the nearby village and threw them around one after another. But you on the other hand... You're really weak at sumo and can't even come up with a single artful trick. I'm worried about your future."

"But brother, the human children gave me a manjū[2] when I was hungry, and made a ring out of beautiful flowers that they placed on my sara[3]. They're all good kids. Why do I have to scare them?"

"They're all like that when they're children. But things get different when they grow up. They all become sly and selfish. You understand, Kawakichi? Surely there must be at least one thing you're good at? You'll have to use that to play a trick on the adult humans."

"You're right, I don't like adult humans. They yell at me when I play with the children. Oh, I know! I'm good at dancing. When I dance, even tanuki and foxes forget to transform and dance with me. I'll make the stuck-up adults dance a silly dance with me."

"Well said! That I'd like to see. And it just so happens that tonight's our chance. I hear that the humans are going to hold a festival. Let's go there right away so you can make them dance that silly dance!"

The kappa brothers swam down the river and headed for the human village.

"Brother! It sure is lively here! Since everyone's cheerful thanks to the sake, it should be a piece of cake to make them dance. Oh, I'll go talk to that girl over there."
"OK little brother. That sounds good. Let's see, I guess I'll just grab some sake and watch the show."

"Oh how rare! It's a little kappa. What a cute little thing you are with your beak still yellow and all! Come over here little boy and have a treat."

"Really? Yummy! Oh no! That's right, I was going to make them dance. Hey! Look at my dance and join in!"

"Ahahaha! Really, what an adorable kappa. If you like dancing that much, just wait a bit. Something fun is about to happen."

While the younger kappa was at his wits' end as for why the girl did not start dancing at all, a large drum boomed and lively festival music started playing.

"Today is the day of the Bon Festival dance in our village. Come on! You too join the circle and dance with us."

With the signal of the drum, people started getting up one by one and dancing merrily around the drum. Seeing that, the younger kappa could not contain himself and had to join the circle.

"What a fun festival! I'm having a really good time! It doesn't matter whether you're a human or a kappa, having fun is the best!

Meanwhile, the older kappa, who was feeling tipsy with the sake he had stolen, watched the humans dancing in a circle and said:
"Now that's my little brother. He's managed to get all of the humans to dance with him.
I guess I should give him a tasty cucumber as a reward when we get back."

[1] "Mythical ball inside the anus that is sought after by kappa"
[2] A bun with a bean-jam filling.
[3] The indentation on the top of the head of a kappa.

陰陽座百物語 第廿参話「河童をどり」


「のう川吉、お前も今年で八つになる。八つと言いや、わしら河童はぽちぽち人間共を脅かしたり、尻子玉の一つも抜いたり出来る様にならにゃいかん。斯く言うわしも、お前の年の自分には、この先の村の子供皆と相撲を取って、片っ端から投げ飛ばしたもんじゃ。それがお前ときたら… 相撲はてんで弱い上に気の利いた悪戯の一つもよう仕掛けんとする。このままでお前の行く末が心配じゃ」















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