Kappa no Tabi

“The Kappa Journey” is the other watercolor piece I did for the Totoro Forest Project. Kappas are creatures from Japanese Folklore I’ve always found fascinating. The most distinctive and intriguing characteristic of these turtle-like hominids is a puddle on their heads. That water is their life line, they have to keep the puddle full to survive. Kappas are mostly known to be mischievious if not downright dangerous. It’s been told through generations that the way to get rid of a Kappa is to politely greet them with a bow. Kappas possess a sense of properness and they can’t help but bow back causing the water to spill out of their head. They must quickly retreat to replenish the pool. I found that so amusing I turned it into a one page story. My version of the kappa is unusually large and rather inoquous, a kappa-totoro if you will. To give you a better look at this piece, I turned it into a little rough sequence.
(The wonderful music is from Okinawa, ティンサグヌ花 – コウサカワタル.)

Kappa no tabi movie

kappa totoro - totoro forest project

Oh almost forgot, I got a chance to chat with Peter at GhibliWorld.com about the Totoro Forest Project in some depth. Read it here.

11 Responses to “Kappa no Tabi”

  1. dean kelly Says:

    that was amazing!
    your drawings and watercolors are beautiful!
    i love checking out your blog.
    don’t stop!

  2. Alessandra Sorrentino Says:

    enrico, che meraviglia questa sequenza, viene voglia di animarla!

  3. Alessandra Sorrentino Says:

    (maaa…Venezia? :) andrai a vedere Ponyo?)

  4. blauereiter Says:

    Haha, looks like a delightful lad , Kappa or not ! :]

  5. Anthony Says:

    Enrico, you are amazing and so is this–thanks for sharing!!

  6. Andre Says:

    WOW! This is epic! The big creature really looks like a waterfall at first, like its blending into nature.

  7. Anthony Says:

    Also, on a slightly unrelated note, I picked up a postcard for the Venice Chronicles、which looks spectacular (not just the postcard…;). Who did you go through for printing? I’m trying to get a book (or two, if I’m lucky) ready for APE, and I’m currently shopping around for printers–any advice?

  8. eloisa Says:

    Ciao Enrico,
    è parecchio ormai che “spio” il tuo lavoro =^_____^=
    Amo moltissimo il tuo stile e il tuo senso dell’umorismo!

  9. Nancy Says:

    That movie is just too precious, Enrico! It really draws me into your painting!

  10. Enrico Says:

    Thanks everybody !! Glad you like this … :)

    Alessandra – eh magari … non sono mai stato al festival … uno di questi anni si dovra’ fare! :)

    Andre- neat, I hadn’t thought of the kappa as a waterfall himself … I like that.

    Anthony- good, glad you got the postcard! Printers wise I work with these guys (HongKong based, with office in the US too)

    Eloisa- grazie per i bei complimenti … anche il tuo blog ed illustrazioni sono proprio belle !!

    Nancy- thanks! hopefully it’ll go for a good sum at the auction … ;)


  11. Marco Milone Says: