“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.)
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.