1985 (pub): The Hairpin Kappa

A tale from Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan:

        There was once a special kappa that lived in the deep water under a waterfall. What made this kappa special was that it possessed the strange ability to transform itself into an ornamental hairpin.
        The kappa would change into the hairpin and float in the middle of the river until a woman came along and saw it. When the woman reached out to pick up the hairpin, the kappa would change back and drag the helpless victim into the depths of the water.
        One day, as the kappa waited in the water for a victim, a samurai walked by. Spying the hairpin, the samurai decided to pick it up. He stepped into the river, gripped the hairpin, and, in a flash, it transformed back into a kappa. The kappa grabbed the samurai and violently tried to pull him into the deep water, but the samurai was far stronger than the kappa's usual victims. With a sudden burst, the samurai dragged the kappa straight out of the water and onto the bank of the river.
        Finally realizing it's mistake, the kappa gripped a rock tightly with it's feet to save itself. Though the legend doesn't state what eventually became of either the kappa or the samurai, it is said that the rock that the kappa gripped is still next to the river, bearing the holes that the kappa made when it dug its feet in.