1962 (pub): We Belong to the Family of Kimmaru

        In the northern district of Miyazaki Prefecture, in Kadokawa-machi, the children practice a strange ruitual to protect themselves from the kappa... before any of them go swimming, they first announce loudly to the water: "Mr. Hyosubo, we belong to the family of Kimmaru. Don't play pranks on us."

        First off, "hyosubo" was an old local name for kappa. Second of all, here's why the children recite this odd address to the water dwellers.

        A long time ago, there was a priest of Nakayama Shrine in the area of Kadokawa-machi, and his name was Kimmaru. He was a strong man and very skilled at fencing, and had a reputation throughout town for being very brave. One day as he was walking around town, he became aware that he was being watched as he passed an old earthen bridge. Looking over, he discovered a kappa just under the bridge... the kappa was crying, and had come looking for the brave priest tio ask for his help. Each night, a giant snake had been swimming up the waterway to eat one of the kappa's numerous children; the kappa had but one precious child left, and was asking the priest to please slay the monstrous snake before this last kappa infant was also eaten. Kimmaru, seeing the kappa was genuine in his distress, agreed to battle the snake.

        That night, Kimmaru was standing under the bridge with his sword at the ready when the giant snake swam up the waterway to find its kappa meal. The priest was so skilled with his weapon that the gigantic snake was spilt in two and dead almost instantly. The grateful kappa thanked Kimmaru with all its heart, and begged the priest to name any favor that it could do for him as its show of thanks for his help. Kimmaru, after a moment's thought, stated that in exchange for having saved the kappa's children, that the kappa and it's kin should never play tricks on any of the priest's children. The kappa agreed, and vanished into the water.

        This promise is why the children in Kadokawa-machi always tell the local kappa that they are the children of Kimmaru... as they have done for many generations.