The Kappa’s Crown – Kozanese Myth

This is a myth whose origins are within Pohatoshin Province in Eastern Kozan. It is said to come from the Kinkawa River that starts in southern Gatashima province and ends in downtown Kinmyou, and is part of the Sanzu River system. The myth concerns the Edo-period youkai-born figure Nitori who has the ability to drown her enemies in the guise of a gown made entirely of water.

Just Nitori in her mermaid form.

The myth begins with Nitori preparing to take a dip in the Kinkawa River on a beautiful autumn day. On her head is the titular Kappa’s Crown, which is said to grant her a powerful ability she could use against her enemies. As she dives in, she inhales the river’s water which causes her legs to fuse into a mermaid’s tail. She swims through the river until she reaches a shallow end.

Nitori just moments after leaving the river.

As her legs return to normal as her tail dries up, cracks, and eventually falls apart, Nitori appears to be coated entirely in water forming a floor-length gown. As she walks back upon land, every step she takes causes the ground she’s standing on to become soaked. Nearby, Nitori encounters a lowly Pacoonba1. She approaches it, picks it up, and tries to hug it, but as expected the water gown soaks the Pacoonba and part of the Pacoonba goes right through Nitori’s gown.

As the Pacoonba goes out of Nitori’s space, the hole the Pacoonba left behind seals back up automatically, effectively repairing it. Meanwhile, as Nitori goes back to swim in the Kinkawa river, she encounters the Hakurei Shrine maiden Reimu. After Nitori is defeated in a duel with her, she flees in agony.

Nitori’s gown begins to dissolve after spending a lot of time outside the water.

After spending a long time out of the water, Nitori’s gown begins to fade in color before dissolving back into water and into the ground. Shivering in the cold night, Nitori walks away as if nothing happened.


  1. Pacoonbas are lowly enemies featured in Chuhou Joutai. Read more about them here.


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