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Youha Takatori and the Kappa (Water Imp) / Legends and Folktales

Youha Takatori and the Kappa (Water Imp)

The Takatori family was a family of surgeons who served the Fukuoka domain for many generations.

Although, we do not know exactly when the following story took place because the head of the Takatori family was always named Youha; one night, when his wife went to the outhouse to do her business, a cold hand touched her bottom.

Because the wife was so brave, the next night when she went to the outhouse, she brought a dagger with her.

On that night too, someone dared to touch her bottom. So, she chopped their hand off. She showed the hand to Youha who examined it carefully and determined it was a kappa's hand because it had webbed fingers.

Three days later, a kappa appeared and said, "Please give me my hand back."

Youha told the kappa to go away and shut the door in his face. The kappa promised to never touch his wife again and asked Youha to give his hand back. Youha then asked him, "What do you intend to do with the chopped hand?" The kappa answered, "I will reattach it to my arm."

Then Youha said, "That is impossible. But if you tell me how you do it, I will give you your hand back." So the kappa told Youha how to reconnect the severed hand.

We do not know whether the surgery actually happened, but the kappa also gave him some special medicine that effectively healed cuts.

Youha-no-cho where Youha's house once stood is presently Daimyo 1 chome and 2 chome.

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