Title: The Last Kappa of Old Japan
Author: Sunny Seki
Illustrator: Sunny Seki
Publisher: Tuttle Shokai (2010)
Series: Sunny Seki has written four books about traditional Japanese folktales: The Tale of the Lucky Cat (1); The Last Kappa of Old Japan, A Magical Journey of Two Friends (2); Yuko-Chan and the Daruma Doll (3); The Little Kokeshi Doll from Fukushima (4)
“One day while working in his garden, Norihei heard a loud moan, and was amazed to see a strange creature with webbed hands and spots on his back.” He saves the life of this mythical creature called a kappa and they develop a great friendship. As harmful industries arrive in the village, the health of the kappa declines. The cucumber loving creature leaves the village, promising to return. Years later, the kappa keeps its promise and Norihei creates the cucumber sushi, kappamaki, in honour of his friend.