Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What's a Bunyip?

Last night, I was talking to a student (Hi, Yasuyo!) about Japanese actors. She said her favorite Japanese actor was Toshiyuki Nishida.
Toshiyuki Nishida
She was surprised to find out that I used to watch him in the Japanese TV show "Monkey" on Australian TV way back in the early 1980s. My friends & I were huge fans of the show. Pigsy (the character's English name) was our favorite character.
Sandy, Monkey, Tripitaka & Pigsy

You can watch the opening on YouTube here - Monkey Magic

You can also see Pigsy's song in English here - Pigsy's Song

Standing on the left side of the cast photo above is Shiro Kishibe, who played the kappa. His character was called Sandy in the English version of "Monkey."

A Kappa

We have nothing exactly like a kappa in Western cultures. In Europe, the closest thing would be the water nymph. Nymphs are kind of like a fairies that are connected to natural things like water and trees. Nymphs are always female, and usually very beautiful.
A Water Nymph

Australian Aboriginals believe in a kind of kappa called a bunyip. Bunyips live in rivers and waterholes. They hide under the water waiting to catch children who go too close to the water's edge.

No comments: