Gangi kozōby Gregory Stoffel

Gangi kozō
岸涯小僧
がんぎこぞう

Translation: riverbank priest boy


Gangi kozō are hairy, monkey-like water spirits which inhabit rivers. They live along the riverbanks, where they hunt fish. Their bodies are covered in hair, and the hair on their head resembles the the bobbed okappa hair style once popular among children in Japan. Their most notable features are their webbed hands and toes, and their long teeth which are sharp and jagged like files. They are close relatives of the much more well-known kappa.

Gangi kozō are not encountered outside of the riverbanks, according to one theory, they are a transitional form of kappa.
Gangi kozō normally stay away from people, but occasionally encounter fishermen along the rivers they inhabit.
When meeting a gangi kozō, fishermen often leave their largest, cheapest fish on the riverside as an offering.

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