The Legend of the Kappa

One of our classic vegetarian favorites at our Issaquah Japanese restaurant is the cucumber roll, also known as kappa maki in Japan. Consisting of a simple piece of cucumber rolled up in sushi rice, this is an unobtrusive sushi option that goes well with many Japanese meals.

The name “kappa maki” comes from the legendary Japanese demon known as the kappa, which was said to have a taste for cucumber. This creature is frequently depicted as an ape or turtle-like monster who walks around on two legs, often engaged in mischief that ranges from innocent pranks to more serious acts of malice, like eating children. A kappa’s weakness is a bowl-like chamber in its head, which is filled with the water that gives it strength. According to the legend, you can protect yourself from a kappa by tricking it to bow so that it spills this water and loses its power.