A Study on the Oral Tradition, that tells "Kappa want to play Sumo"
- Analysis of the Relation between Nomino-Sukune
and "Hyozube" : a Byname of Kappa -

(Nara Women's University Secondary School)


   "Kappa" is an imaginary animal (a hobgoblin) typify in Japanese folk stories. There are
oral traditions, which tell "Kappa like Sumo". Numerous reports have demonstrated that
"Kappa like Sumo" in Japanese folklore, however, it has not been elucidated the question :
"why Kappa like Sumo" yet.
   The aim of this study is to elucidate "why Kappa like Sumo", by using both historical
and folklore materials. There are two descriptions about Nomino-Sukune in paragraph of
the Emperor Suinin in "Nihon shoki" : the oldest official chronicles of Japan. One description
is the legend which is telling that he originated Sumo at Anashihyouzu-jinjya shrine, and
the other is the legend that Haniwa : the earthenware figures originated with him. It has
suggested that Nomino-Sukune is a symbol of a craftman group of metal refining, by his-
torical and folkloristic analysis of these two descriptions. This symbol overlaps with
   "Amenohiboko", who is a symbolic person of immigrants came over to ancient Japan. It is
also overlapped with the faith of "Shiyuu": a person in Chinese legend.
   "Shiyuu" is considered to be "Hyouzu", and the people who used to be subordinated to
"Shiyuu" are considered to be "Hyouzube". "Hyouzube" is a byname of Kappa, and these
symbolic overlapping suggests that Nomino-Sukune was the boss (chief) of an ancestor of
Kappa. These relationships give account for the question: why Kappa want to play Sumo.