I took water in its significance to the folklore of the land of Japan, bringing into the picture, the water kami, the Kappa, also known as the kawataro, amongst many other names.
Kappa are humanoid creatures about the size of a 6-8 year old child, though some have reported them to be as tall as a 10 year old. They possess scaly skin in colours from red to blue and green, and have webbed limbs. On their head is a sara, a depression that must be kept filled with water. It is water that grants Kappa their magical powers, and an empty sara may mean the Kappa may lose its powers or even die. While often depicted as mischievous in local folklore, drowning horses, looking up kimonos and sometimes fondling women, Kappa are capable of good, and may bring good fortune and help irrigate fields when befriended.
To this day, however, the image of the Kappa as malevolent remains. Seeing how Kappa, as a kami, was feared and used as a warning to many, despite the Shinto belief that kami are infallible and err, I decided to create items for the gift shops at the kappa museums (which have, generally low ratings), seeking to possibly inform opinions on the Kappa in relation to its being a Suijin in Shinto terms.
My deliverables are thus:
A informative handbook (split into three)
I split the book into three considering portability, and the fact that the third section contains recipes embracing the cucumber centric diet of the Kappa, and that aspiring cooks would not want to bring the entire volume, to the kitchen, especially when book 3 features recipes cards that may be detached.
Book 1 introduces the shinto faith as a context, speaking on concepts of animistic kami worship and setting the stage for Book 2.
Book 3 is a recipe book with detachable recipe cards that also function as postcards, for snail mail sharing
A kappa doll – to bring comfort.
An app – that goes along with the third section of the handbook
All these go in a kit (attaching on flickr because for some reason my file won’t go up without errors), though items will still remain available separately as an alternative.